Burim's Uganda Blog #1 of 2012

March 9, 2012 | By wickley wickley

Note from Liz–Burim arrived in Uganda a few weeks ago but I haven’t been able to post his blogs until now.  So I’ll post a few over the next few days!

By Burim Vraniqi

Walk To Work Protests in Kampala, Uganda, April 2011

 

I left Uganda last year at the end of April. This was right after Uganda had held elections, and the country was not stable. “Walk to work” protests, protesting the extremely high prices of gas and food, were happening all over Uganda and because they had become violent, with many people getting arrested even in Gulu, I had to leave one week earlier than planned. After I left, the youth volunteers continued the program until December, when they went home for the long holiday break.

I am now back in Uganda. I arrived in Entebbe airport at around 2.30am on Sunday February 4.  I stayed in Kampala for two days trying to get my Typhoid immunization, (because the one I had from before had expired) but the Kampala hospital told me to wait till the next week to get it and I wanted to get back to Gulu.  A friend said I could get the vaccination in Gulu, so I headed to Gulu and the first thing I did on this trip was to get my typhoid vaccination.

Burim with Youth Volunteer Isaac at Pabo IDP Camp, Feb 2012

Then I met with the youth volunteers–not all of them at the same time, because some of them have jobs now and some of them go to school–and they were all so happy that I am back in Gulu so we can continue the job we started together.

Later that week I taught some volunteer training, but most of the time we spent together was trying to set up a schedule that will work well for the next two months I am in here. We want to include as much as we can in our schedule, and so the first week was meeting schools, teachers, students and getting things ready to start.

Gulu Public Elementary School, one of the schools where we teach

We have finished the schedule now, and I will be very busy.  We will be teaching in two schools in Gulu, two schools in the Pabo IDP camp, classes for the street kids in Pabo camp, the teenage dropouts living in and around the Pabo IDP camp, and while I’m here I will also be doing a LOT of youth volunteer training, including a new group of teenagers who live in a village near the Pabo camp.  The schools are very happy to have our program there and are really helping to set up programs in each school.

Gulu changed during the months I was gone.  It is amazing how much building is happening–there is now a big new Supermarket and at least three new hotels.

Downtown Gulu, February 2012

And like I said last year, every time I come

back here the prices have gone higher and higher, and this time it is even worse–everything seems to be more expensive.

Electricity and water are still a problem though–we don’t have very much of either.  But I guess I am now used to it, and I love it here.  I’m so happy to be back.

Starting Monday I will be teaching the classes and will write about the experience at each school. I think this is going to be a very successful trip to Uganda.