Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hello and how is there? For me, I am trying, slowly by slowly, as they say here. The journey from America back to Uganda was anything but quick and easy. There was a twelve-hour layover in Chicago, and then a turbulence-filled, ten and a half hour flight to Istanbul, Turkey. I spent my four-hour layover here charging my laptop and doing a little bit of shopping in the duty-free shops. I bought some nice soap and one of those fancy Chinese style fans that fold up nicely. Then there was a red eye flight from Istanbul to Entebbe, Uganda, and we touched down on African soil at two in the morning, at last! I was feeling very relieved, as I was becoming slightly delirious from lack of sleep (I can’t sleep on airplanes, even with Benadryl). And then! Then, only one of my bags arrived with our plane in Uganda! I had to get a room in Kampala for the next three nights while I waited for Turkish Airlines to send it on the next flight. I finally got it back, travelled back to my village, six days after I left Rhode Island. Oh, the humanity! The humanity!!! Since then, I’ve gone back out to town for some food shopping, and one other trip to another volunteer’s site near Kampala for a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. Our team, the Jive Turkeys, placed 3rd out of ten teams, not bad I’d say. After all of this activity, I’ve been happily back at site in the village for the last couple of weeks. It is nice and quiet compared to the last three months of my life.
So, what have I been doing here, you ask? Oh, well thanks for asking! I’ve been settling back into life in the village… taking care of my plants, feeding Pearl and watching her eat the catnip growing in front of the porch and then playing with some birds, strumming the guitar, running a bit, and just relaxing. That is, when I’m not taking care of business! Business has been starting a third microfinance group with thirty of the community members (a fourth in the works!), and managing the first contract water tank that our business is building. We are building it at the primary school next door to the Health Centre, and as I write this, we have just ended the first day of brick making. Also, I’ve started a project the likes of which I’ve been pining to do for some good stretch of time now. I’ve been working with some students from the primary school on a school gardening club! We have a big composting operation, we’ve planted some border plants along the future fence line, and we’ve set some garden pathways so far! We’ve also done some container planting of moringa trees, because the rainy season hasn’t really gotten fully underway, and as we wait for the fence to be built we are having a problem with goats eating plants. Just being able to get involved with teaching some hands-on organic agricultural work with kids is a real joy for me. I mean, we’re collecting food waste from all over the village for composting and the kids love it! That rocks!
So that’s my life in a nutshell right now. I love being in the village, not going anywhere for weeks at a time, and getting the most out of my Peace Corps experience, knowing that it won’t last forever. Being a PCV creates the experience of a different lifetime, condensed and filled with an array of events and emotions that come only through the 27 months of life abroad. It is a true testament to the endless possibilities of life’s journey. Sometimes I think about reapplying as soon as I return to the states, maybe heading to South America or Polynesia. Or Mongolia… But then I think of friends and family back home and it’s hard to imagine life without them for another two years. The ocean, the seasons of New England, the food, the culture! Anyways, there is still time to create, to discover the way.
In closing, I’d like to wish you all well through the end of winter and beyond! Time to start planting indoors, tuning up the motorcycles, and buffing that windsurfer! As always, looking forward to any questions or comments, and may the force be with you!