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


The contents and opinions of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the Peace Corps or the U.S. government.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

When bad days turn good

What started as a crappy day (hearing the DPP ask students what to ask the visitor to donate to the college, having a 20 minute conversation with a GROWN man explaining why it's challenging to be harrassed on a daily basis and how sometimes the thought of going to the market just puts me in a bad mood because it means leaving the safety bubble of the college, stress over planning GLOW, realizing I'm actually leaving Uganda soon with no plans in sight, a persistent headache I've had the past 3 days that just won't go away, etc.) turned into one of the best evenings I've had with my students.

I've gotten really close to Fina, the college secretary, the past few weeks. She's come to my house for baking, invited me to her house for dinner, given me a chicken, continues to give me bananas and eggs, and is just a fun, easygoing person. She's my age, progressive, and, honestly, reminds me more of an American than she does a Ugandan. Needless to say, I love spending time with her.

Anyway, after the whirlwind of a day that consisted of a program set around our "visitor from Sweden" ($$$), Fina told me we were playing volleyball with the students. I grabbed Buzi and my new frisbee (best Peace Corps grab box find!) and headed to the field. I've been trying to play with the students since I got here...2 months ago.

Seeing Madame Kirabo head to the field with dog in tow definitely brought in a crowd. We quickly had a game set up and my team dominated! I like to think it was from my killer soon as they realized I could serve over the net, that became my designated position and I didn't rotate the rest of the game.

There was something about running around in the grass and mud barefoot that melted away my bad mood. Walking barefoot in the grass is something I need to start doing more of. It feels amazing and immediately brings me back to summers in Texas, sitting on the back porch swing, eating watermelon and drinking lemonade.

My students also surprised me. They usually speak a mix of Luganda/English pretty much all the time. A few were surprised I could "handle the ball" and when I busted out with "Kitufu, manyi kuzannya. Kati, mugambe oluzungu!" (It's true, I know how to play. Now speak English!) they were beside themselves. For the rest of the game they were correcting each other whenever they slipped into speaking local language. That and having Buzi run on and off the "court" without scaring any of them absolutely made my day. Students finally saw me as more than just the white lady who teaches PES and gets pissed at them if they're late to class.

The good: During the first half of the volleyball game there was a gorgeous rainbow over the hills behind the school. Have I mentioned I live in what I like to describe as a zen yoga retreat oasis, complete with hills and greenery as far as you can see? Breathtaking.

I also sold 25 AFRIpads to my girls. In two hours.

The bad: I ripped my skirt while playing volleyball. I'd like to say I had an intense move where I face planted into the ground to save the ball, but what really happened is my spaz of a dog got too excited and bit/tore my skirt. He was tied all day. Can't blame him.

The ugly: The pump is broken. I don't have a latrine. Bucket flushing your toilet once a day (sometimes once every 2 days) sucks. Enough said.

Sorry for not posting in over a month. Will work on that. And congratulations to Mar, got accepted to UNT! So proud!



  1. Hey Ashley,
    Sounds like an awesome day, I'm glad things got better from the earlier frustrations. Hopefully you're able to get your water fixed soon, that sounds awful! Hope things keep getting better in your new location for you.

    After noticing the date, it made me think about my week...I probably had one of the worst days I've had in a long time on Wednesday...but things are starting to look up a little. I really hate grad school, but if I can ever get through it/finish my thesis, I will be so glad to be done. Yuck. Oh well. Life. :-/

    Hope you have an awesome week :)

  2. Dear Ashley,
    It is so incredible to read your blog. I have the greatest admiration for you.
    You have made major contributions through your work. It is very impressive.
    Thank you again for skyping with my class (from last semester) You broadened their horizons.
    I always meant to send a it too late now...Judy Leavell(