That being said, it does not feel like the end of November. Although I missed my family and friends in the states, I had a lovely day yesterday celebrating with my Peace Corps family. Lunch was served at the PC Uganda Headquarters and we all got a much needed break from the usual rice and beans combo. Right now, I am relaxing in my dorm room that I share with 6 other girls. We moved into this training center (which is also a Teacher’s College) last Sunday.
During one of our welcome sessions earlier in the month, the program director mentioned that going through the Peace Corps “Teacher Boot Camp” is like earning your master’s degree in literacy. I didn’t believe her then but I stand (sit) corrected. This shit is intense.* I’m teaching 3 classes next week and 4 the week after. I have lesson plans to do, projects to complete and teachers to collaborate with. I’m exhausted by the time I get back to my dorm room but I’m learning so much that it’s hard not to be excited. The fact that I’m doing all this with some really awesome people makes the experience even better.
My dorm room is another story. We were definitely spoiled at the last training center, with our scalding hot water, American toilets and cockroach-free closets. Don’t get me wrong, we are definitely coddled here and it only took a couple days to realize this. Ants in your closet aren’t a big deal when you have cockroaches and cockroaches aren’t a big deal when you have lizards. Along the same lines, pooping in a Turkish toilet isn’t so bad** when you see the Black Hole of Doom that is the pit latrines. Also, running water is a beautiful thing even if it’s ice cold.
Uganda has obviously done wonders for my ability to be optimistic!
*Although the other day we had a random sex ed class that was the most hilarious thing ever (mostly because I was under the impression that I was an adult but also because I’d accepted that I pretty much signed a celibacy vow for two years when I decided to join the Peace Corps…unless you know, NGOs happen). The gist of the session was:
DON’T HAVE SEX.
BUT IF YOU MUST, DON’T HAVE SEX WITH ANYONE WHO HAS HIV.
AND USE A CONDOM.
**Even if a frog happens to jump out of it while you are doing your business.