Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Long Time Coming

It's been a while, so I guess I should update. I've been putting it off for so long because so much has been going on. But the longer I put it off, the more information I'm likely to leave out or forget. I gotta keep my readers happy! (I have 3,000 views on this blog even though I haven't updated it in three months, although 2,900 of those might be from my own mother)

During the school break two big things happened: GLOW Camp and Zanzibar.

GLOW Camp is a camp for girls where we teach them things like confidence, decision-making, career development, and how to prevent HIV/AIDS. We even taught them how to play baseball thanks to the resources of a fellow volunteer! Helping at GLOW Camp was the most rewarding thing I have done so far as a Peace Corps Volunteer. It was amazing (and exhausting) to see over 100 girls transformed from being meek and quiet to being loud and confident. The girls developed such a strong bond in just one week that they were all crying on the last day when they had to leave. And this is a culture where people don't show emotion outwardly. Now, the four girls from my school who attended the camp are starting a GLOW Club at school so that they can teach other girls the things that they learned. I'm excited to see how they put the things that they learned at GLOW Camp into practice.

The second big thing during break was my trip to Zanzibar. I went with a group of four other volunteers by bus to Dar Es Salaam, where we then took a ferry to Stone Town on the Zanzibar island. The 30 hour trip on the bus was not fun, but we forgot all about that by the time we reached Dar. We got to eat Western food! And Zanzibar was just heavenly. I could swim in the clear waters of the Indian Ocean all day!

The rest of the time during the break I spent visiting friends in different places in Rwanda. I also got to see King James, winner of the Primus Guma Guma Superstar competition in Rwanda, perform and I got to dance with him while he was singing.

Following the second week of school, my host family that I stayed with during training came to visit me. I feel very blessed to have them as a host family. They truly adopted me as a son. They came bringing gifts with more food than I could eat through the week. I took them to get brochettes and sodas (beer for me and Papa) but they refused to let me pay, even when I tried giving the money to the bar owner.

Over this past weekend I attended a basketball tournament that my school's boys team was playing in. They ended up winning the championship. It was a lot of fun, but I was burned and tired from being out in the sun all day without eating.

Well, that about does it for updates. I wish I could include more information about each event, but that's more work than I want to do at this point. Those who Facebook stalk me will have already seen lots of photos anyway. Hopefully I'll be able to give another update before three more months go by. Cheers!

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