I have been lost. That’s a term used here often to mean I’ve been MIA. A lot has happened in the last few months so I’ll stick to past few weeks.
Our group lost a good friend Danielle at the end of April. She was an amazing person and volunteer. She has inspired me to let things go and feel more free here, and to remind myself to be better when I’m feeling not so positive.
We had a one week Peace Corps training at the beginning of the month in the capital city, where we learned about applying for grants, starting libraries, teaching life skills to youth, etc. Then we went to northern Uganda for a girls youth camp. I was a counselor to a group of girls – the Giraffes – and Aaron was the photographer. It was awesome getting to know the girls and having them open up more every day. We got sick with a 24 hour flu or something that week and because we were in dorms and the bathrooms were too far away to get to safely at night, both Aaron and I had to relieve ourselves in an unfortunate situation outside several times. Not so fun part of the trip.
Next, we hung out with friends in a town called Gulu. It was nice relaxing with everyone but also a weird feeling because Danielle was stationed there, and we felt her absence. But we really enjoyed the time with everyone. Then we went to Merchison Falls on a two day safari with 9 other volunteers. It was a steal! Only $125 for a day and night safari, boat ride down the Nile river, hike up the falls, and a place to sleep. Our trip back to Gulu from there was nuts and included: our safari van breaking down on the wrong side of the Nile and our group splitting up into two groups stranded on either side of the river, me screaming to the army across the Nile that they are liars, demanding to policemen on the side we were on that they take us across for free (so that, but not mentioned, we could go to the pool at a resort and drink margaritas) which they did but only half of us were present at that time to cross, then upon reuniting our disheveled group being asked to go somewhere we couldn’t be seen so the resort could properly welcome the president of Shri Lanka, piling into the taxi van that replaced the broken down vehicle which blundered at high speeds out of the park with half of our group on a luggage rack on the roof and the other half getting waisted on gin and whisky (because being sober in that situation was not an option for some of us), deciding that we must learn to breed miniature lap giraffes and giraffe sea horses, purchasing from the van windows too many African crafts at insanely cheap prices due to our confidence in bargaining with the help of our intoxicated state, then that van breaking down, peeing on the side of the road, pushing the van down the highway, our friend asking to buy a puppy from a village family, and finally getting back to Gulu at 10:30 pm. It was all awesome!!!! So much fun:)
Finally, we got back to our village late last week. We’ve been resting. I re-read Lord of the Flies and I’ve started a new book called Blindness. School starts next week so we will be preparing for classes over the next few days. I hope to write a grant this term for a library at our school.
Miss you all!