To never have to start a sentence with "I wish I would have..."


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Saturday, June 25, 2011

41 PCVs + 36 cans of paint + Ugandan students + 8 walls = best and most productive weekend ever

I've delayed. I know. But the story (and more importantly, the pictures!) is finally here. As of 2 weeks ago I finished up my huge mural painting project. The idea was to get people talking about how to avoid the spread HIV/AIDS. My students drew pictures depicting situations that can potentially lead to spreading HIV, such as sharing needles and having multiple sexual partners. Aside from the planning and organizing, I really can't take that much credit for it. My students did the majority of the prep work and, with the help of some truly amazing Peace Corps volunteers, we finished up the painting in one day. The pictures are posted on facebook, from the beginning of the project to the (almost) end. We still have to put a few messages in local language up, but we're getting there.

The entire weekend was a huge success. I was anticipating a few bumps along the way, but honestly it couldn't have run more smoothly. I hosted about 28 PCVs at my house and when everyone arrived Friday night we ate 4 kilos of rice (and who knows how many grilled veggies) out of a huge pot, family style.

Saturday was painting day! Each of the 8 painting sites had 2-3 PCVs and several students from the college. By the time I finished running around making sure people had paintbrushes, mixing containers, paint thinner, etc., most of the work was finished! I can't even begin to express my gratitude to the group of PCVs who came down to help out. Even more amazing was how proud my students were of their work. They were the artists and had a lot of say in how they wanted their pictures colored. It was one of the best days I've had at site.

As a thank you to having everyone come down and help, we roasted 2 goats and a chicken on Sunday. We also had a football match, PCVs vs. Rakai PTC students. Sunday was pretty much a day to relax and hang out. We had another family style meal while we were waiting for the meat to cook, this time an appetizer of guacamole. I think at least 20 avocados went into the mix!

Thanks for everyone's support throughout this project. Feedback is welcome!


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