What can I say I enjoy teaching sign and exchanging stories via language. Thank you to Donalio for the photo.
Scenes from Small-Town Uganda with @sarahgenelle
For a look at everyday life on a coffee farm in Western Uganda, follow @sarahgenelle.
Living and working on a coffee farm nestled in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda is just the latest stop in the nomadic life of Sarah Castagnola (@sarahgenelle).
Sarah’s parents taught at international schools, which meant relocating the family to a different country every few years. “When I moved to Oregon for university I was exited to put down roots,” she explains. “However, it was only a matter of time before I yearned to travel again.”
Sarah’s studies and work in micro-finance have taken her across the globe, and, in April of 2013, she accepted a Peace Corps assignment in the small Ugandan village of Kyarumba. Living and working in Uganda often means it’s easier to share a photo on Instagram than it is to find running water or electricity. “This is the paradox of living in a developing country,” Sarah says. “Cellphones are ubiquitous, however women and children spend hours each day fetching water.”
Sarah, who plans to continue traveling after the Peace Corps, hopes her photos educate and inspire: “Opportunities happen when you take risks and follow your passion.”
Congrats on being featured by Instagram, Sarah!
“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud” -Coco Chanel
I coordinated a Camp GLOW: Girls Leading Our World, in my local community where we focused on character development, health/healthy living and professional development. Camp GLOW is a PEPFAR and Peace Corps initiative, they hold large regional camps annually in Kenya. I applied for a grant through World Connect to host…
The Saludable School Project was first started 8 years ago when the first Peace Corps volunteer was welcomed into the community. A strong promotion for healthy living and healthy habits was asserted and passed on to the volunteers that followed and continue through each volunteer’s work. As the community continues to grow and build within, it is time to construct growth externally. The local school has an incredible connection with the core of the community and many of the surrounding areas send their children to the school because of the education and community assistance. A small school with big plans, each student has their books, healthy snacks and tooth brush in hand all provided by the Minstry of Education of Paraguay, but more is needed to continue healthy habits. In collaboration with the professors of the school and family and friends both near and far the school wishes to create sanitary locations in the school for the youth to wash their hands, brush teeth and cook food for school and after school activities. The school raised enough funds to finish bathrooms for both boys and girls this past year all from community contribution and hard work. The community with great emphasis on parents of youth are actively involved and ready to work for the children of this town and Paraguay’s future. This next project engages all once again in the development of an improved place of learning and living. Thank you for your support!donate at the link below! http://tinyurl.com/neybvtf
#peacecorps #healthy #project #peace #paraguay
So Camp Sky finished a couple weeks ago, but I’m still excited about it. It was mos def the best week of my Peace Corps service, and the most rewarding. Personally, I was taking pictures and videos for our blog to share with the world (campskymw.tumblr.com if you haven’t checked it out yet!) and I taught a lesson about poetry vs. prose using my ukulele and songs by Simon & Garfunkel, Bon Iver, and T. Swift. Oh also, I cleaned a lot. If you want to know more about the week, look at the blog or feel free to ask me anything about it. Camp Sky was real amazing and inspiring and made my whole service! From cleaning up in the beginning, to watching kids shine creatively, to watching them get super into activities like flip cup (with water!), scavenger hunts, the Macarena, asking questions to guest Malawian professionals, singing songs, creating songs in 30 minutes, and engaging in lessons, to seeing some use a computer for the first time, to watching them also try spaghetti for the first time (some enjoyed more than others), to hearing some students recite lines while watching the Romeo and Juliet, to saying goodbye…for now. Thanks to everybody involved…no matter how. That week was tremendous, and while our goal was to do it for the students it also did a lot for us PCV’s involved. YEWO CHOMENE
Impromptu Malaria March
Today is World Malaria Day! According to WHO, 85% of Malaria cases and 90% of malaria deaths occur in Africa. Here in Alto, I have lost countless hours on projects to counterparts or a member of their family being sick with malaria. Fortunately, none of my close friends in Alto have lost family members to the disease while I’ve lived here, but a few had lost family members in the past.
I was feeling guilty about not planning any major events to create awareness and promote prevention and then it hit me. What resource in Mozambique is readily available, motivated and for all intents and purposes, unlimited? CRIANÇAS! Kids love marching around and screaming, so I figured we’d put their talents to some good use today. I hollered at Guebuza, my 9 year old neighbor and told him to grab some friends. We’re going on an impromptu Malaria March!
We started out with an intimidating crew of about 10, 5-9 year olds, and made our way down the hill, across the bridge, to the central market. All the way picking up a few kids here and losing a few kids there, but bringing it with some serious chanting. The main chants were:
“A Rede Mosquiteira!”
“A Mosquito Net!”
“We can prevent”
“A Rede Mosquiteira!”
After a brief stop at the central market to give an impromptu presentation about sleeping under a mosquito net, we made our way back across the bridge and half way up the giant hill before we had to take 5 in the shade. We continued on and as I thought we were reaching the end near my house, we picked up about 30 more primary school students and thus did an extra lap through the primary and secondary schools (definitely interrupted testing, worth it for Malaria Prevention!). We finished the march at my house where I passed out water and doces americanas, ”american sweets”. The sweets were actually raisins, my health police mother would be proud.
Often, I find that my favorite moments in Mozambique are the unplanned. At a minimum, I was able to put smiles on the faces of a bunch of crianças and taught them a bit about Malaria in the process. And hopefully, the local fofoca ”gossip” of the day will go a bit like this:
- “Did you see the American walking around with all those kids trapped in the mosquito net yelling about malaria?”
- “Yeah, probably the last thing I thought I’d see today! But I guess I should use the net I was given as a bed net instead of a fish catching device.. Malaria won’t affect my family!”