I say “long-awaited” because I know that the internship is what everyone really wants to know about. To be honest, I postponed writing anything about the internship for a while…because I didn’t have one. It’s only been in the last month or so that things really fell into place, and in just one week I’ll be heading to Uganda! I’ll be based in Kampala, working with RTI International on the USAID/Uganda School Health and Reading Program, a multi-year initiative focused on literacy and HIV/AIDs prevention in primary schools.
Right now, I’m trying to figure out how best to prepare for my departure. There’s all the logistical stuff to take care of, like a visa (surprisingly easy) and getting all my shots (not as easy). And trust me, there is LOTS of fun that comes with preparing for a trip like this – like arguing with insurance to cover 110 days of malaria medication and having the airlines call yesterday to cancel my flight…But luckily, I have been rebooked, I’m armed with a hefty dose of Malarone, and I’m theoretically ready to go!
What’s harder to prepare for is the actual work. As a former high school math teacher, early grade reading will definitely be a bit of a stretch for me, and I’m not sure exactly what to expect. I think I will be mainly working on materials and guides related to teacher education and support, but who knows what that will turn into over the course of the summer! Also, Uganda is an incredibly diverse country, with over 40 languages grouped into three language families. I hate the idea of being the American tourist who expects everyone to speak English, but there are so many different languages at play! In fact, since the program itself is operating in thousands of schools across the country, it’s being implemented in 12 different languages. So if I were even to try to start learning something, I’m not sure what would be the highest leverage.
Anyways, those are just some of my musings as I get ready to leave next week! Several of our cohort started their internships today, and it got me thinking a lot about what’s coming, hence the rambling post.
Just to give you a taste of what other people will be up to this summer, Susan is working at Jet Services in Johannesburg and today she tried a South African staple, pap. Katya is in Beirut with World Learning and is loving the exploring the city, despite receiving hundreds of mosquito bites (not pictured).
All of us IEDPers will be posting on a communal blog about our experiences. As soon I have the link, I’ll share it so you can follow our various adventures if you’re interested! Also, two of the other GAs made this awesome interactive map, which shows where everyone is going to be this summer.
So this will probably be my last real post, but stay tuned for the link to our internship blog to learn more!