Oli Otya Mukwano!

I bet you didn't expect to get another post so soon! Neither did I!!!! Today we were on a "field trip" for training and visited a current PCV at her school. It was so inspiring to see the great work she was doing. I hope to be half as successful as she is. We are on our way back to our training sight and our trainers suprised us with a trip to the internet cafe!!!!!!!! I only have a short time, so I am afraid this post will be rather short, but I wanted to drop a line to say hello and that, once again, LOVE all of the comments!!!! (sorry for the over use of exlimation marks, but i am just excited, also, I am sure there are about 1,000 typos, but with such slow internet, there is no time for edditing) Speaking of being excited, I got to use an actual toilet today, you know the kind where you can sit down and have a lovely time. It was GREAT! It is funny, the things I appretiate now. So many people are asking what the food is like here in Uganda. Bland. That pretty much sums it up. Their main dish is Matoke, which the Ugandans love, they eat it at every meal. To make matoke, you take bananas, mash them up and cook them inside banana leaves until it is the consitancy of mashed potatoes. I do not think it is appetizing, but everyone here is crazy about the stuff. I suppose it could be worse. Other food here would make Dr. Atkins roll over in his grave. Most meals consit of carbs: rice, potatoes, beans, cabbage, and....Matoke. Life is good overall, I think I am slowley getting used to this foreign culture. Please write with news of life in the USA. I have gotten 7 letters so far (much thanks to mom, dad, grandma, missy and dan g!!!) and they really make my day/week/life so much better. I've got to run now, have a super fantastic day. Enjoy your toilets!!!

Love you all!


A Day in the Life of a PCT

Jambo Mikwano! (Hello Friends)

So I am sure you are all surprised to see another entry from me, I am surprised to be sitting at a computer!!! Right now another PCT, Hannah and myself are in Mityana visiting 2 current PCVs who are education volunteers. Everyone in our group left yesterday to do 3 day visit with current PCVs across Uganda to give us a hint at what our life will be like once we get to our sight. Right now our PCVs are giving a lecture to some teachers and they pointed us in the direction of an internet “café” the café is more like a closet with 5 or 6 slow computers cramed in. But it is internet, which is fantastic!!!! Today has been a fantastic day! We even found a resteraunt that sells cold drinks!

Some people have been asking, Sarah, what do you do during the day in the big U (Uganda)? So I thought I would let you see a day in the life of Sarah Cowan, PST

4:00 am wake up from the Rooster – Yes, I thought these things only crowed during day break, but they start crowing around 4 and don’t stop until, well, forever!
6:00 am I finally get out of bed from under my mosquito net and take a bucket bath-always cold water, which can actually be refreshing. I also usually run to the pit latrine because we are not allowed to go outside at night and by this point my bladder is at about breaking point. We have buckets in our room for middle-of-the-night emergencies, but I would rather not have to use that. Now, if you are not familiar with a pit latrine, it is simply a hole in the groud. ‘nuff said J
7:00 breakfast with my host mom and her granddaughter, Joy, who is possibly the cutest kid you have ever met!
7:20 head out for my walk to the training center.
7:21 hear “muzungu, muzungu, how are you?” being shauted at me along the entire walk. I can’t go anywhere around here with out being stalked by the little kids, but they are cute.
7:35-a great time for you to call me! (we are 8 hours ahead here, so that is 11:35 your time)
8:00am training starts. Training is INTENSE! We spend all day learning-or should I say trying to learn the language. We also have some sessions on HIV/AIDS education in Uganda. We also do some field work, and a couple of days ago, I was privileged to go to to go to observe in a school for a couple of hours. The typical Ugandan school starts at 7am and gets out at 5pm!!! However stressful this time is, I do enjoy some parts of training because I am making some wonderful friends here.
5:00pm Exausted, I head back to my home stay
5:30pm Arrive at home and immediately start helping Skovia (our house girl) cook supper. This is often humorous because she doesn’t speak any English, and I speak very little Luganda, but we have gotten very good at non verbal communication. Joy (my 3 year old host sister) follows me everywhere and is fascinated with my hair. It is also funy to interact with her, because we are both trying to learn the language.
7:00ishpm Eat supper with my host family. It is very strange to try and adjust to this culture, although I am very grateful to be staying with a Ugandan family. It is introducing me to a lot of customs I don’t think I would have known if otherwise
8:00pm head into the safety of my mosquito net! It has really become my safe haven. A place for me to escape from all evils of the world. I try to study Luganda by lantern and then read some from the Bible.
****This would be a perfect time to call me!!!***** (8:00pm my time is noon, your time) I have also gotten into journaling, a lot. It helps to process all of this. It is so strange and exciting being here, so many things are new. It is really like being an infant and learning everything over again. Including, how to use the bathroom! haha

