|By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-188-54.balt.east.verizon.net - 220.127.116.11) on Wednesday, March 03, 2004 - 5:25 pm: Edit Post|
Hooray! I'm in the Peace Corps in Uganda
Hooray! I'm in the Peace Corps in Uganda
Hooray! I'm in the Peace Corps (5/18/03)
ok the long awaited mass email about what has been going on. I wanted this to be funny and organized but alas I am once again on a strict time schedule and don't have much time to think. along with the fact that I had 2 hours of sleep last night before I ran to the toilet and had my first real case of ... lets call it sickness... so yeah.... here we go:
I'm leaving for my new site as soon as I get back from the SUPERMARKET = AMERICAN TYPE goods and pick up a few staple foods and necessary spices (soy sauce) and a push broom.
I will be living in Bukulula village in near Masaka. its about 1.5-2 hours drive on a fully paved highway from Kampala. which is cool cause its close but its scary since they speed sooo much. and when I went to visit my new site a few weeks ago I realized that Ugandans really have the notion of energy efficiency down, as we get over the top of a large hill in a Toyota corolla type car filled with 10 people (somehow its possible) the driver turns off the engine and coasts all the way (at a really fast past in kmh so I don't even really know how fast that is yet) until nearly the middle of the next hill. hmm... very shady but yet, seems like a good idea kinda...
ok. so my house is a 3 room "apartment" like house. meaning its located on a block of other living quarters and I get 3 rooms. front door back door, sitting room, bedroom, an auxiliary room to be used for as a kitchen/nighttime bathing area. Its painted turquoise green - which won't be that colour for long. also I have a private pit latrine and a private enclosed bathing area - detached from the house. I'm located on a catholic primary school compound that includes a parish with 3 priests, a lot of nuns, a cathedral, football field, etc. its really close and my counterpart (colleague) lives a stone throw away.
if you stand on the football field you can see Lake Victoria - the source of the River Nile!! woo hoo. I've met my counterpart and I think we will be good friends. she's a woman which is great because most people's counterparts are men (which can be a bit shady at times). she's 32 and has a son that lives in Kampala. so she lives by herself now. She's helped me out a lot so far, so I imagine things will go well between us.
more about the river Nile: we plan on going on a River Nile rafting trip the 4th of July weekend. Its like grade 5 rapids (believe I don't really know what that means) but I guess its awesome even for those of us that have never been and are afraid of drowning, additionally those of us that have difficulty floating in a canoe down the Russian river... I'm very excited!!
funny things that have happened: ummm.. well my friend Rhiannon was using the pit latrine and I was waiting outside and then I hear her yell. I ask what? did you drop the tp? no, she says, opens the door and asks me what looks different about her... well, she used to wear some pretty hip tortoise rimmed glasses, but alas they were subject to gravity and found their way down the hole. we just started laughing and of course the option of fetching them was not ever an option.
Kampala, we've been in Kampala for the last 4 days and its rad. I've had some of the best Italian food, Indian food, and yeah. Kampala is cool. But running around the streets is like playing Frogger - which sucks!! but yeah, its nice to have a city that has supermarkets and all that.
Swearing in yesterday was just the most emotional coolest thing. My friend Kokwinda sang the national anthem and gave each of us goose bumps. Friday we visited the Embassy which was just awesome but sooooo cold. I've never been to an Embassy before but as soon as you walk in there is this overflowing emotional sense of patriotism and pride. I AM SO HAPPY TO BE AMERICAN. And it is just an amazingly beautiful building with everything inside imported from U.S. But ok, imagine being raised in the Mojave Desert and then moving to Africa. I've acclimated to the heat.. Then I go into the U.S. Embassy where it is air conditioned to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit or something Patagonia like. Oh my. the temp change was way too much and I ended up getting sick. a slight fever. but I recovered Friday evening and was feeling better yesterday.
considering the "going out" of last night with 2 hours of sleep and surprise intestinal fun this morning, I feel surprisingly ok. I'll give it the taxi ride to my site before it hits me.
I've received 2 text messages: one from Laura and one from Sean. so sometimes it does work.
Oh yeah neighbors: my nearest neighbors are Thomas and Michelle a really cool married couple. They live in the town of Masaka 30 min taxi ride away. And then Carolyn who lives in Nkozi - where the equator crosses Ugandan. She is another 30 minutes in the other (Kampala) direction. Carolan is cool, she's 71 and its her 3rd time in the Peace Corps. She went to Yemen and then Morocco before.. can we say CORE!!! or is that CORPS!!???
ok. what else. Oh yeah and I passed my language test.
We take Oral conversational tests the ACTFL and we have to get Intermediate-Low. I passed with Intermediate-Mid. which most of my group got either Int-Mid or Int-Low too.
oh and my clothes.. all of them have worked out wonderfully. except maybe the socks. I wear socks about once every 3 weeks and I think I brought like 8 pairs or so.. I will have handy oven mitts for my homemade oven! Of which I've made 3 different cakes before. and they each got better. first was carrot-spice - not that good looked like a pancake.
2nd was brownie/chocolate cake -- delicious, and 3rd was banana cake with chocolate icing - soooo good.
ok. well. I do have to go. I think I imagined having a lot more to write about but when I'm rushed and don't take notes prior to the computer, I can't really do this thing eloquently.
Ok. LOVE YOU ALL!!! oh yeah, and feel free to call me anytime now. the only time I won't answer is if it is charging somewhere where I am not..
Ok. LOVE YOU ALL AGAIN.