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Monday, March 08, 2010

International Women's Day

Celebrated here in Uganda by:

First, my non-woman house worker took the holiday quite seriously, and did not show up, allowing the only woman involved in our house (me) to scramble with cleaning up an ant invasion and dishes and getting ready for the day.

Second, down to the ward, because sickness does not generally take a holiday.  Only to find that neither of the assigned nurses showed up.  One was mad because the other one skipped duty yesterday and left her alone.  Punishing me, and the patients, to make her point I suppose.  I was not amused, having left my own kid (Jack) home with a fever and strep throat, reading on the couch, certainly not as sick as many other kids but still . . . .  I called the more guilty missing-the-second-day person and she showed up two hours late.  Thankfully Heidi and Nathan pitched in, because the place was PACKED, no room even on the floor really.  Five tiny babies now in the 1.5 kg range (one of them has doubled his birthweight to get there).  It seemed appropriate to spend half of Women's Day doing what most women do:  enabling the survival of their children, priority number one.

Third, back to our house for an afternoon nutrition meeting.  Heidi, Nathan, John, Travis, Scott, Lammech, Pauline, Baguma Charles, and me, the mood lightened by one of my favorite International Women, Pat Abbott, who sent a care package.  We broke out some marginally nutritious pretzels for the occasion.  Again, a good way to celebrate women.  The 298 (one of the 300 fell behind a laying box and was crushed, the other was eaten after it was clearly lame and twitchy as per Pauline, which sounds a little scary to me) chickens have been scientifically divided into two groups to test the volume and duration of their egg-laying capacity on two feeds, commercial and locally mixed, in the hopes that a local mix would be more affordable and practical to encourage local farmers.  John and our extension agents are really networking well, drawing in schools and lead farmers to view our demonstration projects, exchanging ideas. All were happy to hear that an expensive stud male goat who is supposed to be contributing genetically to the dairy-goat leanings of the Bundibugyo goat population got over his long bout of the blues and seemed to finally catch on to what was expected of him with the female goats.  Seriously, we do have some fun meetings.  Lammech is ready to start the next round of training for HIV-positive families or caretakers of motherless children who qualify to get goats, and the next batch of 25 will go forth in April.  The main challenge for our two outpatient sites in education and nutritional supplement provision is the flooded rivers and muddy roads, making them hard to reach.  Again, dedicated people are reaching many women at the point nearest and dearest to their hearts, child survival.

Fourthly, without a pause, four of the team women changed into pants and t-shirts and raced down to CSB to join other staff (teachers and wives of teachers and a few other assorted relatives) in a Staff Women vs. CSB Girls' Team International Women's Day Football Match.  I'm sure my face is still red as I type:  intense sun this afternoon, the full field looked pretty dauntingly huge, and I haven't sprinted like that in a LONG time.  Lots of laughter, wild kicks, good dribbles, team work and fun.  Miss Ashley dazzled the onlookers by dribbling through four or more opponents routinely, and scoring a great goal.  Important, in my opinion, for establishing respect as the women's coach (no one can quite believe a GIRL can play like that . . . ).  We ended tied 1 to 1, which was perfect.  Considering I'm not only old enough to be the mother but in this fast-reproducing place the GRANDmother of most of the girls, I'm just glad to have held on.

Now, back home, Jack improving on antibiotics, Oreo getting stronger each day, Scott struggling with CSB computer issues and accounts, wishing there was someplace to go OUT for dinner instead of me thinking of yet another night's plan after I clean up from the day . . . 

Happy Women's Day.



Feminist Review said...

A current event to add to the list of things to celebrate today: An Oscar Win for International Women’s Day! Pretty nice timing, no?

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