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Entries in Teresa Hoffman (1)

Saturday
Mar012003

Teresa is Going to Uganda

Hi All:

As many of you know I joined the Peace Corps and am leaving to Uganda this Saturday March 1, 2003!

The capital of Uganda is Kampala and i know we will NOT be there. We are instructed to stay out of Kampala unless its absolutely necessary due to rebels and unwanted danger.

I have Training for 3 months. During that time I live with a host family. I learn the language (not sure which one yet), cross-cultural communication, area studies, development issues, health & personal safety, and technical skills pertinent to my assignment. It is community based training that is supposed to provide an environment that will be similar to my actual volunteer site.

After I pass training, I am assigned to a volunteer site. My assignment is Primary teacher trainer/Math teacher (Algebra). I know that I get a bike to ride and a mosquito net. I really hope I don't get malaria.

 It is important for you all to know that if my situation becomes unsafe due to political unrest and my safety is in jeopardy the Peace Corps will evacuate us from Uganda. I know that evacuation is a last resort and only if there is indeed a real danger. Since we will be stationed in rural areas, i imagine we will be fairly safe as long as we follow the safety guidelines they give us. As I am not concerned with my safety, you shouldn't worry either. Remember, that accidents happen here in America every day too, and there's nothing you can do but use precaution.

So know that you have those details, you may be interested in what life is going to be like for me. I imagine it to be similar to Honduras, but I, again, have no idea. [Teresa visited family in Honduras over one of our academic breaks at Cal Poly]

What do I eat: I will buy my food in an outdoor market or small shop and will cook for myself. I hear they have a variety of fruits, vegetables, starches, and meat. vague huh? I will have traning on proper sanitation and food preparation. Here is what I picked up from my book on Uganda regarding local food:

posho - maize ground and boiled to form a stiff

dough, matoke - boiled plantains (bananas), chapatti -

a flat bread (Indian), pilau - rice and meat together with a vegetable curry.

Where do I live after training: After training, i move to my volunteer site and I am guaranteed to have my own bedroom and sitting room. Males are not allowed in my bedroom - Uganda is very conservative, so friends sit and hang out in the ... sitting room! fantastic. This may be in my own little hut/house/apt style dwelling or within someone elses house or at the school.. who knows. basically the community puts me up in a room and its as good as they provide for me. I am given an allowance when I arrive to buy pots and pans and blankets. and like I said, the Peace Corps provides a mosquito net. Yes!

I'll take care of myself. You all take care of yourselves.

Please write me.

Love,

Teresa