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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We the Living

So I have decided instead of recapping every day in the life of a volunteer I will simply write posts as I can write them and hope to capture the madness that is PC training as best as possible. I know, I know, you will miss the specificity of the dates associated with the major events occurring, but I assure if, you the date is completely necessary, it will be included in the post (which, to be honest, dates are never really important. At this point, they simply run together like the matoke I eat every night).

Since my last update, I’ve begun a personal journal to write all my feelings (cue the sappy music). At first I thought this blog could serve as an emotional outlet, until I realized all the “important” people who would be reading it. This includes, but is not limited to very seriously important people involved in my Peace Corps Uganda service and many family members who would not appreciate my five page rants about people not talking to me. Either way, I have decided to separate my feelings from the mere commentary on my life here in Africa.

While on the subject on my life here in Africa, I have yet to experience that “OH MY GOD I’M IN AFRICA” moment. I had it when I went to China (almost once a week in fact) and I had it many times while I was in South America. This makes me wonder why the heck I haven’t experienced this feeling yet, as I have been in Africa for almost 3 weeks now? This almost makes me sad, but of course I have to realize while I am in Africa I haven’t seen any of the stereotypical Afican sites, i.e. Mt. Kilamanjaro, lions, elephants, etc. if a lion walked down the street I am pretty sure I would have my “OH MY GOD I’M IN AFRICA” moment (along with soiled trousers (otherwise known as pants)).

Speaking of soiled trousers, I HATE doing laundry by hand. Lucky for me I haven’t soiled my trousers yet (notice how I said “yet”). I know, I’m sorry, I’m talking about my poop yet again. Hey, what can I say? That is life here in Africa. It revolves around a few simple things:

1)Digestive habits (including pooping cycles)
2)Food (more so the discussion of the ridiculous foods our homestays are providing us)
3)Training (above all else, how completely exhausting and un-autonomous we feel during training)

I’m pretty sure I made up the word un-autonomous, but I am assuming people will understand what I mean. You lack pretty much EVERY sense of independence and autonomy known to man. I feel very bad for the older folks in our group who had had their independence for years. I wonder what it is like for them to have to follow is ridiculous schedule and have a curfew (gasp!). It is bad enough for me, coming from USF where I had no curfew and could do pretty much anything anywhere and at any time. I would have no idea what it would be like for someone in their 50’s who was completely on their own. The best way to describe it is to say we’re back in primary school. Follow the leader, wait for the bell to ring, etc.

It sucks.

Other than that, everything is pretty much “normal” or as normal as one can be in Africa. I’ve gotten to know some really cool people here and am excited to get to know them further. I am sad to say that some people I was hoping to get to know better seemed to have slipped off the radar since staging, but I guess if we were meant to be friends, we will be friends (wow, so external of me). Either way, I’m having fun and things are going fairly well. I’m reading again, which is awesome. That is not to say that I stopped reading at any point in my life, but it seems that with my somewhat free weekends, I have found more time to devote to reading for fun (although I realize that I should probably devote some of this time to learning or perfecting Luganda).

Oh yeah, another bit of news. I HAVE CHEESE! Not sure if I mentioned that in any other post, but even if I did, it is worth mentioning again. Now, I am on my hunt for baked goods. My host family is awesome. They accommodate to my every need and my host mom is super liberal. While I can’t understand them sometimes because they are so soft-spoken, I do thank my lucky stars that I was given a host family that can provide me cheese, toilet paper, laundry soap, and feminine hygiene products without a penny. I know, I know, I’m probably going to take it for granted, but I swear I offer to pay every time I use any of the afore mentioned items!

I don’t know what else to say except that I miss all my friends and family tremendously. Even though I am quite busy most of the day, I still find pockets of time where I miss each and every one of you.



1 comment:

  1. So, when I get to doing my dissertation in a couple of years, I may be soliciting your expertise. Learn that Luganda and enjoy every moment of what you are experiencing. We are supporting you 100% :)