The Life of A Peace Corps Trainee

Here is what my schedule looks like nowadays as a Peace Corps Trainee:

6:45 a.m.: Alarm Clock/Snooze/Complain to Jamie (my awesome roommate) about how we need to go to bed earlier/Wake up

7:30 a.m.: Breakfast, which usually consists of tea or instant coffee (yum.), a peanut butter and jelly sandwich* and fruit (usually a banana). They also have hard boiled eggs and sometimes meat. Today we had meat balls!

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8:00 a.m.: Morning meeting, which usually involves an ice breaker (the fact that I was in student council in high school is actually keeping me sane).

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The classroom

8:15 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.: Various lectures and training sessions consisting of lots of group activities and sweating. It’s part college (because of the dorms and structured lessons), part high school (because of all the ice breakers and “energizers”) and part kindergarten (because sometimes we do things like play games and stand around in a circle and hug the person next to us, while being thankful that we’re comfortable enough with each other now and we don’t care if they can smell our sweat). In between, we get breaks:

  • 10:30 a.m.: Tea break which consists of tea or instant coffee (yum.) and a snack. Today we had samosas** and they were delicious!
  • 2:00 p.m.: Lunch, which so far means rice and beans for sure with some sort of meat and vegetables. I got excited the other day because they served laal shag, which is a Bengali dish my mom makes. We also get fresh fruit for dessert, like papayas and pineapple!

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  • 4:00 p.m.: Tea break #2

7:00 p.m.: Dinner, which is the same as lunch.

8:00 p.m.-whenever my roommate and I decide we need to shut up and go to asleep: “Personal Time,” basically a time to socialize and do whatever we want. We had a bonfire the other day and someone led a mini yoga session the day before, which was really cool. Yesterday, I sat in my room with a couple friends drinking wine and talking about white privilege, feminism and social justice which, as you all know, are 3 of my favorite things to talk about. Today, we had a mini dance party before I decided to be anti-social and escape to my room to type this post up (you’re welcome). At the end of the night, my roommate and I sit in our bed and talk for, no exaggeration, hours and we always regret it when we have to wake up at 6:45 a.m. the next day.

I can’t believe it’s only been one week since I arrived in Uganda. It feels like so much longer! I’ve gotten close to many people (spending every hour of the day together will do that to you) and it’s really awesome to be here. My trainers have been excellent so far and Ugandans in general are so friendly and welcoming. On Friday, I find out my placement and we move to a new training site during the weekend.

Interesting Fact: 54% of the population in Uganda is younger than 13 and they have one of the highest fertility rates in the world.

*It’s amazing the kinds of foods you start to like when you’re out of your element. Peanut butter is growing on me and I couldn’t stand it in the states.

**Fun fact: Uganda has a huge Southeast Asian influence. When we visited the capital the other day, I saw many Indian people dressed in ethnic wear. However, Ugandan food isn’t nearly as flavorful, which is sad because that’s the best part of Southeast Asia.

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