Once again, thank you for all of your comments, I can't tell you enough how much they mean to me. I love you all SOOOOO much!

Love you!
Sarah C.


I'm Alive!


So we finally are able to connect to the internet today, and let me tell you, all of your comments just make my life so much better! About the phone cards, I have heard that you can go to a Walmart/Target type store or if you can, you can go to an international food market you can buy a card, an MCI or STI are the best kind, and make sure that on the back Africa or Uganda is listed. I would LOVE a phone call. Days have been good, but nights are hard. I can't talk for long, there are others waiting to get on the computer. We are on our way to visit a current PCV for a long weekend. Uganda is beautiful, to hard to describe here. Many stories to come.

I miss you guys sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!

Love to you all!!!!!


PST star treatment
We are staying in Forrest Cottages in Kampala, U right now for the next 2 days and the PC is treating us like royalty. I feel like they are doing this to fatten us up before they throw us out to the hounds J just kidding! Everything is still supper. I got vaccinated for MMH and Typhoid today that makes the count up to 3. Side effects are still minimal, praise the Lord! Today we had our first language classes in “survival Lugandan” so we will be able to at least say please and thank you and where is the bathroom to our host families. The staff here is great! I love them all! We have a staff here of about 10ish comprised of Language Trainers, Country Directors, Associate Country Directors and Health Staff. The place we are staying right now, Forrest Cottages is located on a hillside and surrounded by Papaya and Mango trees. It feels like we are on a Caribbean island, although I don’t think this star treatment will last much longer. Our group grows closer everyday as we learn more about each other.

We had interviews with the Country Director today to discuss in more detail what it is we would like to be doing while here, and to tell them in more detail what our skills are. The CD (country director) told me that most likely I will be doing teacher training at one or more schools. I would work with the teachers to develop a better way to teach their students about AIDS/HIV through different teaching methods including, drama and MUSIC!!! Let’s keep our fingers crossed that is where I will be placed, because it is sooooo perfect.

Tomorrow we get to head into Kampala for a tour then to the PC office for a picnic from where I will be posting this blog. Each day seems more exciting from the last. I can’t wait to see what adventure holds in store tomorrow! Oh, and I also got my first card today from my Mom and Dad! Thanks guys!

Love you all!

Air planes

The Big U (Uganda) was almost here, we could even taste it, it was so close, but first we had to endure the trip there. We went through 27.5 hours of plane and bus rides, less then pleasant. But yet again, somehow, the company made it oh so much better. The trip was fairly uneventful minus the unfortunate few who are minus a couple pieces of luggage to becoming later. We even managed to somehow make the 1 hour layover on time. Oh, and just so you know, the JFK airport is terrible! We arrived and found ourselves in a giant line. I have seen giant lines at airports before, but this one was the most giant I have ever seen. It was ridiculous! Thank goodness, Alexis, a girl in our group, found us someone who let us bypass the whole line. I felt guilty but it was kind of cool. She was yelling at the others, watch out, I have a group headed for the Peace Corps! I am in the freaking Peace Corps, can you believe it?
So we finally arrived in Uganda at 10:30pm, and even though we couldn’t see much, I knew I was in love. I absolutely love this country, and I’ve only just arrived. We took a mini-bus to our resort though Kampala and Entebbe and the ride was to much for the senses to take in. The smells, the feelings, the sights, the emotions; all so indescribable. I feel so settled here. As we bump along the road, giggling with excitement, I know that this IS where I am supposed to be.