Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tech Immersion...and having to come back

Last week was earmarked by all of us in the PC group, because it was our one week in training that we'd actually been allotted some real freedom. We were to go out on our own from Wakiso, and wind up at a PCV's site to stay with for a week. We all got sent different places, varying from 2 to 9 hours away. I wound up with a PCV named Jonathan Blanchard, and it couldn't have been a better time. He is a Water/Sanitation Engineer as well, and it was awesome to get to see the things that he does, and thereby the things that I could possibly be doing.

Obviously, getting to see a PCV's site, realizing his schedule of activities, and seeing all of the privileges and freedoms that he is given in his's all very attractive. The toughest part of Immersion Week was without a doubt the realization that we weren't ACTUALLY there, we hadn't actually reached the point that our PCV host already had (mine, for over a year now). It would still be a month before we got to go in a bus with all of our stuff, and drop it off later that day at a place we could truly call our own, a place that we could call home. There is nothing that occupies my thoughts more at this point.()

And so, as a result, the current week has been a struggle for us all. After being given a fairly comprehensive view of what life might be like for the next 2 years, we are really supposed to go back to being 8-5 lecture listeners? Well, yes.

It seems that the PC staff has foreseen our lack of enthusiasm for the return to the classroom. Their solution is assigning several tasks and examinations, testing our overall knowledge of language and of tech sessions up to this point. Although disgruntled, we all know that we really have no choice in the issue, and we continue on. Blinders only have to remain attached for a few more weeks...

In the mean time, I'm keeping my short term highlights of the week, and making them up whenever I don't have them. I started talking to a musician on the street, for example, who it turns out is a basketball coach for a secondary school in Wakiso. I gathered up a team, and we're going to skirmish them tomorrow. I'm pumped, and I'm hoping Kevin Bacon will be there to watch us, and scout some of the Ugandans. On the following week, we have a scheduled Talent Show, which I became one of the Emcees for. I've heard that if there is one thing Ugandans can do, it's a hellacious Talent Show, and I'm excited to see what they bring to the table.

The highlight of the week so far was definitely Wednesday, when a group of us went over to Kiboga in order to help a fellow PCV and support him in a project he's been working on for about 6 months. The community, with his help (co-facilitation, rather), set up a tree planting parade, and had over 800 trees donated for the cause of keeping their town clean and green. We showed up there for the ceremony, which was supposed to start at 9. At 12, after the ceremony had still not begun, we decided to start playing with the 4 primary schools who were waiting with us. I did the Vista skit (thanks, Boy Scouts), we did the wave, and had handstand contests. We later had a parade on the streets, and were not hindered at all by the monsoon that would come in the middle of it.

Sorry for my length of time in between posts. Time is moving at a ridiculous pace, and everything seems to be coming and going too quickly to comprehend. I am still checking my email pretty much everyday, even if it's just once a day for about 30 seconds.

Next week: Sites are given!!!!

Until then,
Matty B

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