Tuesday, November 23, 2010

blog blog blog...

I am getting so much done today!!! sorry for being so terrible at updating this thing. I have uploaded pictures of my house to facebook so anyone who is interested in the grand "before and after" can look. seriously, you would not BELIEVE what that house ACTUALLY looked like when I moved in. and unfortunately I did not get a picture of the amount of mosquito and spider bites that were on my arms and legs after only 2 nights spent in that house. (I promise to get better about taking pictures, too.) it looked like I had the chicken poxs. no joke. and I had a Ugandan tell me yesterday that "my skin has cleared up!" because he had not seen me since said bite incident. I am just thankful I did not get malaria!!!! and I know for sure because my friend Kate and I did 15 minute rapid malaria tests last week during a training session and both of ours came back negative. success. but yes, I have spent the last month fumagating, deep cleaning (seriously, did anyone actually know what cockroach egg shells looked like??? because I didn't until I saw them ALLLLLLL over my house), getting the water turned back on, FIXING all the plumbing, getting the electricity turned back on, painting, and buying furniture. last week was the first time in 4 months that my clothes have NOT BEEN IN A SUITCASE!!!!!!! it is the little things in life to take joy in, right? but I am very VERY happy with all the progress that has been made and have met some fantastic Ugandan friends along the way (which, pretty sure my house will still be in ruins if I did not know them!!!!!!!) but yes, all-in-all it has been a fantastic first month in Masindi. and I am REALLY looking forward to spending my next 2 years here!!!!

and speaking of actual WORK getting done while in Masindi for 2 years, I think I may have figured out what I am going to be doing at the hospital for the duration of my stay. My end goal is to have every woman who delivers a baby at Masindi Hospital leave with formal nutrition education so that way we can keep some sort of tally on who is and who is not recieving nutrition education in the area. I am going to be working with the nurses and design a lesson plan for them to teach new mothers and therefore create some sort of sustainability. I will also be creating speacialized nutrition plans for the post-surgery patients, pregnant patients, and patienst with HIV/AIDS. and then I also want to design some sort of cooking class, but that can happen with time (and when I figure out how to cook...). so that is all very exciting!!!

and although I am sad not to be home during the holiday season, I know Thanksgiving and Christmas are going to be just as memorable spent here. A group of Peace Corps Volunteers from my group and I are all getting together for Thanksgiving this week and cooking whatever we can that resembles some sort of American Thanksgiving. My friend is going to kill a turkey, which should be interesting to say the least.... and then Christmas will be fun because a group is getting together to camp out at Murchison Falls for a couple nights. (here is a link: http://www.game-reserve.com/uganda_murchison_falls.html) so anyways, I think this is all I have to update everyone on. I miss everyone back home!!!! and hope everyone is doing well!!!! ohhh yeah and I now have my permanent address for the next 2 years, so anyone who wants to send letters or packages send them here:

Maggie Ogden
PO Box 270
Masindi, Uganda

and they say it helps if you put crosses and Christian symbols on the packages so they are less likely to get stolen! just a tip??? ok talk to everyone later!!!! take care!!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

"All Masindi Ladies" (to the tune of: "Single Ladies" by Beyonce)

FINALLY, I HAVE INTERNET!!!!! sorry sorry sorry for sucking at updating this blog during training. let me just tell you: nothing really happened. it was training. it was pretty boring. I learned some things, but that's pretty much the extent of my excitement. but I am OFFICIALLY a Peace Corps VOLUNTEER now and no long a measly trainee.  pretty legit if I say so myself. soooo let me fill everyone in:

I am now living in Masindi, a town in Northwestern Uganda. I have learned a fair amount of Runyoro-Rutooro (enough to pass my language test and get by for the next 2 years... hopefully I'll continue picking up more of the language now that I'm actually here. they speak a different language--Luganda--in the town where we trained so I haven't really had the opportunity to practice properly.) I am working at Masindi hospital and will basically be designing a nutrition program (I think... I mean this is still to be determined to a certain extent) but I'm really excited. nutrition in this country is pretty much the opposite of everything we have learned in America, so I'm really having to shift my thinking in regards to everything. and yes, I know I said in the last post that the food was delicious, but I'm pretty sick of it already. beans and rice for the next 2 years, please! oh, yeah we killed our own chicken, cooked it, and ate it during training. (I'm not going to claim that I'm a full vegetarian yet, but...) so yes, I'm living in Masindi with 3 other girls from my group (I'm very thankful for this!--hence "All Masindi Ladies, All Masindi Ladies!" etc, etc.) we are all working at different places but will be there for eachother when things get tough. so that is extremely comforting.

