Monday, September 3, 2012

September 3, 2012 10:30 AM—Paidha Uganda

So last week after Alyssa and Kevin left to go back to America I travelled up to the Northwestern region of Uganda, which is called the West Nile.  When my training group came in a year and a half ago, we were the first group in quite some years to send volunteers to this region of Uganda.  Because of a lack of infrastructure and the recent war in Northern Uganda, Peace Corps was not sending volunteers here, but now that things are getting better they are now sending volunteers again.

I came up here to spend about a week at my friend Kirk’s site in a town called Paidha.  He is working at a primary teachers college here in one of the larger towns in this region.  A handful of other volunteers, including me, came up here to work on some small projects and to hang out and socialize with each other before we all have to return to our sites for the beginning of the third school term.

It has been quite an interesting experience.  Usually when I travel in Uganda it is in the southern part of the country where all the people speak Bantu languages.  Here in Paidha the people speak a language called Alur, which is not Bantu.  Basically this means that it is not at all similar to Runyankore, which is the language I learned.  Normally when I travel to somewhere like Jinja, where they speak Lusoga, I can use many of the same words that I do at my site because the languages are so similar, but here things are totally different.

There is also no real power at Paidha PTC (Primary Teachers College).  However, there is solar power.  This is totally different from what I’m used to.  Here we kind of have to wait for the sun to come out in order to charge things.  It amazes me at how much power you can generate from the sun.  Kirk’s house has lights that we can use all night and we have also been able to charge our computers a lot more than I thought would be possible.

Anyway, in two days I will have to leave Paidha and go to Masaka for the All-Volunteer Conference.  It is a shame I have to leave because I really like it up here.  It is a lot less developed and it even just seems more peaceful here.  But nonetheless, it will be nice to get back to site later this week and start what will probably be my last full school term here.

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