All I Want for Christmas is Hot Sauce

Christmas Wish List

  1. Hot sauce, sriracha to be exact
  2. Lifetime supply of hand sanitizer
  3. Personal space (virtually non-existent in Uganda)
  4. Someone to touch me and play with my hair*
  5. A hot shower
  6. Mixed CDs and USBs of music and television shows**
  7. Something to eat other than rice and beans***
  8. An occasion where it’s appropriate to show my kneecap
  9. More t-shirts

*Although there is no shortage of hugs and cuddles here, being touched was the first thing I missed about my friends, family and coworkers. I never realized how many hugs I got in a day or how many times I had casual conversations with friends and coworkers that involved touch. It came with such ease that I took it for granted.

**FYI: My mailing address is: Tahrima Khanom, P.O. BOX 7007, Kampala, Uganda. If you care about me in the slightest, you will send me a care package. Or a letter. Or an email. I love any forms of communication. Don’t judge, I can’t watch Netflix here.

**I’m basically a vegetarian now and I would pay top shilling (Uganda currency) for a steak. My anemic self can’t handle this lifestyle.


December 10. 2014


I can’t believe it’s been a month since I met my Peace Corps family in Philadelphia for staging. The moment I stepped into that room on that fateful Monday morning, I just knew we would all be best friends. Haha. JUST KIDDING. I was scared, confused, overwhelmed, and had no idea how I could live with the 37 crazies that were willing to leave their comfortable lives in America to live in freaking AFRICA*.

I feel as if I am in a time warp. So many things have happened between then and now that I sometimes find myself convinced that it’s been months, if not years.** Right now, I am sitting under my mosquito net lighted by the glow of my laptop. I just finished rehearsing for the holiday party that we are holding on Friday, where The Lugogo Girls (my band) will be performing. I taught a really tough lesson earlier today and I had my first proud teacher moment when the kids finally understood the point I was making after 30 minutes of coaxing it out of them. My last day of Teacher Boot Camp is Friday and I am dreading it. My pupils have already warned me that they will cry. Next week, after spending every hour of the last 30 days together, my entire cohort will be split up around different parts of Uganda. I will visit my future site, possibly see my house*** and meet my host family, with whom I will be staying with for the next month while I go through language and cultural training.

Shit is getting real.


I am so incredibly happy that I find myself dreading the day when I come down from this incredible high.

*And I was thinking all this while praying that my dress (that I had to duct tape together that morning) would not fall apart.

**This thought quickly vanishes when I talk to someone from back home and prod them for stories only to realize that their life doesn’t change as drastically as mine does on a day-to-day basis.

***Waddup personal space?


2 thoughts on “All I Want for Christmas is Hot Sauce

  1. Tahrima!!! I cannot believe you have been gone for a month!!! So little has changed for me and it seems like literally everything has changed for you (from the people you see every day to where you sleep at night). I am so happy that you are surrounded by such wonderful people and congrats on being a super rad teacher. It’s no surprise your students are going to miss you loads and loads! I send you lots of love. Not seeing you at the table with us tonight was pretty heartbreaking and I cannot wait until you are back and I can raise a glass to you ❤


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Layla, your comment just made my day! Thank you so much! I miss you guys. Wish I could have been there with you all but know that you’re on my mind :). Love you! Sending you lots of sunshine from Africa.


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