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

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


There is a new group of PC trainees. I was them a year ago! They are currently on their two week job immersion staying and working with current PCV’s. This past weekend 3 of them came with their PCV host to my site to do some work and be social together.

I set the 2 boys, Devon and Lukas, up with my P7 boys under the title, “Being a Man,” where they covered everything from male anatomy to sex to HIV/AIDS. They had an anonomous questions box where boys could ask any question and it would be answered. Some questions included:
“How does the body change to become a man?”
“What happens if a boy of 10 years plays sex with a women?”
“What happens when you get sex without a condom?”
“If I have AIDS and want to have a child how can I do?”

Lukas and Devon did a fantastic job of providing accurate and truthful knowledge and stories. P7 boys had a great time with these two and came away with concrete information and advice (delay sex, a man is much more than a penis and authoritative voice, and you can be successful and productive even when HIV positive).

We girls took on the P7 girls and covered female anatomy, menstruation and making of reusable menstrual pads. Girls will miss a week of class every month because of their periods. This leaves the boys with an advantage in academics as is evident in end of year exam scores and also the ratio of boy to girl in higher education. We teach girls a basic understanding of their own bodies and the importance of taking care of themselves. By allowing each girl to make and have her own reusable menstrual pad, girls are equipped to take care of themselves each month and not miss class. The girls had a great time learning and sewing together.

While we worked hard with P7, we also took time to have fun as PCV’s and trainees. We went to the pool, cooked good American food, played Cranium, had a dance party and enjoyed some fine wine from South Africa. By the end of our weekend we’d accumulated several bottles of wine. We washed them out on Sunday and I left them outside my back stoop to dry. While I am not ashamed of our drinking and we were not out of control or showing any inappropriate behavior, I was caught off guard when my neighbor asked me, “Amanda, do you booze?” Well, technically yes, but the word booze makes it sound so horrible and bad! I sheepishly said yes and received a, “Even me. I like to booze sometimes,” from my dear neighbor.

The words we associate with different emotional meaning are always throwing me off here. Just for the record, I like to booze!


  1. Hmm, I remember you receiving Cranium for your birthday several years ago. The plastic wrapping is still on it. I'm glad you've finally got a chance to play it.

  2. Oh Uganda... That was a great weekend. Thanks for hosting us amiga. And even me, i like boozing. Oh man, just typing that out sounds awful!

  3. Yeah, I'm thinking a rematch is in order. Especially since there's this bottle of South African shiraz sitting on my shelf...