Tuesday, June 30, 2009

back to the border

After an amazing trip to Murchison Falls, safari, and boat trip on the Nile, I was surprised when I realized my excitment at returning to the scruffy border town of Busia that has been my home this past month. I definitely did not realize how attached I had become to many of the children at New Hope nor how much I enjoyed afternoons cooking and chatting with the matrons of Reyo Hotel.

I should not, however, downplay the trip to Murchison. For the first time since our original stay in Kampala, all of the AGRADU interns (besides A-N) were together and once again squished on a small bus together for the weekend.We saw baboons and warthogs galore and at night I was woken up by the munching of hippos grazing right beside my tent.

Back in Busia, the pace of life has once again returned to its slow, African speed.At a conference I attended this morning on providing psychosocial support to disadvantaged children, I was once again perplexed by the lack of work actually getting done. There seems to be a lot of talk and repitition with very little action. When I first watched a few primary school lessons in action I was shocked at the mundane, repetitive call and response methods; and yet, here at an adult conference I was experiencing much of the same. Where is the individuality, creativity, and challenging of the status quo? It seems to be heavily discouraged, one of the most frustrating aspects about life here, especially when working in schools.

I have decided to additionally start working with another local organization (Busia Widows and Orphans Assoc.) because even with playing at New Hope and leading guidance sessions at Howard, I find myself with lots of free time.

Maressa and I will be moving in to a house right next to our director with a Canadian and Ugandan roomate and our very own dogs! Closer to New Hope, we will be able to enjoy posho and beans for supper every day with the kids and dark roads will no longer isolate us from activities at New Hope after 7 pm!

Lastly, on Friday we will be bording a bus at 5 am to take the secondary school kids to Kampala on a college visit to Makere University which all of them aspire to attend yet have never even seen.

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