Yesterday was our one year mark for being in Uganda. It’s not officially our one year of being Peace Corps Volunteer, because the first few months of training don’t count towards service. January 17th is our actual one year PCV anniversary. But most people in our group are counting yesterday because that’s the day that matters most to us on a personal level. Thinking about how I felt one year ago is so strange. We sold or gave away nearly everything we owned, said goodbye to friends and family, we watched Aaron’s mom’s dog die just hours before boarding our plane to Philadelphia, we took a 30+ hour trip to Uganda, took a bus in the middle of the night through the outskirts of Kampala, viewing row after row of vibrant shacks filled with people, drinks, meat on sticks, barbers, Chinese goods, etc etc, and arrived at this serene conference center in the lush hills in the middle of what we knew as nowhere. At that time and even many months after moving in to our house in the village, it didn’t feel like I’d ever get used to this country. But now it somewhat feels like home. It’s not home forever. But it feels homey for now.
It’s really sad to know that not all of us made it. It makes me appreciate this opportunity and want to do great things in my last year of service. There are some things brewing. Aaron and I are directing an HIV/AIDS conference in March for our region of volunteers. We’re excited about working on that. Our Country Director is shopping our Teacher Housing Proposal around, and I think she spoke to Habitat for Humanity about it this week. She said it was one of the best proposals she’s ever received, and that alone boosted our morale. It’s nice to know that our passion shone through in our effort to scheme and write it. Hopefully it will at least be something that schools can use as a jumping off point in the future. Aaron plans to do a lot more with teaching his students how to write stories and make books next year. And I’ll still be working on my computer lab literacy project. So we have a lot to occupy our time. We just need to keep our momentum and vision.
One year down. A little over one year to go. We miss you all.