Tuesday, April 08, 2008

First day

Hello family, I am alive and well!  I arrived here in Uganda yesterday morning (in the middle of the night your time) and have been going ever since.  whoa, where do i begin trying to describe where i am living right now and seeing.  I was picked up by Bruhan the director of the TASAAGA from the airport right on time with no problems (that felt good to have someone waiting for me).  It was kind of frantic and i just said a quick goodbye to ryan...that was strange. 
I am staying right now in a suburb of kampala (the capital city) called kawepe.  it is rural (not the bush or anything), but a believe a typical "small town" here that is very poor.  The people have been wonderful to me and I know I will enjoy them.  While english is their national language everyone speaks Lugandan to each other, but most everyone can also speak english.  There are also two other volunteers here working in a youth center that is for kids that are not in school (for many different reasons but mostly because cannot pay school fees) and trying to give them a community and different activities to work with.  It is really cool and I believe I will be doing some work with them.  Just to give you an idea, they have sport programs where the kids train everyday and play against other teams in the area.  They also have drama and dance groups and teach skills that will hopefully allow them to be able to make a profession one day.  It is important for these kids to be involved because non of them can get a job without an education and if not busy will start to become destructive.  It is good community, yet seems a little chaotic as it is run by ugandans.  The volunteers that are here are great.  The are two girls one from california and the other from switzerland and a third guy from UK who is building a school in another village right now.  I thought tasaage had more western volunteers but when bruhan was telling me how many volunteers they had he was including ugandan volunteers.  It is nice to have the two girls here to help orientate myself.  I have no idea really what i will exactly be doing yet, but think i will have an idea before the "orientation week" is over. 
So, it is hard being here.  Where i am living is pretty much a concrete room alone with only a bed (with my mosquito net of course).  My toilet (hole in the ground) is like an out house and my "shower" (place with a drain) is outside as well.  I have to fetch my water from the rain water that is filtered and literally you use a bucket to clean yourself....it is fine but is going to take getting used to definitely.  The adjustment is a struggle, but I am feeling confident that I will be used to this in a couple of weeks.  worst part of the accommodations honesty is that there was a roach in my bed last night and in the bathroom.  crazy.  I know the first couple of days will be the hardest and am keeping that attitude to trudge through right now.
I am in kampala using the Internet and it isn't expensive to take a taxi into the city (taxis are like small buses here).  I think i am going to be seeing ryan soon, but he is doing well.  It is also going to be a hard but good adjustment for him.  oh, i have a cell phone!  ryan and i have already talked.  So it doesn't cost anything for me to receive calls and I hear that skype has great rates.  
I suppose that is it for now, but know that I am thinking of you all.  Love you and miss you!!

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