March 1, 1961 was the day that Peace Corps was established by Executive Order. 50 years later, more than 200,000 volunteers have served in Peace Corps. This is a big year for us and I'm proud to be a part of it.
Some exciting news...not only did all of my students pass my course last term but they scored higher in my course than they did ANY OTHER COURSE AT THE COLLEGE! THe highest score was 98! And if that's not enough, their scores for my course have drastically improved from the last year. Guess I'm not too shabby of a teacher afterall!
I've mentioned my mural painting project to some of you (I'm working with my students and other community members to come up with illustrations about the spread of HIV/AIDS and how to avoid it. These illustrations will be turned into murals to be painted around my village) and I'm extremely happy and excited to let you know that my country director not only loved the idea but wanted to get involved. He's put it on the PC calendar of 50th anniversary events in Uganda and even encouraged me to submit a grant proposal to get funding for the project. I turned in all my documents for the proposal and should find out later this month if we were approved.
If things go well, the funding should be in by April and I'll have my students submit their illustrations and prep the painting sites before the end of term (April 29). When my students come back May 23 we'll begin painting the base coats and doing the picture outlines so they will be ready for Peace Corps staff and volunteers to do a "paint-by-number" June 10-13.
Fingers crossed everything runs smoothly and according to schedule. As excited as I am about this project, my community is ecstatic. When I told them about my initial idea, they loved and and insisted we find a way to make it happen. They've even worked together to come up with a 30% contribution of the total budget. My grant requires a 25% community contribution and I was a little worried at first we wouldn't be able to do it, my village is dirt poor. Most of their contribution is in-kind, transport to purchase and deliver supplies, providing lunch for all volunteers on the PC painting day, etc., but important none the less. At least they are committed to taking ownership of this project, which to me is the most important thing.
A small update on other projects I'm working on:
-making a model classroom/resource room/my office/library (I FINALLY got my books from Darien Book Aid, I requested them last April...)
-instituting a monthly game night with the tutors at the college
-working with the girls' demonstration school to start a nursery school (the DP was so excited when he found out about my ECE background and he insisted I be involved in getting the nursery school up and running)
-PC/Afripads liaison (I give presentations on reusable menstrual pads at other volunteers' sites and keep the PC office stocked. For more info www.afripads.com )
-my girls' club
-teaching PES/ECE at the college
-starting a read aloud club at the vocational school
I'm excited about the prospects of this term. Year 2 is looking even better than year 1! Hope y'all have an amazing spring break, someone better hit up SxSW and tell me how amazing it is this year, I haven't been to a concert since Radio and Weasel last August...so not the same as Austin concerts. Thanks so much for the package, Grandma! Happy early birthday Mom, Kenz, and Preston!
Missing you guys,