Monday, September 24, 2007

Back in the US, Back in the US, Back in the US peace corps office

I've got a bit of time finally, so i'll post again. Sorry that i suck at keeping this updated, but i swear i can change.

CUBS ARE IN FIRST PLACE!!! magic number is 4. WVU is still undefeated (although we've been jumped twice now in the rankings) as are the colts. in short, i've picked a wonderful time to leave the country.

of course, no one reads my blog for sports news, so i should talk a bit about uganda.

a lot of people have been asking about the flooding that has rocked eastern and northern uganda. actually, this isn't true at all. only my parents have asked me. that's okay though, i'll respond as if to a flood of concerned e-mails, texts, and sky-writings.

the floods have washed out several improtant bridges and main roads. this has made travel difficult, but it is still possible and safe. also, i live on a hill ("mukura" actually is derived from the ateso word for hill) so i'm not really in any danger. the big concern is how it will decimate the economy of our region. the vast majority of people around me are subsistence farmers, and the floods have ruined thousands of acres of crops in low-lying areas. many of these people don't have any other source of income, so our region is going to be in a lot of trouble. this is compounded by the fact that eastern and northern uganda have been the regions most affected by the insurgencies and cattle raids of the last twenty years.

this situation made me think about how horrible it is to be completely reliant on agriculture in a world with increasingly unstable climate patterns (earlier in the year crops were ruined by a drought). i've decided that i am going to attempt to build a computer training center in my village, to provide training for youth who are pretty much locked into a life of farming, and to provide vocational training for adults. this project is in its most formative stages, and will probably look pretty different when implemented, but i'm cautiously optimistic about its feasibility and sustainability.

sustainability is an enormous concern in all NGOs and international aid, but specifically peace corps due to our short terms of service. many volunteers just work for their organizations for two years and leave, which limits their impact to the duration of their service. ideally, we should train people to work in a better capacity, creating opportunities for future development once we have left.

anyways, enough of that shit. onto humorous anecdotes:

my gustatory exploits are limited, but exquisite. aside from the aforementioned rolex, i partake in many local delicacies such as posho (picture dried cream of wheat), matooke (picture mashed plantains), and beans (picture beans). some more american dishes that i cook myself are grilled cheese, mashed potatoes, and porridge. my diet is sensational. i dabble in some stranger foods, like white ants (a winged ant-like insect), termites, and various parts of animals that we tend to avoid.

also, rwanda has just entered into some sort of east african trade agreement, so we're going to get rwandan beers!!!!

i made the newspaper!!! the luganda paper (the bukedde) printed a picture of me at the Uganda v. Niger football match. i had painted my face, wore a soccer ball hat, and draped a flag across my back, thus turning an ordinary muhindi into a spectacle. the picture is of me getting my face painted. i'll be sure to show you when you visit.

happy birthday to the rest of my family!!! my sister, mother, and father, all have been born in the week of sept 18-24th, and i hope you all send them your best wishes.

okay, thanks for reading, that's all for now.