Sunday, February 10, 2013

More Ups & Downs

I’ve lost my mind.  Seriously, it’s gone.

After many many months of watching movies on my hard drive, napping, reading my Kindle, enduring 8-12 hour bus rides, etc., my intellectual capacity has greatly diminished.  I’ve been at site for a few weeks now and started some actual work, i.e. creating lesson plans for computing class, writing the grant for Girl Tech, researching grad schools, updating my resume and writing personal statements,  . . . but after one or two hours, my brain is exhausted and I need to lay down.  I’m in serious trouble for reentering the real world.


I just had a great weekend with the other Arua PCVs.  On Friday, we went to dinner at the Indian Restaurant in Arua.  I’ve heard good things about it, but this was my first time eating there.  I had vegetable biryani, paneer masala, and garlic naan – it was soooo good.  Afterwards, we went to Heritage Courts (hotel) for a beer and live music.  Usually they play Ugandan dance music, but that night there were some country-western cover songs.  Very interesting.

On Saturday morning, Chelsea and Alex hosted a potluck brunch at their house.  It was so nice to see everyone and hang out before the Education PCVs go home.

I’m in a bit of a rut again – feeling isolated and frustrated about living here.
  • I miss driving a car.  I really dread riding the bus, but I get cabin fever if I stay at site for too long.  It would be nice to have another transportation option.  Even for going to town – sometimes I don’t feel like riding 12 miles on my bike just to go to the ATM.
  • I miss convenience. Things like fast food, Netflix, Target, microwaves, high-speed internet, etc.  You don’t even realize how good you have it in America.
  • I miss having a real job.  Most days I feel useless at the nursing school, and it’s not very rewarding for me.  It takes so long to finish a project; I just don’t feel like I’m accomplishing much.
  • I miss my family.  I miss going to Ainsley’s soccer games and watching Roen run around.  And seriously Bergstrom cousins, five weddings in two years???  (Wendy & Matt, Scott & Kailey, Michael & Ashley, Joseph & Ruth, Dan & Josi)  Congratulations to all of you!!  I’m sorry that I’ll miss the weddings this summer – please upload lots of pictures on Facebook.  :)
  • I’m tired of asking for permission from Peace Corps every time I want to leave site, go to Kampala, or travel somewhere.  I miss my independence.
  • I’m tired of the bugs.  Last year was Year of the Spiders; now it’s Year of the Ants and Termites.  My house is constantly under attack from these pests.  A couple of weeks ago, I got up early to catch the bus to Kampala.  I went to the bathroom to find an invasion of safari ants streaming in through the window.  I used my Doom spray to kill them, but then still had to clean up the piles of ants.  The low point was scooping dead ants out of my toilet tank with a spoon.
Because of these challenges and struggles, I have pretty big mood swings and I swear a lot more.  F*#&@%! ants all over my bathroom!!!!!!

Considering it’s the dry season, there has been a rain shower once or twice a week this month.  It gets nice and cool at night, so I’m not sweating all the time like last year.  And because of this small amount of rain, there has been electricity and water in my house . . . most of the time.  The power goes out every day, but only for 30-60 minutes.  I can manage that. 

Zanzibar in two weeks!!!!


  1. Morning Laura~sometimes when one is in the final stretch of a challenge...what appears to be impossible to get through it, is exactly when the impossible becomes possible. Though this period may feel like the most difficult part of the journey(with people leaving and being tired of it all), it may become the most significant part for you and whenever you experience during this home stretch will catapult you to the next level in your life journey:) I see the light for you at the end of that is there...keep going girl.This is when you reach deep within yourself and the butterfly will emerge from the cocoon .....your next stage may be where the true rewarding treasure lies.Your next opportunity may be where it all comes together and you find your sweet spot in using your gifts and talents:) God bless you and keep you safe and know that the Missouri clan misses you immensely too. Time to plan and if...As if it is time to prepare to go home!You are doing this, thinking about it, looking into grad school and starting to prepare!Wonderful job Laura! Remember most people are kind of bored and sick of things at this time of year and people start planning and preparing for new goals. You are in good company Laura! Hugs You are can do this! The greatest rewards and days are yet ahead of you:)Love you, Aunt Linda May your remaining months be a blessing to unexpected ways !Love you, Aunt Linda

  2. (What?!! Aunt Linda commented before I did?? What's up with that?!!)

    Laura, we, too, are experiencing the boredom and lack of motivation that the dreary, cold days of February bring. We tend to stay inside -- even though we don't have the challenge of transportation that you do. We read, watch TV, do a little work at school, look forward to our next meal and make vacation plans -- sounds like your life in Uganda! We DON'T, however, have to kill a lot of bugs -- just the occasional daddy long legs that wanders into the kitchen. We think about you ALL the time, and know that you won't have any trouble readjusting to life in America. Yes, we do know how lucky we are to have all the conveniences we have here. In fact, we're all amazed at how well you have handled doing without. It's only natural that you are tiring of it. I hope my package arrives soon and brings you a few comforts from home.

    We see the light at the end of the tunnel, but 8 months until you come home is still enough time for you to accomplish important things there. Girl Tech will be the highlight of some girls' lives and will make such a difference. Keep looking and listening for opportunities to do small projects or learn something new -- it will help the time pass.

    Right now you can look forward to another trip to Zanzibar where you can recharge your brain, your ambition and your energy level. Love, Mom

  3. Sounds like you're struggling a bit. Keep your head up and know that you're on the back 9 of this journey in life. You're over there for a reason and are contributing to positive things in other peoples' lives. It may not feel like you're accomplishing much right now, but down the road you'll want to look back and have no regrets about your mission. Hang in there and stay strong, girl. Love ya.

    Your favorite brother

  4. Well pretty much everyone said what I would say so to cut it short....hang in there! You are on the home stretch and it will be here before you know it and you will probably be a little sad to end your journey there but super excited to start a new journey back home! We miss you and look forward to seeing you again. Love you! Love, Jesse, Amber, and Braylen