Monday, June 25, 2012

Am I back in America?

Well the easy answer to that question is No, sorry hope I didn’t get you to excited.  But the last week has made me feel like we are back in America.  Some of the reasons for this are having a busy schedule, not seeing Emily 24 hours a day, and having Denise (Emily’s Mom come and visit).  These things combined to make me feel like I was somehow back in America.
We had about a week after my parents left and before Emily’s mom came to really get all of our clubs, and teaching, on the ground and running.  So a few weeks ago was quite crazy.  I am now co-teaching 16 hours a week during the day, and then clubs every evening of the week except Friday.  Emily is ramping up for a reproductive health workshop at the end of July, which means lots and lots of gathering materials and cutting fabric like a lunatic.  She is also teaching during the day as well as phasing the Special Needs curriculum over to the Professional Education Studies Department.  Then she is still spending lots of time working with her Girls Club and Reading Club.  We also wanted to start a riddle competition this term.  So with all of these things we had a week to get them started and incorporate our second years.
We felt a little like we were running around crazy!!  But I think overall we got everything successfully off the ground.  I have open lab on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and a Computer Club meeting on Saturday evening.  Emily is meeting with her book club, reading No Longer at Ease this term, on Tuesdays.  Then she meets with her girls club on Wednesday.  I have successfully started a Boys club this term and we are meeting Sunday evenings.  Our riddles have been somewhat successful (if you have any simple riddles or word problems send them our way).  Emily (with the help of her mom) have cut a ton of fabric!  We are getting lots of time with students this term and we really love it, but it does feel like we have a work schedule like we had in the US.
The second thing that has made this seem a bit more like America is not seeing Emily nearly as much as in the first year of our service.  I think Emily and I were literally with each other 24 hours a day most days last year.  Which was wonderful and was a huge change from the half an hour we were getting with each other a day before we left the US.  But we have really enjoyed getting to have different things we invest in and then we are able to share experiences together and build off of each other.  Emily has also been having to spend extra time in Kampala recently to get help from medical with cramping in her legs while she walks or runs.  They think they have finally found the solution for her which is a great answer to prayer and we hope that before long Emily will be back running the hills of Bushenyi!  But this has meant Emily going to Kampala alone a lot recently.  Which makes me nervous but it helps that she is the direct one out of us, and can handle the craziness quite well.  As we speak she is on her way back to Bushenyi, hopefully for a while!  (I can’t believe that most Ugandans see their spouse for maybe 2 or 3 months total out of the year.)
Finally, it was a wonderful treat to have Emily’s mother back with us in Uganda.  We got chances to connect with some ministries in Kampala that she works with.  Then we got to relax for a bit.  Most importantly she got to see what our everyday at the PTC looks like, which is a first and only for our visitors (since they usually come during breaks).  But overall it was a great time to connect, visit, and feeling like we are home again in the Midwest talking over the dining room table at 5809 King Arthur Drive.  She even brought us apples and cheese (seriously 4 pounds of cheddar!) to make it feel a bit more like the Midwest. 
The last month or so has indeed felt like we were back in America!  But it sure is no supplement to actually being there.  The things that made us feel sure we were not in America were still being a mazungu in Africa, dry season in June, terrifying public transportation, Peace Corps world drama, chickens in our house, and na binda bingi (and many more)!  We are so excited for the trip of a lifetime (like any of these two years isn’t) in August to Italy, Spain, and France; that will be a great end point to probably the busiest time in our two years here.  Alright hope you are all doing well actually living in America!!