Ok, so I have gotten several requests to update and I've been slacking. Sorry! It's starting to hit me that I have exactly one week left here! Sometimes it's hard to express what goes on here in a blog post, because every story requires so much background information about East African culture. One of the concerns I have is that when I get home, everyone will ask me about my experience and will be excited to hear about it, but I will just want to shut down and not talk about it. I am really going to try to be good about sharing stories and pictures, and I'll also try to share what's been going on the last few weeks:
- It wasn't nearly as hard to be away from home for Thanksgiving as I thought it would be. The directors of our program did an American Thanksgiving celebration to make us feel more at home. The day before Thanksgiving we all got to sign up for kitchens across campus to make food, and many of the American staff cooked for us as well. In addition to the 32 USP students, there were about 50 other American expats at our Thanksgiving. It was so fun to eat a "traditional Thanksgiving meal" sitting on a hill overlooking Mukono Town and sitting directly underneath banana and acacia trees!
- Thanksgiving weekend I went with a group of friends on a SAFARI! It was definitely one of the coolest experiences of my life! We spent two days riding on the roof of a range rover through Murchison Falls National Park and got to see gazelles, impalas, African buffalos, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, and giraffes.
- I had my last day with my kids at Off-Tu last week. They danced for me as a going away performance, we took tons of pictures, and I read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (I read to the kids at the children's center each time I went, and that was their favorite book of the semester) to them several times. It was so sad leaving my kids, knowing that I will never see them again.
- Just finished my finals today; Ugandan finals are so intense! We are given 3 hours, and a sheet of 6-8 questions covering all the material of the entire semester. We are expected to answer 4 of the questions with at least 4 pages of writing per question. The test is administered by a proctor the Ugandans call an "invigilator." You are aloud to bring in your registration card and a pen. Nothing else. It's so intense and intimidating. Like a bluebook essay exam in steroids.
- We leave campus on Sunday to stay in Entebbe for a few days. There we'll debrief and just relax for a few days before taking off bright and early Wednesday morning