Entry #28: More learning. More lessons. More news.

Date: Wednesday, June 12 2019
Time: 8:54pm
Location: Bedroom #6 TOKYO Dorm

Nature walk. More class sessions. Survival skills. One sentence? Yup, I’m, in Africa haha.

Nature walking near Chakig

Okay, to be honest, I wasn’t really sure where I was at, so I’m only guessing we were in a place called Chakig, haha. But, nonetheless, we had a great time over there! Because of the amount of time we spent cooped up indoors during class time throughout the week, it was nice to stretch my legs.

From this hike, I got to hang out with a smaller group of our cohort and spend a bit more time with them. What I didn’t expect, was to make a friend, a really cool Ugandan local named Alan.

He was the security guard that was making sure that we were safe, or something, I have no idea why we needed a security guard for the hike. Protection from wild animals, that’s my best bet lol. He’s the sort of security guard you would expect here in Uganda: quiet and stern whilst having an AK47 slung around his shoulder. A little concerning, but hey, Africa haha.

What made him so cool? We seemed to get along really well! After about 20 minutes hiking through the muddy terrain, we came to a bit of branches that were criss-crossing in front of us. Having to carefully maneuver around them, I wanted to take a quick picture. From that point, he noticed my camera and we just started talking. Exchanging cultural values from Hawai’i and Uganda, I got to learn more about his background, cultural values and traditions, even a bit of Lugandan, one of the many local languages in Uganda.

It was a little bittersweet saying goodbye as we got along so well, but who knows maybe I’ll see him again and he’ll stumble upon this website post 🙂

Class sessions… they’re good.

To be fair, all of the information that the Peace Corps provides is jam-packed full of information and I feel very safe and secure knowing that we are covering all of this information. But… it can get a bit monotonous. Session after session, it’s just THAT much more information that gets compounded and it sometimes flies over my head because I’m still trying to remember what I had done from the day before, haha.

Despite all of the monotony, the staff does a good job of giving us time to stretch and relax in between the classes with tea breaks. Having little treats, coffee and tea to spoil our day never hurt anyone, at least only until after we leave PST. Oh boy will I miss having samosas or a rolex for a snack during our tea breaks.

Survival skills: let’s get nekkid.

Okay, but really.

Today, we went over how to bathe in a bucket! Coming from a Filipino background, it wasn’t totally out of my imagination and it all almost seems like a nice way to empathize with my parents on how they grew up. Back in the Philippines, before my parents had immigrated, I’m sure that they’ve went through this same kind of process. I’m pretty sure I took a bath in a bucket multiple times as a baby!

Nonetheless, it’s a survival skill, adjusting to the living conditions that our Ugandan counterparts would be doing as well. One of our teachers, Kabayo, finds it more comforting to bathe in a bucket than using a shower. I thought it was pretty neat at least. I’m not sure if I would feel the same way, but overall, it was a nice little class.

That’s all cool Josh, but HAVE YOU NOT HEARD OF THE EBOLA CASE.

Yes. Don’t worry we’re safe.

The case, unfortunately has only grown slightly in significance since the family that traveled across the border from Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo or DRC) had lost their son. It is definitely a scary thing to think that the country that you’re occupying has been breached with Ebola. But rest assured, the Ugandan government has that taken care of.

Since last year, 2018, the government made an initiative to vaccinate against Ebola to ensure the safety of their people. The case mentioned above was quickly isolated in Kasese, which is in Western Uganda. Currently, we’re placed in Central Uganda, and in the future we would be moving to site locations that will be only going North, East, or NE.

We’re all doing okay, and the Peace Corps is here working alongside our Ugandan counterparts to make sure our safety is kept at a top priority. Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m safe 🙂

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