The most challenging thing about Peace Corps Training is the feeling of never being settled in. It is a constant battle with our bags as we hustle from training venue, to hotel, to bus, to mitatu and back again. Just remember that the laundry machines in Uganda require three things: buckets of water, soap, lots of time and your own two hands. Also, if there is not enough sunshine before it is time to move the PC camp, we had to pack-up the damp clothes until we found the next clothes-line.
After swearing in as volunteers, we returned back to Mbale to find out that our homes were not quite ready yet. Actually, truth is that our home was not there at all. Our organization was able to arrange for a realtor to help search for something that would meet the housing requirements, but it seemed to be a challenge.
Luckily myself and Teresa were set-up at Molly’s volunteer site at a health facility in Mbale. The Catholic nuns who run St. Kizito Orphanage were INCREDIBLY welcoming. They arranged for additional beds to be delivered and hosted a great dinner. Best part, one of the nuns was able to update me on all the happenings of La Patrona (a terribly-good soap opera that I was following with my homestay mom during language training).
After five days with the sisters, we pushed to move into a guest house* near the Chemonics office. It was one step closer to a home, as I was able to finally unpack my bags. We were also making some progress with the house-hunting. Since Teresa and I were both working at the same organization, we decided to combine our housing budgets and share one bigger house. We landed a nice 3/2 within a 30 minute walk to the office and town. Plans were made to move in after our AllVolunteer Conference.
*Uganglish translation: In Uganda, a hotel is called a “Guest House.”