A Reflection of My Life after living in Uganda as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Yet another Graduation

My dear friend Jen graduated with her BA in Education this week. Jen teaches at the primary school I live at. In Uganda you have two options in becoming a teacher. You can go to a teacher's college and get a certificate in 2 years or you can attend University and graduate in 4 years. Having a University degree means you are able to move up the education ladder easier. It also usually means you want to be a teacher. Those who attend teacher college's usually do so because they have no other option. Jen has been teaching for 11 years here and is a good teacher. She cares about her students and her job. With her degree she will receive a pay increase and someday may apply for a higher profession within education.

Jen has talked about her graduation party for months now and I was excited to celebrate with her. I agreed to go to the party with fellow teacher's. I asked Jen where it was and she just told me to go with the other teacher's. So, I followed along. We got to Kampala and marched around the taxi park trying to find the right taxi. Our only problem being no one knew which one to take. Annett decided to call Jen herself and find out where we should go. We were already over an hour late and calling Jen meant calling her in the midst of speeches and happenings at the party. Of course, she did not answer. Topher (a teacher) decided he thought he knew which taxi to take so we got into an empty taxi and waited for it to fill. The driver came over to move the taxi further up in line to leave and the teacher's all began asking him questions about locations. They decided we were in the right taxi and we left after some time. Along the way the driver decided he didn't want to go past the place we needed to get off at; he was going to take an alternative route to his destination not passing our stop. With rapid Luganda and many exclamations, the other passengers stuck up for us and convinced the driver to go our way. We get out of the taxi and Annett recognized the sites and lead us to the party.

It was a typical and and good Ugandan graduation party. Many speeches, introducing of the white guest (me), cake (Grace's favorite part), presents, and dinner. It was fun to attend with my neighbors. My favorite part of these graduation parties are when you present your gift to the graduate. You must dance up to the graduate and hand over your present. Everyone claps and of course laughs at the white girl dancing.

As always, my life is an adventure. I will continue to laugh and live life with my dear friends here in Uganda with all our idiosyncrasies.

Teachers and neighbors at St. Thereza Gayaza Girls Primary School: Josephine, Grace, Annett, Me, James, Topher, and Rebecca.

1 comment:

  1. do you have a pic of you dancing to present the gift? id like to see it.