Tuesday, 4 December 2012
Day two, together like glue
Day two of Camp GLOW is winding down; the girls have finished their group reflections (today's theme was "We GLOW with Teamwork" for those of you keeping up) and are off to bathe before dinner. The girls' dorms and bathing areas overlook Lake Victoria so they are treated with amazing sunrises and sunsets when they perform tasks as simple as going for a short call (what we call "number one" in the states).
Sunrise over Lake Victoria, our girls are so lucky!
Our healthy living topic of the day was the menstrual cycle and general women's health issues. We want to make sure that these girls go back to their villages with not only a better understanding of their own bodies, but able to articulate and explain issues to their friends and sisters who weren't fortunate enough to attend camp. Bethany teaches reproductive health to women all over Uganda so she can talk about cervixes, vaginas, and fallopian tubes without batting an eyelash. She and Eunice made sure that the girls knew the appropriate names and functions for all the lady parts, and could talk about them without burning from embarrassment.
One of the more important topics addressed by PC Uganda
Many volunteers consider gender development to be one of their most important jobs while serving. Living in a country where women are still making strides to be thought of as equal to the men, simply being a role model for the youth can have a major impact. One of the activities we do as PCVs is a game called Gender Roles where participants get cards with different jobs or actions on them and have to decide whether it's something for a man, a woman, or both. Many people assign 'beauty', 'weakness', or 'caring for others' to women while men get 'chopping firewood', 'digging graves', and 'wants sex'. The facilitators generally end up leading a great discussion on the difference between one's sex and their gender, and how there are very few differences in what men and women are able to do, apart from their reproductive roles. Andrew is one of the two male staff members at camp. He has taken girls' education and development to heart during his service and led this session for us today.
Obviously pre-discussion since 'menstruates' is included, but we appreciate the gender-balance!
We reconvened before break tea to take the camp snaps. Each of the girls as well as the counselors and staff will receive pictures at the end of the week as a memento of the amazing time they've had and the new friends they've made. It's always interesting to learn the nuances of a new culture, and something the American volunteers have come across here is the fact that Ugandans generally don't smile in photographs. They are incredibly happy and jolly people, and almost always laughing and smiling when around friends, but a soon as a camera is pointed their way, things get serious. Candid shots work better as well as lots of joke-telling, face-making, and multiple picture taking.
The final product, Camp GLOW 2012
With teamwork being the theme of the day, the teamwork session played center-stage this afternoon. Our activity for the day was called "Islands" where the campers must cross an ocean on small islands only large enough to hold one or two girls. They must work together to make sure that all team members make it across without falling in. As they get better and better at the game, counselors take away islands to make it more challenging.
Before lunch the girls cooled off with a game of Drip, Drip, Drop, which is simply Duck, Duck, Goose with water :) As apprehensive as they were at first to get a cup of water dumped on their heads, they quickly realized that it would be an amazing way to cool off.
Drip, Drip, Drop
Sophie soaking one of her campers
With all the water balloons from the day before, we had to put them to use again
We were fortunate enough to have a visit from the Rafiki Theatre Group this afternoon. They are a relatively new drama group in Uganda that focuses on combating violence and other issues that are hindering Uganda's development. Today's issue was tribalism. Uganda has over 50 tribes and languages which has led to myths and stereotypes being thrown around about one another. One of the goals of GLOW National is to get girls of different regions together to show them how much we all have in common. The drama this afternoon highlighted rumors and myths that different tribes spread about one another, and asked the girls to focus on the fact that they are all Ugandans.
Free choice today was a lot drier than yesterday and the girls relaxed in the quad with some yoga. Most of them giggled and wiggled their way through, but enjoyed simply being able to be quiet and still and stretch a little. I'm sure the PCVs relished in this session.
Little friend checking things out
Thanks for keeping up with us so far, we appreciate your support and encouragement :)