Monday, May 28, 2012

Almost June......Really?!

Hey Everybody!

We can't believe it is already almost June!  Where has the time gone!

Things are continuing on here in Uganda.  I feel like we aren't posting as much recently, although I'm sure that's really common for PCVs in their second year.  Life goes on, day to day, and not as much seems as noteworthy.  But, at the same time, we are always trying to live in the moment here, enjoy the little things, and try to really "suck the marrow" out of our life here in Uganda. (Anyone love Thorough as much as I do?!)  Time is flying and we know before long we will wonder where our two years spent in Uganda have gone!

A few updates - today starts the second term here at BPTC.  If you remember last year, around this time, we were forced to send our students away after receiving only about 66% of the budget needed to run the college.  Well, this year we only received 33% from the Ministry, so the principals got together and decided to postpone the beginning of term until more funds came.  We thought it would be two weeks or more, but after only a week delay, the students *should* arrive today!  So far we've only seen two, but we'll remain optimistic until at least lunchtime :-) 

 We are excited to get going on another new term!  Term 2 at the PTC is the heavy teaching/extracurricular term.  Since there is no school practice with child study and student teaching, the students are physically here at the college the entire time.  So, it should be a great term for getting teaching done, having lots of great club activities, and helping out with other extracurricular (sports and games, music dance and drama maybe?) like last year.

 I'm also very excited to begin/expand a girls empowerment project that began on a small scale in the girls club I was working with last term.  The project involves teaching about women's health and the creation of reusable menstrual pads.  Since pads are very expensive here, many young women resort to using uncomfortable, unhygienic options (feathers, rags, leaves, etc.) rather that purchasing them.  Others skip school for the entire duration of their periods, and still others resort to selling sex to get money for pads and other necessary items.  It's a little thing that can make a big difference for the girls.  So, I'm using a model a PCV created a couple of years ago to use local materials to make washable, hygienic and very inexpensive pads.   The other component of the program is education related - teaching about the menstrual cycle, female anatomy, family planning, and offering a question and answer session.  The idea is that I will lead an example workshop for the girls at the college, then support them to lead similar, age appropriate workshops for the upper primary girls they work with during third term school practice.  I'm currently working on the printing of 280 manuals providing information for leading the workshops.  Next up - buying and cutting materials for 280 reusable pad "kits."  I am very, very excited about the scope and significance of this project, and will definitely update as the work progresses!

Another neat event we are looking forward to this term is a collaboration with Silent Voices, a local NGO working with the parents of deaf children.  Ryan and I will be working with them on their (somehow) annual activity day - a day to bring deaf children from all over the region of Bushenyi together for a day of fun and games at the college.  I'll be recruiting students to help run games and "make the day colorful" as they say here, as well as practice what I've been teaching them the last year in my Special Education classes.  Since students with special needs are often stigmatized and isolated, the day is a neat chance to bring together children with similar special needs - to realize that they are not alone, and just have fun!  We're hoping to bring back some of the successful games from the CarniBull we did last fall, and are really looking forward to it!

And...of course other things will come up, others will delay, and others won't happen at all!  But we're excited for a new term to start.  It's crazy to think that a year ago we were beginning our first term here at the college.  And next year at this time we'll be on the job hunt back in America!  I am thankful every day for this crazy ride that is the Peace Corps, the adventure of a lifetime with my best friend.  Here goes another term!

Love and miss you all,



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