Sunday, March 6, 2011

February 16, 2011 5:45 PM

For the past few days we have been having sessions on things from safety and security to medical to culture and language.  We are still learning survival Luganda.  We will be getting our region (and therefore our language) at the beginning of next week.

Today we had a session on diversity which was not only informative but interesting as well.  Yes, we all face diversity issues being American in Uganda, but some face it more than others or in a different way.  As a white person, the Ugandans often call us Mzungus, but Asian Americans, for instance, are sometimes called Muchina.  And African Americans are often times not considered American at all.

Yesterday, I took a walk to the supermarket.  It took about 35 minutes to get there and the beginning of it was up hill.  Once we got to the top of the hill it was like a whole different planet.  There was a paved road and really nice houses (basically mansions) with big walls and barbed wire surrounding them.  It was much different than walking to the hotel where everyone seemed very poor and they appeared to live in (what I would call) shacks.  When we got to the supermarket, it was like walking into America.  It was like a small mall with a grocery store and some clothing stores.   However, they did not have what I wanted, which was a surge protector and a power stabilizer.  Right now I can’t plug in anything, because I’d be taking a chance at having it blown out if there was a power surge (which happens often here).

Elections are this Friday and everyone is a little on edge to see how they go.  We are supposed to get the official results on Monday.  Everyone here wants things to go smoothly so that we all can move on in our Peace Corps careers and go to our home stays and eventually our sites.

It seems like every week we are getting more and more vaccinations.  Yesterday we learned about Malaria and got vaccinated for Meningitis and Rabies 1 (we are getting three rabies shots in total).  Overall, we will be vaccinated against Yellow Fever, Rabies, Hep A and B (I already had hep B), Typhoid and the flu by the end of our ten week training.

There have been a few volunteers passing through here on their way to or from Close of Service (COS).  Three of our volunteer trainers were in the same training group which came here two years ago.  Many people from their training group are COSing now.  There was one that came through today that was taking two dogs home.  She had a lot of good information on having a dog in Uganda as a PCV.  I take it that a lot of people in my training group want a dog (whether they’ve had one before or not).  I guess I’m just curious to see who follows through on that.

This weekend we are all taking a chance, in smaller groups to try and cook here in Uganda.  Each group will be serving one meal and we are doing this for lunch and dinner Saturday and Sunday.  However, it looks like we are cooking Mexican, Italian, Indian and Asian food.  So we will see how that goes.

I got my first piece of mail yesterday!  However, it was number 3…I guess 1 and 2 are still coming, but I’m not sure.  We shall see in the coming weeks.

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