I have been living in Uganda for several months now and decided, with my lack of internet access, that blogging may be the easiest way to express my experiences to a large community.
Just so you all know, my current address is:
P.O. Box 5835
I love letters/packages and will write back if you write to me. The mail system is developing so mail may take longer than expected. This is not to discourage you from writing but to let you know my responses may seem sporatic.
Life in Uganda is good. I have been staying busy painting my little house and decorating. Due to a lack of options at my village paint shop, I painted my kitchen “Bermuda,” living room “Saffron,” and bedroom “ripple green.” Picture really bright African blue, yellow, and green colors. They are fun and only in Africa will I have them. I am still living in the convent with the nuns because my house has not been fixed up enough for Peace Corps safety standards. I still need bars on my windows, a door that reaches the floor, and a roof that doesn’t leak in when it rains. So, while I wait for those to be fixed, I do what I can there.
A few days ago my sister, Ashley and I walked into town to the local wood shop and I bought four boards. I am making bookshelves out of them. I don't have a lot of money and so didn't want to pay anyone to carry them when I am capable of carrying it myself. So, Ash and I hoisted these four boards on our shoulders and took off down my village streets. EVERYONE commented along our walk and many wanted to take them for us. Again, I didn't want to pay anyone so we continued on. They ended up being really heavy but I was happy to prove to my village that I am a tough girl who can work hard. Ugandan's seem to believe American's are incapable of doing any work and that we don't know how because we have machines that do everything for us. I need to break that stereotype now if I am going to get any work done here. So anyways, that night at dinner one of my nuns, Sister Nabusumba, came straight over to me and said, "Amanda, I heard you were carrying timber through the village. You cannot do that. Why didn't you tell us and we would have gotten someone to carry it for you?" I just laughed. Yes, the whole village was talking about us all day!
School starts next week and it will be different to have all the students' back and around all the time. Uganda has been on break for the last few weeks. So far, I have been working on getting to know people in my community. More and more people know my name now and I love walking down the street and being greeted by Amanda and not Mzungu. I make it a point to not respond to Mzungu and only to Amanda, Nalubega (my Lugandan name), Madame, or Sister. They are slowly catching on.
Much love to all my readers.