How to make a friend in Uganda. business consultant, NGO worker, former Peace Corps volunteer, activist: searching for sustainable solutions to eradicate extreme poverty

August 15, 2010

WEEK ONE

Filed under: Peace Corps,Uganda — Jeff @ 3:00 am

Friday 13 August 2010

Africa is a beautiful and dynamic place. My Peace Corps experience is already more than i could have dreamed. We eat, study, and sleep together. Peace and friendship abounds within the group. I hope it continues and that we will be able to share the same love with the Ugandan people.

Today I met with staff from the economic development team. Our director sat in on the meeting, making it a four-person panel. It was wonderful to chat about the economic opportunities within the country and how I might be able to support the entrepreneurial spirit of the people in my future site community. Yet, I’ve decided that I only need to make one Ugandan friend to be successful in my mission.

We are still abiding at a conference center outside Kampala. Every day is a luxury. Hot showers in the morning before a prepared breakfast of traditional and British foods. Service continues to morning tea at 10:30, lunch at 12:30, afternoon tea at 3:30, and dinner at 7:30. I think I will miss this place. However, I yearn for more freedom and my first sunrise in the bush.

Saturday 14 August 2010

Living with 45 new people does have its ups and downs. I had my first argument with another trainee during lunch today. We were talking about substance abuse and homelessness. Our experiences with the issues could not have been more different. I;m an activist. It took a year of cultivating relationships with the people who live on the streets in Central Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts to learn that drunks living on the street should be offered, friendship, compassion, and, yes, sometimes money. On the other hand, my new friend came to the table with different, personal experiences that influenced his perspective. Neither was inherently more valid and neither was mutually exclusive. While we did not come to a mutual understanding, I definitely left with a new appreciation for a different perspective. I appreciate that I was pushed in my thinking. I’m sure that will happen many more times and in many new ways before I leave Uganda.

Sunday 15 August 2010

Made my first apology this morning. I can be such an unintentional ass.

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