Hi! Welcome to our site! We decided to call this blog "Yum Chapatis," because we look forward to eating lots of yummy, doughy, chapatis this year :) For now, here's a yummy recipe: click here. Throughout the year we'll try to post photos and updates to yumchapatis.com. Send some love our way!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My and Dean’s new home away from home!

Hi! I've been living at the Makerere University Biological Field Station (MUBFS) in the Kibale Forest for the past week or so. I'm happy to say that I'm starting to feel settled into my new home. My family has requested that I post photos of where I'm living...so here they are!

The field station has several duplexes where researchers live. Right now, there are only two other researchers and one volunteer in camp - so it's pretty quite around here. However, I hear it gets VERY busy at various times throughout the year (like in January and during the summer). Here are some photos of the duplexes:

I live in the section on the right of the duplex shown above. Dean's not here yet (if you're wondering when he's coming - he's added a countdown on the right-hand side of the blog...ha! I love it!), but here's a close-up of our home:

This is a photo taken from the front porch (looking out into camp). As you'll see - it's the rainy season now! To be fair though, we get plenty of sunshine here, too :)

Add ImageNow for a tour inside! Welcome to our living room/office/eating room:

Pretty nice, eh? I'm using the first room on the left as a storage room where I keep all of my field gear and pack-up each night before I head out to the forest. Here's a photo:

The large white thing in the photo above is a mosquito-net closet that I put up to help keep mango flies out my field clothes. If I haven't told you yet - mango flies are insects that lay eggs in wet clothing. If you wear clothes (or sleep in sheets) that have mango fly eggs in them, the larvae will hatch, burrow into your skin, and live there for a while (few days?) before emerging from a wound in your skin. Right...so that's why I have the mango-fly proof closest! Ironing also helps though - as the heat kills mango fly eggs in clothing. Thus, I bought a nice iron in Kampala :)

The second room on the left of the living room is the bedroom. I sleep in the bed with the mosquito net :) Here are two photos:

Out back behind our duplex is our kitchen (the door to the right on the front of the building) and shower (door on the side of the buiding):

This is the inside of the kitchen - equipped with a sink, pantry, ironing station, and stove:

Here's the gas stove that I bought in Kampala. I hear I will need to replace the gas about once a month:

This is a photo of the shower. Although, the water never seems to work, so I have yet to take a shower...only bucket baths so far.

And here's the bathroom/drop-toilet, which is about 80 feet from the duplex...note the baboons in front :)

Speaking of baboons, I had a recent run-in with some. The baboons here are notorious for stealing food - or anything that might resemble food (cell phones, empty boxes, you-name-it!). The other researchers living here said that the baboons have even come into their duplexes and taken food! Here are some photos of the baboons in camp:

Also - I should mention that when I moved into the duplex, the lock on my pantry door was broken, and there was a makeshift latch keeping the door shut (I'm sure you can imagine where this story is going). Needless to say, two days ago I was in my bedroom when a group of 10+ baboons approached my kitchen. I started yelling at them from my bedroom window - and they all scattered, except for one very large adult male. He walked into the kitchen, yanked open the pantry door, and piled as many vegetables into his arms as he could before running out. He then sat and ate his loot about 10 feet outside my kitchen in plain site of me. Here's a photo of him happily eating my sweet potatoes:

Dean will tell you that I'm not always the best about fixing things immediately. So - I probably shouldn't be surprised that yesterday, when I came home from a day in the field, my kitchen looked like this:

Yes, the baboons stole my flour, eggs, peanuts, milk, etc., etc. I learned my lesson. The pantry latch is now fixed and cannot be yanked open. Hopefully it will be a while before the baboons realize there is food inside my duplex...!

Okay, that's my update for now! I'll write about my fieldwork and the chimps (the real reason I'm here!) soon!

Lots of love, Julie