18 February 2009

Just before Training

I am safe and sound in Uganda, enjoying the warm weather and beautiful green colors that are all around. We have had lots of mini-training classes on different topics that have all been very helpful for our transition. We have all had survival Luganda lessons and we are all trying our best to practice as much as possible. Wasuze ottyonne? Bulungi, atte gwa?

We start our homestay tomorrow in a new town and thats also when our true training begins. I think so far the lessons have stayed very general and just introductory. It has been very fun/interesting to learn language, medical and cultural information. Lots of stuff to absorb but they give it to us in small doses.

Today we are out and about in the big city, trying to pick up some extra things before arriving at our homestay family's home. What a busy big city! Lots of shops, motorcycles (boda bodas), taxis and people walking around. I'm pretty sure i was wide eyed coming into the city and seeing all the hustle and bustle.

One thing that is striking to me is the color of the hills, trees and plants. I wish i could paint the right picture of their color green. Of course in the city there is quite a lot of development, so the hills are spotted with homes and clay colored dirt roads; full of rich and beautiful colors. The sky is large and blue and full of cotton ball clouds.

Once training starts communication is hard to come by, but i will be just fine and dandy and busy so don't worry if i don't write something for the next two months. Hopefully i can though!
My current goals:
1. Speak Lugandan as much as possible!! Nze Celeste, nva Texas mu America.
2. Learn how to make as much delicious Ugandan food as possible. MMMmmm, there is some serious eating going on here, and all of the meals are oh so tasty.
3. Absorb as much training material as possible...

I miss you all and wish you were here to experience this amazing country and culture with me. Maybe you could visit... boy would that be great! ;)
All my love
to you and you and you

13 February 2009

Just to say H&G

Just sayin hello from the airport. Thank you for all your prayers and goodbyes. I'm pretty sure i miss you already. yes you!

12 February 2009

Just Before the Two Day Travel Adventure

Today began with an adventure at DFW. Since i arrived 5 hours before my re-scheduled departure, i had plenty of time to explore the airport. I went for a ride on the train, meandered down moving walkways, and tried to get some sleep. Since my mind was racing and i couldn't seem to find a comfortable way to sleep in a hard plastic airport chair, i ate some breakfast instead.
Then, just before my flight starts boarding and i'm thinking of "the future" and the scary things those words can conjure up, who taps my shoulder but an old family friend. (Mr. Butler) "Celeste! How are you, where are you off to today?" And that just made my day, my week, my trip. We were able to talk for a while and share updates on our families. Before he left i asked about the price of meals on the plane ( i am an unexperienced DFW traveler) and couldn't even believe it when i was handed a granola bar and tuna sandwich. He had made an extra sandwich for the day. If that's not sharing happiness i don't know what is.
After a nice flight i made my way to staging where i met the other Uganda volunteers. It was fun getting to know the other people i will be spending lots of quality time with.
And tomorrow our traveling really begins. So wish us luck! I'll be thinking of everyone back home with a full heart.

08 February 2009

Almost thursday

I don't remember the last time i was so nervous about a thursday. Such a regular sounding day right? I'm guessing i will be feeling anything but "Regular" when mom drops me off at the airport at the crack of dawn with my bags packed (but not too packed) with odds and ends and clothes and pictures.
As i'm putting all of my things into bags, i'm realizing i may have to leave some things here. With a 80 lb weight limit, i've already said goodbye to things i thought i couldn't live without; Goodbye guitar, see ya coloring books, hasta la vista laptop.
And this weekend has been full of much harder goodbyes to family and friends. Its hard to leave the people i love, but i know they will all be with me there, in spirit, and that helps me feel better about "goodbye."
I'm going to have to cheer myself on to get that first foot through the airport door, then i'm going to take a deep breath, smile, maybe hum an uplifting tune to myself and get on that airplane!

02 February 2009

Nine more days til departure...

As i'm scrambling to get the last of my "to do before i leave" list checked off, i'm finding that the upcoming journey/adventure/challenge across the world is getting me more and more anxious. I am very excited about this opportunity to travel, meet new cultures, interact with communities, and try and help in whatever way i can...BUT... still feel butterflies when i think about the time i will be spending away from family and friends in such a foreign environment.

While i've been reading up on Uganda, their community, other Peace Corps volunteer stories, etc., I know it will be an experience that i just can't imagine right now. So in the precious few days i have left in beautiful Texas, i'm just trying to take it easy and not dwell on all the unknowns of the future. "One day at a time" as my mom says.

All anxiousness and excitement aside, i have been pretty busy with compiling my things i will be taking with me. I've yet to start packing anything in bags; i'm still in the accumulating stage. It's hard to imagine what i will or won't need for two years. I'm counting on family and friends to help supplement my packing with the occasional care package of goodies/things i forgot! (Pretty please...)

I hope to be able to update this little site as often as possible, but in the event that Internet is hard to find, i will be sending as many letters as my hands can write. And please feel free to send me letters (to the mailing address on the right side of this site) as i'm sure anything from home will set my heart soaring!