It has Been an Entire Year!

I have officially lived away from how for the longest time ever. That’s right I have officially lived in Uganda for an entire year.  It’s really hard to believe that it’s been that long, especially since living in Uganda has been my dream for the past five years and it is finally my reality, and has been my reality for the past year. I still have about fifteen months left of this crazy adventure and I am the most excited to see what is to come. I still have so much country to see, people to meet, and adventures to have. Here I am going to recount some of my favorite adventures, lessons learned, and adventures I still hope to have.
                First I want to apologize for not blogging more. I knew I was going to drop off and not blog as much as I had originally hoped. I just honestly had hoped that I wouldn’t but let’s face it life gets busy and lesson plans happen and blogging is forgotten about. However, I am going to set a goal for year one to start blogging more. It will probably be twice a month but we will see if I can do more.
                I have been talking to other Peace Corps volunteers and they have all said that the year mark has been their sweet spot where they finally get comfortable in their teaching, with their neighbors, fellow teachers, and just Peace Corps life as a whole. I didn’t realize that I have finally hit my sweet spot also. I am have fully started teaching and feeling completely comfortable with my students. They finally pick my accent and I have seen so much growth and improvement in their phonics and reading comprehension. I have also finally started my Theatre Club which was my biggest goal for Peace Corps and hopefully our play will happen at the end of term three. This sweet spot makes me so excited for term one because I will be able to begin right away with all my classes. I have also finally hit my sweet spot with my neighbors who happen to also be my teachers at my school. I am planning dinners so I can continue to get to know them more and form even stronger friendships. It’s been slower for me getting to know the people around me because I have been a bit shy but I am finally more confident and able to open up.
                Now, let’s recap some of my adventures. First, we went on a safari, which was the most amazing experience. We were so close to so many beautiful animals. Then we went rafting on the Nile, which was exhilarating, scary, and so much fun. That same weekend we went bungee jumping, which was the most terrifying thing I have ever done. Then we got to hang out on a beautiful island. The island was simple and fun. Not much to do but still relaxing. We also got to experience a music festival. That was raining, but fun. I also got to experience cold in Uganda by heading over to the Southwest to Lake Bunyonyi, which was so beautiful. I stayed in a Geodome that had a balcony that over looked the lake. I am incredibly thankful that I have been able to experience this beautiful country more. I have experienced other adventures and fun hang outs but these have been my favorite. I can’t wait to see more of this country.
                Here are some lessons that I have learned thus far in my service. First I am much stronger than I think. I have endured my fair share of challenges and I have gotten through each one of them. I didn’t handle them on my own each time but I still got through them. I also learned that I can be independent. I have lived on my own for the past year for the very first time ever and I have been doing so well and I actually kind of enjoy it. I have also learned that I can actually be a pretty good teacher. I know I have been teaching for a while but this is the first time that it is not extracurricular teaching. I have also discovered that I am beautiful and I truly love myself. I cannot get over all the growth and experience I have been through this past year and I cannot wait to see what the next year holds.
                The adventures yet to come, first I am going to Rwanda. My mom is coming to visit me and we should go chimp trekking and hopefully to the Crater Lakes. My dad is hopefully visiting where we will go to Kidepo, a safari and Chobe which has a beautiful outlook of the Nile and an infinity pool. I also want to climb Sipi and Mt. Sabinyo. I also want to travel to the other districts that I haven’t been to yet. I am itching in anticipation to experience the next set of adventures.
                This year really has been a beautiful year and I cannot believe that this is my life. Peace Corps is difficult at times but I honestly would trade any of it for a second. It makes the hard days worth while. Not to mention Peace Corps is going to give me incredible opportunities after service. I will be able to get my credential and teach in California and then hopefully in other countries as well. The world is my oyster and this adventure is just the beginning.

                Here’s to hoping I can blog more often in the next coming year. We will see what happens. 


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