I got a puppy! I’ve been trying to find a male puppy since about my first week at site. (Ugandans greatly fear dogs so I figured having one would reduce my risk of a break in). Last week, 2 days before I was supposed to leave for Kampala for the weekend, Enid and Namusisi—two of the tutors at the college—took me to this lady’s house where there was a litter of the cutest puppies I have ever seen. There was one male in the litter and he was freaking adorable, I fell in love as soon as I saw him. Now for the gross part…he was COMPLETELY infested with fleas, ticks, probably lice, and these weird worms that Namusisi pinched out of his skin. It was awful! Namusisi told me I had to take him then or he would be gone and she promised to treat him for me. I was skeptical, but for 5oooUGX (about $2.50) I bought him. Namusisi took him back to her house and when she brought him to the college his fur had this chalky powder in it and within a few hours there wasn’t a single bug on him! I was definitely impressed. That afternoon we took him into Kyotera and got him a few vaccinations as well as some de-worming medicine. He was pretty sick from all the medicine and treatments so he slept that entire night and the following day. His name is “Buzibu,” which means difficult in Luganda. I call him Buzi for short.
The next day I baked a cake to share with the tutors at the college. They loved it! They insisted on singing to me, several times, and after a few failed attempts we all took a picture together…with the cake of course. Buzi slept in a box on the floor the entire day. He even went to class with me. Most of my students fear him and I tell him he’ll only bite them if they’re late to class. I think they actually believe me.
Which brings me to my next topic…I finally started teaching! Oh my gosh I love it! I’ve really missed being in the classroom. Teaching in Uganda, especially at a college is WAY different than teaching a group of snotty nosed 5 years olds. My first class was the year 1s, a little over 100 students, and I taught them on child growth and development. At first they were quiet and didn’t want to share. We are still getting used to communicating together and they have a hard time understanding my accent. By the end of class they were comfortable enough to ask me to slow down or repeat something, which I consider amazing progress. Then I taught the years 2s. They were 200+ students and that was a little intimidating. Once I got used to practically shouting at them so they could hear me, things went well. I taught them on the difference between guidance and counseling and they participated and contributed throughout the whole class. It was so much fun.
At the end of both classes I let the students ask me any questions they wanted to. The only off limits topics were my age (because there’s a good percentage who are older than I am), if I could bring them back to America, anything political in Uganda, and if I had a husband. They asked me the difference between Ugandan education and American education and they were really interested in how I was liking Uganda and how it was different from America.
Over the weekend I went to Kampala to celebrate my birthday and almost everyone from my training group came into town. It was the first time we’ve all been together since swearing in. Our group is super close and it was awesome being able to catch up with everyone and to just hang out without having to do anything. One of the nights we went dancing in club called the Iguana and I saw a Ugandan with a Tim Duncan jersey on. I started freaking our but no one really appreciated it because no one else is from San Antonio. I thought of you, Mom!
When I got back to the college I taught a few classes and sat in on a workshop. The workshop was awful and lasted 4 hours. After it was over I played a tutor versus students volleyball game, which I organized the previous week. The students were impressed that I knew how to play volleyball and they loved watching. It was a great way to bond with them and show them that I am just like their other tutors.
I’m much busier now that the new term started at the college. I love having some sort of schedule every day, I actually feel productive! My current tasks I will be working on are training Buzi (Ugandans don’t know you can train dogs and insist that I will not be able to since he is an African breed…yea right, I’ll show them!), planting a garden (finally), and starting a girls’ empowerment club at the college with Enid and Namusisi (I want to teach them about self esteem, reproductive health, and how to make reusable menstrual pads). If anyone has teaching suggestions or activities for very large groups of students, I would love to hear them. Thank you Mom for all the wonderful packages, it was awesome to open something on my birthday! And thanks Jill for the package, even though it was random everything in it was perfect…especially the tshirts! Congrats again to McKenzie and Preston, I can’t wait to see pictures! Hope everyone is enjoying summer break and I look forward to reading your updates.
Love and miss you all!
PS- I tried setting up a Picasa account so you can see the pictures without having to login to facebook, let me know if you are having problems accessing it. There's a link under the pictures at the top of the page. Love you guys!