Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Broken Mirrors

So talk about a bit of bad luck. One of the girls from the program who lives with me broke a mirror Saturday, so we all joked about having bad luck...which seemed to come true. On Saturday, Caitlin and I received an e-mail saying that in order to change our flight, Brittish airways was going to charge us an additional 175 for the difference in airfare, aside from the 150 just to change the ticket and 50 for the study abroad travel agency...which we really had to think long and hard how we could save money and stay longer...

Also, we are going to move out of the place we are staying. The landlords brother is drunk all of the time, which worries us a little. And we found out from some local friends who said that they ripped us off when we told them how much we paid...

Aside from that, my research has been frusterating. My advisor wont meet with me-I gave her my paper to start proof reading and giving me suggestions and she hasn't gotten back to me in almost a week. Then this morning I was really sick-on the toilet for 3 hours-then had to drag myself out of bed for an interview, where I walked 45 minutes to get to, for her to tell me she was too busy to meet with me. SO then we went to the resource center where we do out typing for free, and the power is off, and they kick us out..

With the paper due next Friday I'm freaking out a little!!

On the upside, the women I have been working with are so wonderful and nice. They showed me how to do tie & dye and let me dye some fabric. ANother one of the ladies showed me how she did her embroidery. I'm enjoying that part-aside fromt he interviews, its nice to talk with the women. They are all employed by this organization that provides income generating activities to these women.

I'm just really excited for the paper to be turned in...and for the soccer project. A girl I went to high school with is coming to Gulu to help build a soccer team and a soccer field with her boyfriend. What a small world! SO, we are going to meet up and maybe work together. Their blog is

SO, as of now, I think we are getting a flight that leaves the 29th of June from Uganda...if all of the airfare stuff works out.

Peace and Love,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


So we've been back in Gulu for about a week and a half now. The time is stressful trying to get all of the research done for my independent study. We have 2 weeks left until our 40 page paper is due. I'm working on a paper on the relationship between gender and poverty in a post-conflict society. I've found a lot of useful information, and I am also planning on working with an organization that focuses on income-generating activies available for women. Hopefully I can get it all done in the next two weeks.

Other than research, nothing much else is new. The power in all of Gulu keeps going out for a couple days at a time, so it's been difficult to get on computers.

I'm really enjoying my time here, and I'm excited to be here after the research part of over and just enjoy having some free days.

Peace and Love,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Settled in Gulu

Finally all settled. Our apartment/compund is nice. Very basic, just a bare room with a bed. I am going to have to buy a desk or ask them to put in some nails to hang my clothes. The water hasn't been working so it's been bucket showers for the past few days. I've started my research, but am thinking that it will be a little stressful with only 3 weeks left. Hopefully it will all work out! I forgot how much I missed Gulu and how friendly everyone is here! I'm excited to be here for another 2 1/2 months.

The rainy season will be interesting...we got caught in a HUGE downpour yesterday and had to seek shelter with some security guards. Man, when it rains, it pours! And will probably be like this every day for the next month, but it has made Gulu nice and green. Instead of so dusty. But, sionce most of the streets are dirt roads, they flood and turn into pure mud!

Just time for a short update!

Peace and Love,

Monday, April 13, 2009

Back in Uganda

I am back in Gulu after an 11 hours bus ride from Kigali to Kampala, and another 6 hour bus ride from Kampala to Gulu.

Rwanda Wrap-UP-Last Monday-Wednesday, we took a trip to Western Rwanda to Gisenyi. Another long 8 hour drive, because the bus driver took us to the wrong town and then took "short-cut" on the worst rode, that took longer than if we had just returned to Kigali and then started over. Tuesday was the start of memorial week in Rwanda, which made things even more intense. We went to a memorial site on Tuesday, with hundreds of other Rwandans. In a society that came off as so closed off, it was hard to see everyone so emotional. The place was really beautiful though-we were on a huge lake with volcanoes all around. The last few nights back with the homestay was nice. It was really hard to say goodbye because I'm not sure if I will actually ever see them again, like I knew I would with my Gulu host family. I was really lucky to have ended up with them, they were some of the most genuinely nice people I have ever met.

We left Kigali Friday, and got into Gulu last night. We just lucked out and found a place with three bed-rooms, and we all have our own shower/toilet room. And by that I mean, a small room with a shower head over the toilet to shower. I am just thankful that it is a flushing toilet with running water. It also has a bed which is good-so we dont have to buy one. We are going today to negociate a price, but its in town and from what the landlord said last night, will be a reasonable price. It's so nice to be back in Gulu, and I'm really excited to go visit my homestay family.

The next few weeks are going to be hectic. We have 3 1/2 weeks to do our research and write a 40page paper...

Caitlin and I are also really excited to get started on our soccer project and go meet with the girls at Gulu highschool. She has a family friend sending soccer balls to us, so that is a good start!

Peace and Love,

Saturday, April 4, 2009

First-Thanks everyone who left me wonderful, supportive comments on my last entry. I am feeling better, but am still feeling really burnt out. Through it all, I am stilll learning so much and my perspectives and views on what I thought I once knew have been completlely questioned and changed.

It is unbelievable what we are taught and what we take for the truth without pausing to question any of it. Everything we learn are all biased accounts of some form of the truth, and how many people really stop to think about why we are being taught these things. Afterall, history is written by those in power, never by those who have suffered. We met with a man who works in government here in Rwanda, who wrote a book called, Hotel Rwanda or the Tutsi Genocide as Portayed by Hollywood. It basically discredits everything that was shown in the film, and especially criticizes and discredits Paul Rusesabagina. It just blows my mind how easily the story of someone can be told, and pushed as truth. How he could be seen in the eyes of so many as this amazingly couragous heroic man, and it turns out that he fully took advantage of the situation and portrayed himself as someone who in reailty, was far from a hero. Everyone I have spoken with in Rwanda is so angry and frusterated at how he basically exploited those who suffered and reaped the benifits, when there are so many real life people who have done amazing things and saved many lives, but who go unnoticed and continue to simply live their lives...

Just something to think about-constantly question everything you are shown and think about who is feeding you this version of "truth."

Friday was our last day of official lectures. We are taking a three day trip to the Western part of Rwanda. I'm still feeling aprehensive about the upcoming week though-because starting Tuesday, it is mourning week-and really it is the whole month of April. I feel like it really isn't my place to be here during this time...

I'm looking forward to Friday and going back to Uganda...specifically Gulu to really be on my own.

Peace and Love,