Monday, April 4, 2011

Our Site!

Hey Everyone,

Well it seemed liked the day that we would find out our site would never arrive, but today was the day! It seemed like the day that we would find out our site would almost be the end of training, and it feels like it almost is. Our group was all buzzing this morning until we found out where we were going. So today after we “suffered” through a language lesson, and break tea, we were given our sites. Each person was called up separately and handed an envelope that showed their host school on the front. And we found out that we are going to Bushenyi Core Primary Teachers College!

Bushenyi is a small to medium sized town in the southwest region of Uganda. If you are looking at a map it is about 60 km west of Mbarara. We were a little nervous at first because our job descriptions both seemed to be technology volunteers (good for me, questionable for Emily). So we asked Mary, the staff person in charge of site placements, for some more details about our site. We found out that the descriptions are not set in stone and will be worked out when we get there. So that was comforting. We also were told that our site will have running water and electricity, which was not needed, but we are also not complaining. We are in the same vicinity as a few other current volunteers and another person in our language group. Everything we heard about our site today just made us that much more excited and ready to get to site.

So that was definitely the climax of our last week of training, which was definitely filled with many other exciting events. On Wednesday we took our “Mock LPI,” or language practice test. I think everyone in our language group felt pretty good about their test. Emily and I both got the score of Novice High that is about one step below where we need to be by next week. So passing the LPI seems within our grasp. A couple of other sessions we had last week were a health session on nutrition, a session on working with youth in war torn areas, and working with NGO’s. Then on Friday we celebrated the Peace Corps 50th anniversary. During the day we did various service projects at a local primary school. Emily worked on cleaning, sanding, and painting the dorm rooms. I worked on setting up/fixing a water (amaizi) catchment system (thanks Jill and Myron for equipping me with these skills!). The barrel was probably only about 25 times larger then our wimpy 55-gallon tank we have at home. Maybe an upgrade will be in order when we get back to St. Paul! Then in the evening we had a banquet at a local reception area. There were various speeches, singing of happy birthday to Peace Corps, and lots of dancing. It was also great getting to interact more with current Peace Corps volunteers.

On Saturday we had cooking (ku-teeka) with our language group. We got up early and went shopping. Then we came back to our homestay for cooking. We made spaghetti, American style, not Ugandan style. In Uganda they make spaghetti by breaking it up really small and cooking it like you would rice (until the water is gone). Then covering it with the typical beans. But we made a homemade tomato sauce, green beans, and French bread. I think we sold our homestay family on American food after we made that and Lasagna (thanks to Emily’s mom bringing supplies) earlier in the week. And who wouldn’t fall in love with Americanesque foods after you have lasagna… I thought not! Anyways that has been our past week.

The second part of this week we go to our future site visit in Bushenyi, and we will tell you more about that when it comes!

Stay Well,

Ryan KJ

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