Wednesday, March 2, 2011


One more thing checked off "list of things to do in Africa" - specifically, "throw up on side of road while being followed by small children yelling mzungu at me" Expectedly, I have acquired some "Ugandan Funky" stomach thing that has left me drinking the rehydration salts from the PC medical kit and dreading the walks home up the mountain. Literally, I live on one mountain, and the training center is on a near by mountain. Uphill both ways. I arrived home, fought off tea time, and passed out. I was made to get up and bathe at 8, and then went back to bed. Apparently Americans are dirty because we only bathe once a day (even that is a lot for me... oops).

We have been going to the primary schools finally to meet with teachers, observe, and teach some lessons. I really don't ever want to hear about lack of resources in American schools ever again. The teachers in the Ugandan schools are God sent for doing what they do with so little. I just hope I can make a big enough difference to change the way some things are approached. There is a lot of lecturing, repeating of terms, and copying from the board into notebooks. Students wear uniforms that are well beyond worn, and are 60 deep in a classroom. They are taught in their local language until P4 (about 4th grade) when they are magically expected to begin instruction in all subjects in English. After P7 they take a huge test that determines whether or not they go onto secondary schools. Not surprisingly, the age range in each grade varies widely. I do not think there is any way to describe the school grounds, and even pictures will not do it justice, but I do not feel overwhelmed by this at all oddly enough... I think being able to understand that TIA (this is Africa) and that I should approach most things in life mpola mpola (slowly, slowly) is helping me. I know that I am here more as support and a resource of ideas more than anything, and that whole thing about teachers affecting eternity because we never know where our influence will end... I feel as long as I keep that in mind, things will not frustrate me as much as they would if I had gotten off the plane with my feet ready to run and fix Ugandan schools.

I've read three books so far and am half way through the 4th one.... as much as I bitched about my Kindle, I kind of do love it. I will say that I got confused at the end of The Lost Symbol and wished I could go back and find something, so that was annoying. I think it's so much fun/bizarre that all our PCV trainers are just as anxious about returning to the US as we are about adjusting to Uganda. They left before iPhones got big, before Kindles were everywhere, etc. They haven't seen an iPad. I wonder what kind of changes we'll be returning to in 2 years.

Lastly, I have a phone now, so you can call if you want :) The phones here are all pay as you go so there's no connection to my name or any personal information, therefore I have no qualms in sharing my number. If you skype it, it's about 15 cents a minute. 011 256 0791 678 337. There is an 8 hour time difference, so mind that ;) We're off to the zoo tomorrow, though I'm still looking forward to seeing lions and such in the wild.

Lots of love, I miss you all!

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