Planting Apple Trees

25/5/15

Today Godfrey, my neighbors, students, and I planted over 14 apple trees. It was actually one of the coolest points of my time here in Luteete, because the man who brought them from Bweyogerere also showed us the correct way to plant them. He brought apple tree roots and composted soil from a forest. Using my previous experience with landscaping, I chose the spots where we would plant the apple trees near the PTC’s ICT Lab. We dug a shallow hole at each spot, and then poured composted soil on the root with the edge of the root sticking out of the ground at a slant. As we planted the apple trees, it started to rain. Godfrey and me neighbors informed me that if it started to rain while you planted then it meant that God was giving his blessing towards your plants.

Planting Apple Trees

Planting Apple Trees

It just felt so good to add another living layer of knowledge and partnership with my community. I can think of no other fruit-bearing tree that combines the flavor of New England apples with the equatorial African climate. Even though I will be unable to eat any of these apples, I know that in the years to come my PTC students will be able to lie down on mats on the grass in the shade of these apple trees wonder about them. Where did they come from? How do I plant my own apple tree? What can I make with apples? Then they can search for these answers in the adjacent ICT lab with the help of a future PCV.

Apple Tree Sprouting

Apple Tree Sprouting

In two months, the apple man from Bweyogerere will return and help with the next that will ensure that the sprouting branches will produce abundant fruit. I can only hope my students will do the same.

Let Girls Learn, Worms, Embassy Sponsor

22/5/15

In one of those interesting turn of events I was asked by the Peace Corps administration to work alongside the President’s YALI (Young African Leader’s Initiative) fellows to create a series of high-quality videos demonstrating Uganda’s willingness to participate in Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn initiative. Thirteen Peace Corps countries are a part of this initiative and Uganda is the only one in East Africa. The goal of this project is to appeal to Ugandan youth, potential PCV’s who may want to apply to Uganda, and the broader global audience on social media.

I also stopped by the Peace Corps Medical Office and discovered that I may have worms. Finally, I discovered the culprit Albendazoleliterally behind my 2 month gassiness. As I contemplated going back to site, I was contacted by a graduate student from Colombia University who also works at the US Embassy on his way to become a Foreign Service Officer. It was only his 4th day in Uganda, and he lived in diplomatic housing near the Tank Hill area. Right now, I am typing this blog post in his dining area with carpet around my feet and the military tv channel on with real American commercials.

Now all I have to do is update my blog posts, find my way back to the taxi park area, and then get back to my site in time to plant 12 apple trees near the almost-complete ICT Lab.