Friday, August 27, 2010

Rwanda tomorrow!

(African Storm Clouds)


Tomorrow all of us USP students head out to Rwanda until the following Sunday. We have a 15 hour drive and are leaving at 5 am... Hurrah. We are going to learn all about the history of the genocide, the war there. I will therefore not be online until then.

Today was pretty basic, we had more orientation and then Rwanda orientation. We walked back to Mukono, and I mailed a letter and bought another pair of earrings.

We had plantains and peas and then for dinner rice and meat sauce, with only one piece of meat! Breakfast is always the same and consists of what you see above - a boiled egg, donut thing, and milk tea or black tea. Both teas are SUPER sweet (Mommy you would love it) and the milk tea has alot of milk, I have mixed feelings about it... Apparently some days are better than others.

We are currently still at the end of the rainy season but it should be over in about a month. At which time we will not have this odd drizzling in the middle of the day. Also, we are hoping that mango season begins soon, cause right now we do not have a lot of fresh fruit but it should all be coming in soon.

Well that is about all for now, I am sure I will have a HUGE post come the end of Rwanda!
I miss you all back home!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mukono and Boda-Boda

(School I go to)

(African Sunset)

So today we got to go into Mukono and walk around. They basically gave us a piece of paper of things to look for, and then to meet up at the Colline Hotel. So we set off to explore. It is a very close walk and we are actually gonna go back in tomorrow to get postage stuff so we can finally mail letters! It was so cool to wander around the city for a little while. I honestly felt quite at home because of living in Morocco, it felt like what I have already been through. It felt like home.

I felt like as we walked more I began to revert to some of the things I did when I lived at home. They tend to drive crazy (and on the left side of the road!) and I found myself crossing the street and ignoring men calling like I did in Morocco. It was so comfortable for me to see the dirt roads, see the little stores (basically hanouts) and see advertisements on the stores who have never heard of the product painted onto their roof.

The shops were so much fun to go into, alot like the Medina in Morocco in some ways. I am so excited about buying fabric to decorate my room with! We also found earring for 1000 shillings which is about 50 cents a pair! (This therefore means that I have already got Becky two gifts... haha) Some things are so cheap, and it made me so excited!

We also went into a supermarket and I found ice cream, pringles, nutella, cadbury chocolate, and coconut crackers. Also, found Mountain Dew which made me laugh.

And I discovered what Boda-Boda meant. I knew that they were the motorcycles that the men ride and that we were forbidden to get one, but they told us the meaning behind the name. Apparently, there used to be an area between Uganda and Kenya that was no man's land that people would keep motorcycles in. They would say that they were in the border (to) border. Because of their accent here it ended up sounding like Boda-Boda, and simply stuck. I know that is random but I thought it was a fun tidbit of information!

I am honestly SO excited to be here right now. I am having so much fun ad I am so so excited to see how the rest goes. I do miss people, but I am so happy to have this experience!!

Day..... Something

Africa is amazing thus far. I still cannot believe that I am here some moments. I literally woke up this morning and thought I was at Valley Forge. I sat there a minute until it hit me OH I'm in Uganda.. I am in Africa.

Yesterday for dinner we had rice and beans. I thought I would hate it, but here you really just eat to eat, not necessarily to enjoy it, and believe me by meal time, you are hungry enough to eat it. It has not been bad, just not what I am used to, and we were already talking today about what we will eat when we get home.

Today we spent two hours learning some Uganda greetings in their language. It was fun, but their language is actually quite difficult. The main language is English, but there are many other languages as well. There is a class you can take, but with my 150 hour practicum, I do not believe I can or even should pick up another class.

Today after lunch we are going to re-register for classes which begin the monday after Rwanda, and then we are going to have a scavenger hunt around Mukono. We live in Mukono but we are also near Kampala (the capital) and we are about two hours from Entebbe (the airport).

I will write all about Mukono when we get back I am very excited to go see the city.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In Uganda!

Well, to try and sit here and describe everything that has occurred since monday would be a very long thing to read so I will attempt to keep it short and sweet.
On Monday I went to D.C. saying goodbye to everyone over the past few days has been far from easy and once I got there it all began to really hit me. Goodbyes have never been easy for me and this was no different. I walked into the airport and almost everyone was there waiting. We got checked in and through security will no hassle at all. We ended up having about two hours to just sit and wait to board.
We flew to Amsterdam and the flight there I slept hardly at all, no one did. Then the second flight it was as though we all just passed out. I did get some pictures flying over Amsterdam and entering Africa that I will put up at the end of all of my writing.
We then landed in Uganda. Immigration was extremely easy and they gave us all our visas with no problem at all. We then went out and met people. I could write so much about that first night even though I was exhausted. It was like it all just hit, but was still so surreal. Even now I can hardly believe that I am here.
They showed us to our rooms and I actually ended up in the same dorm as the girl that I made friends with, we got along so well, so that was nice. However, this is also the dorm farthest from the road, so carrying up baggage was not super enjoyable. I am roommates with one of the girls that was actually sitting next to me on my first flight and has the same last name as me. Our room is pretty small. Its got a bunk bed and two closets and one desk that is like spilt in half with two chairs. Its small but once we are all unpacked it will be much better. I wish i has something to put on the walls though its so boring. We unpacked alot of clothes last night, and i got online to let people know I was alive, but was so tired I went to bed about one here. I only got a few hours of sleep before jet-lag hit and I was up.
This morning we got up and had breakfast which was pretty good, and contained fresh pineapple which made me quite happy. We then went to orientation, which was mostly about safety and health today and a few of the rules. I could go on and on about all of this, but I am sure a lot of it would bore. We then went on a tour of the campus. Once those pictures are on my computer I will have some on here and then all on facebook. It is a lot bigger than I expected and we had to walk up a lot of hills, so I should be in super shape by the time I come back to the U.S.
Then we went to lunch which was quite odd. We had mashed plantains and this sort of breed of potato that was a combination of sweet potato and normal potato, which I did not love. Then hey covered it all in the meat sauce which made the mashed plantains taste pretty decent. They were quite filling as well.
That has been the basic of it all so far. I feel like I am in a dream world with all of this, it is so hard to believe that I am actually in Africa. I am so excited. I had a meeting with my Social Work practicum advisor and I should be getting to work in an orphanage, and possibly with their schooling as well.
We have orientation for three more days and then on Saturday we go to Rwanda for a week.