there has been a wide range of activities and pleasures and struggles over these last weeks. i can't remember if i mentioned the life skills day we held at the school last month. a few other pc volunteers came to the school and taught the students about making beads, HIV/AIDS, women's sanitation, and goal setting. the volunteers were awesome and it was a pleasure to see the girls making bead necklaces out of magazines and to hear them singing songs while working. in thehiv/aids class, the girls asked questions that prompted thought and more questions. there are many myths that surround these topics and you could see them enlodged within some of the questions. "can having sex with a virgin cure hiv?" "does it cause immediate death?" "can bathing in milk prevent pregnancy?" the list of confusions and questions goes on. at first, maybe i thought these questions comically unreal. but don't we even have misconceptions? In 20 years, will we look on some of our own practices as unreasonably unsound? I think the questions reveal a great need and Im happy my friends were there to help.
we (the us peace corps-uganda) played the britishvolunteers in football/soccer one weekend. we might be the greatest team even assembled. the british had our backs against the wall early as they put in the first goal. however, we responded by putting in the next 5 goals. imgoing to use some foul language in the next sentence, so take the women and children away, but its necessary. i thought the british might beat the "bloody" piss out of us, but no sir, we dropped the chalupa on them.
we formed a wildlife club at school. so far, we've planted a bunch of flowers and planted some jackfruit trees (jackfruits are a delicious little item ive never seen in the states but wouldn't' mind picking up at krogers sometime).
i had an interesting conversation about the death sentence here in uganda. try these on for size: hanging, firing squad, and the recently abolished guillotine.
in the education system here, at the end of the high school years, all the students take national exams. its a pretty intense couple of weeks where students have about 2 exams a day which sometimes includes science practicals. all the students in uganda take the same exams at the same point in time. for example, on Tuesday, at 9am, all the seniors in uganda might be having a paper on the geography of e. africa. at 11am, the exam must be over, and then that paper is finished throughout the country. the result of these exams determines, not only whether or not the students can continue in their schooling, but also what subjects thestudents can study. if you really like English, but scored high in thesciences and not the arts, you may be required to study science. because of the impact these exams have on the future of the students, there is obviously a lot of tension and a lot of secrecy surrounding these exams. those who write the questions are actually locked in a resort following the completion of writing the exams to eliminate leaks on what the paper topics may be on. for example, if it came out that the biology practical was going to be on the parts of a flower, this would seriously alter the true results that may have occurred, as students are now all prepared for the flower.
the sciences tend to be a big struggle for our seniors. recently, some decided that the upcoming physics exam wasn't even worth studying for. instead, they broke school rules and left the compound while others studied. those who left...yeah, they were punished with the cane.
we've been talking about sex ed in some of my classes. when i was in 5th grade, mr. snyder talked to the class about wearing deodorant. i think i was a little awkward even then. boy, if i could have seen myself 15 years later and heard what i would be talking about at an all girls school, i definitely would have peed my pants.
Some may say I was a precocious child. Others may say my development resembled a plot from an episode of the 1990's hit series "Full House" (Honestly I don't know what this means except that it may mean I have a fetish for being freakishly neat and/or have at one time wanted to save a horse by bringing it to my house. Both of these are inaccurate though). While still others may say I am simply a finite being inhabiting a place in the space-time continuum. These people are all off-base. I love Christ, I enjoy cereal beyond what is normally considered acceptable, and there's a part of me that thinks the book "The Old Man and The Sea" may turn out to be a biography about my life (minus the whole fishing aspect, and the sailing too as my past has shown that sailing is not my forte).