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

Monday, February 22, 2010


Ugandan children are super dramatic when they run. They run fast and with their whole bodies but then they get to the end and immediately collapse. Last week, I came home and a teacher ran up to me asking me to do “first-aid” on a girl who had fainted after running. They seem to think I can do anything:) I made her drink sugar and water. It really was all because she collapsed right away instead of letting her body recover naturally from running.

After I had "saved" this girl, the teachers asked me to talk to all the students the following morning at the whole school morning assembly.
The next morning I instructed the student on how to cool down after running – walking and stretching, etc. I gave the talk and afterward, the teacher on duty called the girl who fainted up in front of all the students and proceeded to cane her. She was caned for not taking care of herself and allowing herself to faint! I was horrified and had no idea what to do! It was so horrible. How do you call out a teacher in front of all the students? Yet, how do I let a child be beat? Especially for no real reason! I stood by helplessly with tears in my eyes and my face showing my disdain. The beating in this country breaks my heart every time.

I spoke with the teacher the next day and he didn't understand why I was upset. He claimed to not have hurt her, only showed her she needs to be disciplined with herself and take care of her body. I reminded him that caning is illegal in Uganda and that I could call the Ministry of Education and have his license revoked and job taken away. Of course, we both know that it's illegal and that the Ministry won't really do anything about it so the threat was empty. He told me he wouldn't use the stick on her next time. He'd talk to her about her behavior instead. Again, we both know it's only talk.


  1. oh my goodness!!! amanda, i can't imagine how terrible that was to watch. aahhh, what to do, what to do!?

  2. sorry love. All we can do is our best. We cant change and fix everything. I hope you realize it wasn't your fault and aren't blaming yourself. When are we gonna paka?! I miss you! maybe tomorrow night? xoxo

  3. oh amanda! that is heartbreaking. and to feel helpless is even worse. i pray for strength, wisdom, and words. i love and miss you.