Friday, January 28, 2011


...are hard! And we have been saying lots of them in the last days and weeks! We've been packing up our home, saying farewell to family and friends, leaving jobs that we enjoy and have lots of history with... It's hard. A strange experience for sure.

One really neat and sort of random thing that has happened in the last few weeks is all of the crazy connections we have discovered we have with the country of Uganda. Everything from friends to coworkers, we never knew we had so many ties to this little country in Africa. Who would have thought. It's a small world after all!

Ryan and I were talking yesterday about how we've been so busy with this wrapping up section of the Peace Corps process that we almost haven't had time to process the emotion of really leaving, how long we will be in Uganda, and everything else about this huge transition in our lives. I told a coworker today that I don't really think it will hit me until I walk out of work today...or maybe even not until I don't come back on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.... You get the idea.

But with the sadness of goodbyes is paired the excitement and anticipation of what is to come! Just this week we got four more loaded documents with info about what what we can expect in the weeks to come. A couple of the more interesting facts:
  • Our training is at a different site than previous PC trainings (although they tell us there is a lot of "Peace Corps history" at this place!). We understand this is because of security with the upcoming election in Uganda. Coincidentally, it's also located near (or maybe in??) a monkey sanctuary. Sweet!
  • Also due to security, we will begin our training living in a dorm-style housing situation instead of a homestay. I feel a little disappointed because I was so excited to become part of a Ugandan family upon my arrival, but I feel like it could be a good chance to get to know many of the other volunteers right at the start. And...I guess security is important! ;-) I believe we will move in with a family at some point, just not right away.
  • We found out there will probably be around 45 volunteers coming in our group. That's pretty big, eh?
  • Dress is very important for first impressions. This means we are supposed to dress professionally for the entire crazy long plane ride we have coming up! So much for PJ pants. :-(
  • We received our rough 10 week schedule of what's waiting for us in training. It includes such topics as orientation, field based training, tech immersion, language immersion, site visits, and assessments. It sounds like a lot, but we are pleased to sense the organization of what is coming and the feeling that they have done this many times before.
So...what's next for us?! Tomorrow we board a plane for a sunny week with family! Then back to Minnesota for some final family and friend time. Then, 1 pm on the 8th we board our plane to Philly for staging. And then....? That's where the adventure begins!

I'll be sure to post once we finalize our packing - that's a crazy experience in itself! For now, we are getting ready for what we are sure will be the ride of our lives. Can't wait. Stay tuned.....


Thursday, January 6, 2011


I'm trying to get a head start on learning the language we will probably be speaking while in Uganda. So far it's fun, because I obviously have some time before I have to really get serious about learning it! The Peace Corps has provided us with 12 brief lessons and a pdf guide to help us learn some of the common phrases, alphabet, etc. So, today I am doing dishes and listening to "Herbert" and "Ven" greet each other over and over, trying to make it stick! I'm making *slow* progress, I think. It makes me smile to think that in time I these greetings will become second nature. I can't wait.

For now, though, I am practicing very hard on these specific phrases, as I have a feeling I will be needing to use them a lot. :-)
  • Yogera mpola mpola (speak slowly)
  • Sitegeera (I don't understand)
  • Ddamu (repeat)
Stay tuned, Beera bulungi! (stay well!) :-)