Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Back in touch

Dear Friends,

I am sorry that I have been so out of touch! Between slow internet connection and being busy, it has been difficult to post. I usually have about an hour and a half free during the day, and must choose whether to wash my clothes, take a walk through the neighborhood, rest, or go to town. The internet center in Arua is good, but the computers are slow. Everything here takes longer, and in some ways, I love it. Watching the clock is pointless. Time takes…its time. I am learning to breathe again.

Class, however, is progressing at a clip. The days when we are in class are long, and often aren’t done until 9:30 pm. It’s a good thing, since, of course, there is so much to learn! In order to have the proper tools and context for any field work, I know that it is essential that we spend quite a lot of time prepping, and I’m glad that I’m getting a good dose. I’m trying hard to absorb it all. A typical day (when we stay “in school”) looks something like this:

7:00 wake up
7:30 short walk with a friend – say good morning to our neighbors in the village
8:00 breakfast (usually fried eggs, toast, coffee)
8:30 class (today: Analyze field based assessment done at Ikafe refugee camp)
10:30 tea
10:45 class (today: Designing prevention and treatment interventions at individual, family, community levels based on assessment)
1:15 lunch
2:00 class (today: Identifying at risk groups, differentiating between need and crisis)
5:30 break
7:00 dinner
8:00 class (today: Clarifying roles of helpers: expatriates, nationals from outside community, local community-based helpers)
10:00 done!
10:30 fast asleep

A day in the field or at the camps looks entirely different, but that is for another post. Truly, it is taking a while for my words to catch up to my experiences here. It is sometimes difficult for my mind to believe my eyes, and processing all of this takes some time. There is a lot to take in, and so much to share.

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