Sunday, June 22, 2014

Cows, Cooking, and Hiking

June 22nd 2014

Agandi everyone! Today we woke up at the crack of dawn around 5:30am to go up to Jim's farm (about a 10 minute walk) on a mission to milk some cows. We got there while it was still dark outside, and stood around surrounded by at least 40 cows just sitting and waiting to be instructed on how we could accomplish such a task. Eventually everyone milked a cow, and it was as you would assume, gross and slimy, but it was amazing to see how much milk could come out of a single cow. As we were heading back to Jim's house, we got lucky as the sun began to rise. It was beautiful and I won't forget how it filled up the whole sky with splashes of pink, red, yellow, and orange.
The focus of today's afternoon was learning the culture of how the Ugandans cook. We chopped carrots, eggplants, and even saw Jb, the chef, chop open a pumpkin that Grace and I bargained for at the market using a machete. After we prepared the food we ate all of it for lunch, and the crowd favorite seemed to be chapati, a thin bread like pancake. The food was great, and soon after eating we were told to grab our hiking boots because we were going on a 12 kilometer walk up enormous hills and around the villages, basically completing a circle back to Jim's house. The walk was incredible, it was filled with beautiful scenery, almost resembling a tropical Vermont. We were greeted constantly, and even followed at times by the local children around the villages. One man said, "Hi! We are in Uganda, a country in Africa, and all are welcome here! We love to have you here! You are welcome!" Everyone is so kind and generous and always ready to teach us new things about their culture or language. The kids around the village had never seen a camera before, and when I went around taking pictures they were in shock when I showed them the pictures of themselves. They were amazed at what they looked like, and that a device could do something so special. Its amazing how a simple thing like a camera to us can be something so magical to them. Tomorrow we are waking up nice and early again to go and meet our home-stay buddies. I can't wait. (Miss you Mom, Dad, and Cam! See you guys soon.) 

- Caitlyn DiSarcina


  1. Hello, Sounds like you are all having a great time. I am so happy to hear how you are enjoying everything you are doing, even milking cows at the crack of dawn. It is so telling what you mentioned about the kids seeing pictures of the themselves in the camera. It really makes you think. Well, continue to enjoy yourselves and good luck with meeting your home stay buddies tomorrow. Miss you so much! Love, Mom (Peggy DiSarcina)

  2. WOW! I can't help but feel inspired as I start to read these posts by you Groton students. I hope you take a minute to appreciate this opportunity for growth. Soak in the culture. Remember to make connections with not only your classmates, but the locals too. Be open-minded! A different perspective might be very beneficial to your own outlook on the world. Anyway, a special shout-out to my US History student Grace Liggett- Go girl! I'm so proud of you. I'm also very impressed with you rising fourth formers! Your first summer after a year of Groton and you're already committing to service. And to think that I'm spending my first summer after a year at Groton with my kids tanning by the pool! (That was a joke heehee, I don't tan!) I hope you are all thorough about writing your thoughts down. I know I've regretted not keeping a journal after some of my travels. Talk to you later. I'll be reading!

  3. Hi Everyone Looks like you are having a wonderful time. Love that you are having great adventures, seeing and trying new things, meeting people, and sharing with others. It is great to be able to see photos and read about your experience each day. Hugs to you all and an especially big one for Jessica. xoxo Beth (jessica's Mom)