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

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Camp GLOW is Over

Well, Camp GLOW is officially over. Camp went really well and the campers left with big smiles on their faces. I received several parting hugs and declarations they would see me next year.

Once again, I'm very proud of the wonderful staff we had whose efforts and contributions daily made camp so successful. Camp GLOW wouldn't have worked with out these great people.

Of course the girls are holding up the boys!
Thomas (laying),
Me, Celeste, Lauren, Cassandra
Hunter, Tony, Caleb

Counselors signing Camp GLOW
We had a closing ceremony complete with guests, many speeches, songs and girl-empowerment self-defense demonstration. Everyone got certificates and pictures. Lauren, Celeste and I baked under the beaming sun as the masters of ceremonies. I think I have become a little Ugandan in that I needed this ceremony for it to feel finished. It was a good ending.

Passing out certificates and pictures

Awarding Mary, our Program Manager from Peace Corps
for all her help with Camp GLOW
I feel very happy and relieved to be done with Camp GLOW. It was a wonderful project to work on and I'm very proud of the outcome. What a great way to end my 2 years of Peace Corps service! It's truly a compilation of much of what I've worked for while in Uganda.

Me with Sister Valentine
She was in charge of all food and grounds. Camp would NOT have worked without her!

On the way home, I had a taxi pick all the girls going home along Gayaza road. It picked us up from camp on Saturday morning at 7 and we were home by 8:15! It was so much less stressful than battling the taxi park again. I paid for 5 empty seats but it was worth every extra shilling!

When I got home I hesitantly placed my things on my dirty floors and looked around. Grace, Joseph and Maria came running across the campus with joyful exclamations of "Kodi" at my door. After many hugs and jumps around my house they wanted to feel my tee-shirt and sat looking at pictures from camp pointing out the PCV's they know and looking for the girls they go to school with. Grace kept telling Joseph that when she is in P6 she'll get to go to Camp GLOW but he won't because he's a boy. I finally told them to go outside and play so I could unpack and start cleaning my house. I sat down on my couch, just for a second, and fell asleep! I was out cold for the next 2 hours! I woke-up when I heard my neighbor Annet call my name and Grace poke her head in my door. I kept my eyes closed and pretended to still be sleeping. I heard Grace tell Annet, "She's resting. I think Camp GLOW made her tired." Ha ha!

I have the best friends, neighbors and community in Uganda! As I was walking to Gayaza to get yogurt I ran into my friend Daniel who welcomed me home and invited me to go walking that evening. Then at the dairy, Rose gave me yogurt for free to welcome me back. And, my friend Jen brought fish over to my house for lunch because she knew I wouldn't have any food or want to cook. I always feel so loved when I come back from being away. I love that feeling of community and belonging.

Camp GLOW is over but now there are 150 girls all around Uganda with more knowledge and hopefully initiative and drive to make changes to their own lives and in those they are surrounded by. I'm excited to hear the stories from PCV's as times goes on as to what their girls are doing at their schools, in their communities and in their homes. May GLOW go on forever!

Goodbye Camp GLOW!

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