Uganda

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“The Elephant in the Room” — Kelsey Sabo (Uganda)
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2022 Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award Winner — I MISS THE RAIN IN AFRICA

“The Elephant in the Room” — Kelsey Sabo (Uganda)

On the Pulse Johns Hopkins Nursing Magazine   Kelsey Sabo (Uganda 2014-18) now a nurse in training at John Hopkins Nursing was a new PCV when she began to notice in roughly one-week, unexplained, undiscussed absences of female students and teachers each month. Of course they involved the menstrual cycle, in communities where sanitary pads were scarce and girls and women were often bullied for the sudden appearance of blood on skirts. Rather than face the shame and ridicule as well as physical discomfort, they stayed home until the period passed. This meant missed school, missed work — “about 25 percent of the year or about 9 years for the average menstruating woman’s lifetime,” explains Sabo — and missed opportunities to advance toward self-sufficiency. The answer wouldn’t be as simple as helping women and girls learn to make, and eventually sell, sustainable, reusable menstrual pads (RUMPs). But for “Teacher Ayikoru” . . .

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2022 Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award Winner — I MISS THE RAIN IN AFRICA

by Nancy Daniel Wesson (Uganda 2011-13)   At a time when her friends were planning cushy retirements, Nancy Wesson instead walked away from a comfortable life and business to head out as a Peace Corps Volunteer in post-war Northern Uganda. She embraced wholeheartedly the grand adventure of living in a radically different culture, while turning old skills into wisdom. Returning home became a surreal experience in trying to reconcile a life that no longer “fits.” This becomes the catalyst for new revelations about family wounds, mystical experiences, and personal foibles. Nancy shows us the power of stepping into the void to reconfigure life and enter the wilderness of the uncharted territory of our own memories and psyche, to mine the gems hidden therein. Funny, heartbreaking, insightful and tender, I Miss the Rain in Africa is the story of honoring the self, discovering a new lens through which to view life, and finding . . .

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