18 August 2009

17 August 2009

Schools Out!

It’s been a long time. I have been wrapping up saying hello to teachers and head teachers at the schools. I think there are still schools that I haven’t visited yet, but that will give me some good solid goals for third term.

There are a lot of proposed-hopefully-they-work-out projects up in the air right now: Leadership education day camps in collaboration with other PCVs; fundraising events for the local hospital; HIV/AIDS awareness clubs with the schools; and reading and writing clubs with the schools.

So far, these projects are in the talking stage. I’m going to work at getting at least ONE of these projects started. Peace Corps is an advocate of sustainable development work and they strongly encourage us to work with/develop Ugandan leaders in the activities we participate/initiate. So when we leave Uganda, we hope to leave stable programs that will continue under positive leadership. A bit harder than I had imagined. I’ve met many people who are very interested/excited about getting information, being in a club, or educating the youth; however, I have yet to meet someone who wants to lead any one of those activities with me. I think many people are still unsure of how serious or qualified I am, so I’m trying my level best to share ALL the information I have about ANYthing as OFTEN as possible with ANYone who wants to listen (and sometimes even with those who don’t.)

Recently I went to an all day celebration for a friend who was just ordained. It was a very happy and busy and long day. Most celebrations occur outside under large white tents. A usual format for these celebrations is: 1.Morning Mass, 2.Speeches, 3.Dancing, 4.Lunch at Three. I usually start the day enjoying the company and festiveness. I’m not gonna lie, by the time three rolls around I can be a bit grouchy. It’s magic though, once I’ve eaten lunch everything is sunshine and roses again. (Late lunches/Early dinners reminds me of my mama. That trickster.)

Thanks Castillo Family, via Maria, for the wonderful treats you sent! How did you know Werther’s are my fav? Yum! Thanks Sandrita for the cool gadget – took me a while to figure out how to use it! Its great. Thanks Monica for the adorable replacement goods you sent! Thanks Mike for the musica… Its been fun listening! Thanks Welita for the books! Did you send me the Magnificat? Thank you! Thank you Tia for the soup and the books. They hit the spot! Thank you Tia/Tia Janda for wonderful gifts - they were perfectly timed!

Other Things I’m grateful for:
1. Talking to the matre, quagmire and the bean
2. My friend Lydia re-teaching me Luganda words all the time
3. Little Paulie talking contentedly for long stretches about who knows what
4. Great sunrises and sunsets
5. Playing soccer with St. Theresa girls – I use the word “playing” lightly
6. Finally getting a handle on my co-workers names
7. Getting mail from the familia and friends

This is the first month we are able to use vacation days and travel around. The Three Months At Site marker has been met! But it’s also In-Service Training time. So most likely no travel, but I’m really anxious to get more language and job training. It’s nicely timed to be just when you are starting to try creating development activities. AND when you are realizing the language skills need more work. I think I’m great at greetings and at saying “I know a little Luganda, but I am still learning.” I think the conjugations and vocabulary in that sentence are a little misleading to the people I say it to ‘cause they generally begin speaking to me at a rapid pace using words I’ve never heard before.