Friday, September 25, 2015

Durame Leadership Camp

After arriving back in Ethiopia from Uganda, we jumped right in to planning, organizing, and running our big summer project: Durame Leadership Camp. 

We spent two weeks teaching students about leadership, life skills, and volunteering, all in English. We taught a range of topics from goal setting to managing stress to how to start a community service project. In the beginning the students didn't know what to expect or why they should learn about leadership, but it didn't take them long to realize that these solid life skills would help them in nearly every aspect of their lives. They also really enjoyed crafting and practicing English.

We wanted camp to be informative and to give our students skills that would help them in school, within their families/communities, and in life, but we also wanted them to have fun! So we did arts and crafts projects, played games, and had a glider tournament.

making friendship bracelets
glider tournament
fun with gliders
making a leadership quote poster to take home
leadership quotes
Overall, camp was a great success! It was fun to work with some of our best students and see how much they grew and gained confidence in just two weeks. We had a really great group of kids and I'm so proud of the work we accomplished together.

Total Bliss in Kisoro, Southwest Uganga

Peace Corps life can be rough. Even when vacationing and hanging out with my best friend, I felt torn about life and what to do with mine. Should I stay in the Peace Corps? Should I go to graduate school? Is it worth it to stay in Ethiopia if I'm unhappy? What about my community? My students? My commitment to stay in here for 27 months? What about my peace of mind?

There are a lot of options, but what do you do when nothing seems right? I've been struggling with these questions and decisions for the greater part of the summer. My mind is always buzzing with questions that have no clear or easy answers, but then Amanda led us on a short hike in Kisoro to watch the sunset and everything flew away.

For a short, golden-light filled time, everything was bliss. It was the most beautiful spot we visited in Uganda and it's moments like these that give me strength. I don't have all the answers to life, in fact right now I feel like I don't have any, but it's OK. It's OK to be struggling and confused. It's OK to try your best and fail every single day. It's OK. No matter what happens, everything is going to be OK.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Still Here...

Things have been busy this summer! I still have some stuff from Uganda to share with you, a post about our 2-week Durame Leadership Camp, and a couple of posts about traveling within Ethiopia. But that will have to wait a little bit because for the next week and a half, we’ll be Addis for our Mid-Service Conference (MSC). Yay!

MSC is a chance for our group and staff to all get together, talk about the previous year, and make plans for next year. It’s fun to get together with everyone and enjoy Addis while we eat all the foreign food we possibly can. We also go to the dentist for a cleaning/check-up and get a check-up from the Peace Corps doctors, as well. I just had my check-ups today and I’m healthy. Yay, again!

Not a lot to say here, I just realized I hadn’t posted in a while and thought I should check in with all my lovely readers. I hope you all had a great summer and you are looking forward to the cooler days of fall ahead! 

Also, we just celebrated Ethiopian New Year, so I wish you all a very Happy New Year! It's now 2008 in Ethiopia!!