Saturday, March 24, 2007

First Uganda post!

Hey everyone, I'm in Uganda and all is well. I don't have a lot of time, so this is just a check in. Hopefully I'll be able to update more soon. I'm in Mbale in the east right now visiting a current volunteer. Having a great time and really enjoy Mbale. It reminds me of North Bend, for all those Washingtonians. There is a great view of Mt. Elgon and it is a nice town. Got to go swimming today at a hotel here and am going out to a nice dinner tonight.

I'm 3 weeks into training and things are progressing slowly but surely. I'm learning a language called Lugwere (it's a Bantu language) and it will put me in the Pallisa district of Uganda, which is really clost to Mbale. Ok, I'm out of time, hope all is well!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Goodbye USA

After a good last night in America where I had excellent fajitas at a restaurant nearby and the went out on the town with some friends from DC, it is now time to organize my luggage and head to the airport. I have nothing profound to say at this point, but just want to throw out one last goodbye to everyone out there. The next time I post, I will have learned and seen so much new stuff that hopefully this blog will get a lot more interesting. Talk to you soon...

Saturday, March 3, 2007


Well, I made it to Philly with no hassle and started off my time as a volunteer. After turning in paperwork and doing some "getting to know you" games with the other volunteers, we spent about 4 hours starting off orientation. The lectures were broad Peace Corps lectures about what it is to be a volunteer and what are expectations are and what is expected of us. It was a very particapatory 4 hours and we got to really speak honestly about what happens next. Today has been a reassuring process that has helped evolve my volunteer experience from a broad abstraction to something real that is happening. Lots of questions were answered and I feel a lot more content with what I signed up for. Afterwards I had some really good Thai food with a group of people and then have since retired to my room. We have a full day of orientation tomorrow where we go over more general Peace Corps stuff with logistical answers to what we do for the first week before we go to training. I know for sure that we will stay in a resort called Banana Village just north of the airport in Entebbe. Here we will get a crash course in basic cultural and logistical things while we recuperate from the jetlag. During this time, I will have no internet or phone access. They said that they'll try to get us 3 minutes to call family to tell them that we made it, but we'll see. Also, I know that internet access in Luwero (2 hours north of Kampala), where the 10 weeks of training will be, will have limited internet access and no phone access. If you don't hear from me for a while, that's why.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Last days with family

Well, my time in Florida with the family is coming to an end and it has been exactly what I wanted. We've shared some quality time and done some fun stuff. Yesterday we went to the Busch Gardens "Africa" themed amusement park in Tampa. I have to say, if Africa is nothing but a place that promotes American beer and sells worthless memoribilia, then I will be shocked! It was cool to see some of the animals, but I didn't take any pictures cause, hey, it's not that impressive to see a wild animal that was imported and placed in a confined environment. I'll wait to see them in their own space without any fences or concrete trees.

Today, we took canoes down the Myaaka river. After mastering the art of not crashing into the bank, I had a great time viewing gators and the tropical landscape. There was even some park rangers driving one of those fan boats like in the Rescuers...anybody?! :)

Now it's 10pm, I've had a couple of goodbye drinks with the fam and we're watching Ice Age with 2 year old nephew Gus. My sister has gotten him to say "Uncle Wesss, Gaganda?" when asked where I was going. It pretty much makes my year every time he says it. She corrects him to say Uganda, but I don't hold it against him!

So this is it for America unless I can steal someone's laptop in Philly. All I have to say is : Thank you for your well-wishes and we'll see what happens next!