Weeds, Luganda, Coconut Galaxy
My fish sculptures, now installed by the front door

Weeds, Luganda, Coconut Galaxy

School started today. You might think that I had vacation time before that. And technically, that is true. However, I was at home for the past 2 weeks, and there was a lot going on. And all this stuff comes together in a story about weeds, Luganda, and “Coconut Galaxy”:

I will be going to Seattle for a 6-month-internship in February 2020. My parents graciously agreed to pay for my plane ticket. In exchange, I was to clean up as much of the garden as I could. So, when I was at my parent’s house, I did: For one and a half weeks, I spent around 3 hours a day outside. Cutting old twigs, taking other kinds of trash out, and pulling weeds. Lots and lots of weeds. I didn’t get a picture of the whole pile, but it ended up being around 4 carloads full! With the old stuff gone I spread new mulch on the path and ground. The result is worth all the work!

But Seattle is not the only trip ahead of me. Before that, I get to go to Uganda for a week at the end of October. It will be short, my dad and I will be tired, but we are excited to go! To celebrate, I have been learning a few basic phrases in the language of Uganda: Luganda. So far, the language is easy to understand, but hard to master. The rules of the game are simple, but there are many to remember. I listen to Lugandan songs and hymns on youtube and have a grammar book. And I like to draw vocabulary pages with pictures of the words. It’s a cute language. For example, a thief is called a “Mubbi bubi“, and when you say “Come quick!”, you say “Jangu mangu!”

When I go to Uganda, there will be several projects to do. Among other things, I am going to teach the women how to make round, multicolored soap in a PVC-pipe. My mom and I tested the method and got some stunning results! We tried three different varieties: chocolate-coffee, lavender, and coconut. We named them “Mocca”, “Lavender Dream”, and “Coconut Galaxy”. “Coconut Galaxy” was our first attempt. And as such, it was a special pipe. The tricky thing was to get the soap out of the pipe. I ended up building a simple pushing pole out of an old part of an IKEA-bed. The idea was to stand the pole up and push the pipe down on it. That way, the soap would come out like a giant popsicle stick. It took some effort to figure out, but the method works! I can’t wait to share it with the soap workshop in Uganda!

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