Yesterday was World Aids Day and we had a very nice celebration here. There were probably over 200 people by the time it was in full swing. It was a really good day. We started with a boda boda (bicycle taxi) parade, with small flags, ringing bells and shouting things like “AIDS kills.” I joined in on my own bicycle and thoroughly enjoyed ringing my bell and welcoming people to come join us for the day. We danced with the women who were there. A number of people spoke and I gave a mini-nutrition lesson (about 15 minutes). One of the local youth groups did a very nice play about AIDS, a number of students recited poems and choirs from 3 churches sang. We had girls’ and boys’ soccer and netball (something akin to basketball, although I haven’t seen enough of it to understand much). I played with the girls’ soccer team from my area, which was fun, although I’m a little sore today between that and riding my bike back and forth (it’s about 40 minutes each way). The only thing was that the nurses from the voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) center who were supposed to come didn’t come. That was really a shame because I’m sure there are people who felt, okay, let me get tested and they could have done it there before they changed their minds. Once people get home, I think it’s easier to forget and say, oh it’s not really that important, or decide that it’s too much trouble to get there.
It’s a little strange having another mzungu around and I wonder how I would do if I were working with a team of other Americans. It would probably be different if we saw each other besides just at public events and meetings, but it seems like when we see each other, we tend to get stuck together, and I end up feeling a bit isolated from everybody else. Maybe if we had more opportunity to talk at other times, it wouldn’t be a distraction. After church tomorrow, I’m going to Jessica’s to cook Mexican food. We’ll make beans, maybe tortillas, salsa and guacamole. That’s the plan at least. I’ll spend the night there and then come home Monday morning to get back to work.