Friday, November 12, 2010

On stage fright (and getting over it)...

My school has no bathroom for teachers. The bathrooms for the students are completely off limits, as their walls are so covered in poo they warrant a cleansing by the guy that does "Worlds Dirtiest Jobs."

"WHY!?!" you might ask "are the bathrooms covered in POO?!?!"


There is no toilet paper, THILLY! This leads children to either (a.) take expensive sheets of new paper out of their notebooks to crinkle up and use (b.) take sheets out of used books that are no longer needed or (c.) DING DING DING!! Wipe with their hands and clean those hands on the wall!

I shit you not.

HA! I kill myself...

Anywho, those few teachers who have indeed ventured into the students latrines have never been heard from again, so the rest of us stay away. Now, I don't know where the women of this school go (perhaps the McDonald's down the road), but the men have set up an ingenious 3-and-a-half-walled corrugated steel structure in which to urinate in. It is located just outside the windows of my Director of Studies and my Head Master and next to the ginormous soccer field (here, they call it a PITCH).

Oh, and the walls are about 4 feet high, so anyone taller than an oompa-loompa can... watch. So, when I had to go for the first weeks of my teaching, whenever I needed to *go*, I would walk a half mile to my home, *go*, and then return to school... cause, you know, talk about stage fright.


So like a good PCV, I adjusted. Now, it no longer bothers me that while standing there I may make eye contact with a school administrator breaking from work to enjoy a slight breeze through his window. We just give each other a knowing nod. I no longer shrink when the primary school children 20 feet away and playing soccer with a ball made of plastic grocery bags stop, stare and shout "YESU!" ("Jesus!"). And when a heard of cattle approaches to gnarf down the succulent bunches of grass only feet from where I stand? I don't even bat an eyelash.

In fact, with all the attention I've been getting while urinating at my job... my bathroom at home is feeling pretty damn lonely as of late.

On stage while peeing... this is Uganda, baby.

Thanks for reading.

I love you all (but especially you, Michelle!)


P.S. There are no McDonald's establishments in Uganda. Though, I hear Wal-Mart is coming... go figure.


  1. 2 damn funny! You will be telling stories for the rest of your life, and we will be laughing all over again. Keep the faith.
    love you,

  2. Hi,

    I stumbled on your blog while googling Peace Corps Uganda. My husband and I just got our invites to head your way on February 9th. I was wondering if I could ever get in contact with you? I wanted to ask some questions of someone who has been there and also wanted to see if there would be anything you guys might need from the States when we come down in a few months.

    Feel free to email me at if you have time and are willing!

    I will look forward to hearing from you!