Saturday, March 23, 2013

“30 Sites and 30 Nights”—March 23, 2013 (Day 4)

Name: Ibrahim Syarikin

Age: 23

Home Town: Washington DC

What she did before Peace Corps: Finished school and worked part time

Program Sector: Community Economic Development

Number of months spent in Uganda: 11

Ibrahim is in the process of a site change. He was working with Village Enterprise in Soroti Town, but things did not work out there so he is trying to find a new site. He has looked at sites in Jinja and Mbale, but he also wouldn't mind staying in the Ateso region around Soroti.

Many volunteers do get site changes for many different reasons. Some people don't like what they are doing at site. Some don't have anything to do. And some just don't get along with their organization or their organization falls apart. I don't think changing sites is ever real easy. You have to pick up and move and start all over again when you are already maybe 6 months or a year into service. Although sometimes volunteers really like getting a site change. In Ibrahim's case, he is now trying to find his own site. So his site development is in his own hands and in many ways he can get a site that fits him and his interests very well.
Ibrahim enjoying his down time between sites playing his ukulele

Ibrahim's favorite thing about the Ateso region and Soroti Town is the people. He likes how kind they are and how learned they are. “You can go to the villages and find an old mama and she knows English.” He feels the people are what has really kept him in Uganda. His biggest challenge as a Peace Corps volunteer is that time moves too fast. It scares him that he only has about 18 months left. In conjuncture with his site change, the time he has left worries him because he is afraid it may not be enough.

He thoroughly appreciates the love and support he has had from the Peace Corps community, not just in Soroti but all throughout. He feels they have been very helpful and supportive through such a tough time it can be changing site.


Soroti Rock (a large rock structure in the middle of town)
Joanna and I spent this morning hanging out at her house relaxing and drinking tea/coffee. It is very calm and enjoyable out here. Even though she technically lives in Soroti Town, she is not in the center of town, so it is very quiet. She lives in quite a large house. It has 4 bedrooms, electricity and running water too. She has referred to some things in her house as “third year upgrades”. She is a third year extended volunteer and she got things like a refrigerator and hot water after being here for two years. She also just moved into this house after extending.

After having a lazy morning, we got ourselves together and walked to town. We went to do some shopping to get some food and drinks for the next few days while I stay here. Then once we returned to Joanna's house, we watched a movie and eventually Ibrahim came over. For the rest of the day we will probably just hang out, make dinner and wait for power to come back (its been out all day).
We found this girl in the market and she had the cutest outfit ever

I'm not sure what tomorrow will bring, but that makes it all that much more fun.

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