so, what else to tell in this blog update? I think this might be everything I have at the moment. I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed with moving out of the homestay, away from all the other volunteers in my group, and into my new town (bc my house isn't ready at the moment and I have WAAAAYYYY too much stuff to lug around) but yes, all in all, I am a very happy camper and am LOVING this country. I am so excited that the next 2 years of my life is going to be spent here. and thank goodness I can become a real human being again that people can contact whenever they want. oh and I will have a new address but don't have it yet so will let everyone know as soon as I find out. and I will try to get pictures up ASAP.

k, that's all. I'm out. love and miss everyone. talk to you soon!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


It's considered a blessing on this continent to "bring the rain" and I am happy to say that it POURED the first night we were in Uganda.  (and yes, we figured out in the morning--after we saw our room had flooded--that the windows do indeed close... oops.) The weather here is AMAZING though; I really can't explain how beautiful the sky is and HELLO NEXT TWO YEARS OF LIVING IN WEATHER THAT NEVER GETS BELOW 65 DEGREES OR ABOVE 85 DEGREES! I am LOVING living without electricity (pshh, who needs AC with this weather???) I sleep with the windows open, under a mosquito net of course (and yes mom, we are taking our malaria meds!) I have been with my homestay family for two weeks now, a mother and two older daughters.  They are all so sweet and speak English very well.  I am learning Runyoro-Rutooro (the language they speak in Western Uganda where I will be stationed at the end of training) which is great because my host mom knows Runyoro-Rutooro better than Luganda.  mpora, mpora nsoma Runyoro-Rutooro! (slowly, slowly I learn R/R!) The  no-running-water-thing is a bit of a challenge, but I've learned how to bucket bathe using less than 2 gallons of water AND how to hand wash my clothes (what! what! skillz!) Oh, and I haven't gotten sick yet, (THANK THE LORD!), but omg I am DREADING the pit latrine.  I know, I know, I've got to get over this eventually, JUST GIVE ME TIME. speaking of which, the food here is delicious: matooke, bananas, posha, avocadoes, beans, rice, jack fruit.  ohhh a poor nutrition major's fate to FINALLY be forced to eat all natural, healthy foods.  Oh, and I REALLY enjoy my fellow peace corps trainees.  We all just clicked instantly and are amazed that we have ONLY known each other for 2 weeks.  we just all get along so well.  There are 45 of us in all, split pretty evenly half boys, half girls.  and yes HOPEFULLY once things settle down a bit, I will be able to update this blog really frequently.  and if anybody wants to come to africa, DO IT! it's amazing.  I LOVE IT!!!! seriously, we see monkeys and huge birds and cows and longhorns and chickens EVERYWHERE.  (I might kill the rooster that lives outside my window and wakes me up at 4:30 every morning, but other than that, OBSESSED with everything else africa!) so yes, I think I'm definitely off to a great start, after all, we did bring the rains.  so go ahead, blast Toto on your computer.  you know you want to.  and to leave you with a little Runyoro-Rutooro: oikale kurungi na turaorongana! (stay well and we shall see each other!) weeraba!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


NEVER AGAIN will I live in an apartment with a spiral staircase! My parents just finished helping me move out of my Austin apartment, and now it's on to bigger and greater AFRICA! Staging is scheduled for Monday, August 9th, in Philadelphia, and my fellow PCT (Peace Corps Trainees) and I officially fly out of the United States on Tuesday! Such a mix of emotions as I sit on the floor in my empty room packing the rest of my belongings to leave.  We are told to "rid our minds of all expectations." Uhh, pretty easy for me since I have NO idea what I'm getting myself into! But this should be fun.  And DEFINITELY a worthwhile experience.  I will try to update this blog as often as possible but I have no clue when I will have internet access throughout my time in Africa.  (27 months is unfathomable to me at the moment!) So, I hope you all enjoy the ridiculousness that is to come.  I know I can't wait.  smell ya later Texas, and HELLO UGANNNNDAAAAA!