Here's a quick debriefing of the previous couple of days:
5 days ago: I received some peanut butter from a volunteer I was visiting. I thought this great, and didn't think much about the fact that this was homemade peanut butter that was maybe 3 months old and currently residing in a soap container.
3 days ago: I was spending more time in the pit than a NASCAR crew member. It felt like ACDC was touring in my bowles. I came to know the latrine intimately, and it knew me. Also, in the midst of maybe my 10th trip to the pit I remembered that it had been brought to my attention that I really have not done a good job with corresponding my daily activities. Plus, I need to post some pictures.
1 day ago: I planned on remedying both of the aforementioned failures.
Now: I currently live with a host family in a small village in central Uganda. The family is made up of a mother, a son, two nieces, an aunt, and a man who we will call an uncle. They are really nice, and actually, when I was feeling a little less than par the other day, they offered to boil me up a weed growing in the back that they claimed was a natural remedy (i denied the first day, accepted the second). They also called to check on me and continually asked about me. I really have learned a lot from them and appreciate them greatly.
Everyday accept for Sunday, I will wake at around 6:30 am, read, brush my teeth, fake taking a shower, and have some morning tea. Then, I meet another of the volunteers and we walk to our training facility about 2 miles away. The morning walk is really great. It's cool, the plants are amazing, it's a great time to catch up, and the bugandan kids are heading to school so we get to say hi to them (or rather, they say hi to us, about a million times). From 8am-5pm the trainees (there are about 30 of us) go through classes in our respective languages, get cultural training, have discussions from current volunteers, and get training in our occupational setting. We have tea and lunch during this time, which means I get to dominate a plate full of rice, some greens, and some fruit that puts the licious in delicious. After 5, I usually start the walk home, though some of the trainees stay at the training site to practice language or just kind of hang out. Once home, I like to run, read, listen to some BBC, meet up with some of the other trainees, or just kind of sit on the wall of my homestay and talk to the family. Ugandans tend to eat dinner pretty late, and about around 9:30pm (which I think is early for them) we sit down do a dinner of beans, maize, rice, fruit, meat, or the like. I really do like the food. We do this each day, but on Saturdays, we typically spice it up a bit with a trip to Kampala or a visit to a volunteer's home. It is at this point that you need to know ahead of time whether or not you are going to eat a chicken on a stick that a vendor is sure to thrust in your window as you pass by. On Sundays I get to go to church, run, hopefully watch soccer, and wash my clothes. I am not good at washing my clothes. The 15 year old helps me, and to be honest, she should probably be getting paid. If the downy bear could be personified in someone, it might be her. She makes the clothes that clean.
So, this is the schedule. I think it will be pretty similar to this until at least late April when hopefully we will all be sworn in as volunteers and go to our respective sights. Of the 30 volunteers, we have been broken up into, I think, maybe 5 groups. There are 4 total people in my group, and we are leaning a language called Lango, which puts our general location in northern Uganda. The Peace Corps is kind of ambiguous when it comes to giving you an exact location, but I think this is probably for good reason. Also, I think I am going to fight my language trainer. He's been talking trash behind my back and I know it! I'm only kidding, I think. Once we go to our actual sights, we will hopefully be there for the next two years. We will be issued homes, and the homes vary greatly from sight to sight so I really don't know what to expect. Once I am there, I believe I will be teaching biology and chemistry at the high school level so Im pretty excited about that. Also, I want to put up a Lord of the Rings poster. I wonder if I'll be the first one ever to hang a LOTR poster up in an Ugandan home. I have to be in the top 100.
Alright, let me know if I wasn't clear on anything, and if you ever want me to put up some specific answer to a question please email me. Heck, email me anyway. Let me know if I can send you a letter. I think I like to send letters. It feels good to drop in the box and have the crowned crane carry it away.
A Wee Dram O' Ruxpin Muggle
1 day ago