Please note that the entries in this Blog are our opinions and experiences. They do not reflect the US Government or the Peace Corps. Thank you!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Book List So Far

1. This Old House, The Story of Clara Rust by Jo Anne Wold
2. The Appeal by John Grisham
3. The Russian Concubine by Kate
4. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
5. Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden
6. A Painted House by John Grisham
7. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling
10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
11. The Undomesticated Goddess by
12. Babbit by Sinclair Lewis
13. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
14. The Lunatic Express by Carl Hoffman?
15. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
16. Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
17. Population 485: Meeting your neighbors one siren at a time by Michael Perry
18. These is my Words, The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine by Nancy E. Turner

The Simple Life

So while I am uploading some pictures onto Facebook I thought I would do some writing. I have not written to you all in a long time. I guess writing for me is like a bad New Year’s resolution. I just can’t follow through.

As a simple post I would like to talk about books. Much to my dismay I never got off my butt to read for fun in the States. I could have. But I guess watching TV episodes took up most of my free time. That is something I do not want to continue after PC Service.

There are actually a number of things I do not want to do after PC Service.

One thing is eliminate “noise” every once and a while. You know last night Tony and I didn’t have power and for whatever reason I cooked dinner while Tony read by candlelight. Well actually, Firefly Solar Lamp Light but there was a candle there too. It sounds so corny but it was great. I cooked in complete silence. No music. No TV. Nothing. It was amazing. How often does that happen in the US?

Now I am not saying going without power isn’t annoying. Tony and I actually came to Mbale town today specifically to charge every electronic thing we have but I think you get what I am saying.

Reading for fun.

Cooking in peace.

How often does the chaos of life get in the way of relaxing? Really just enjoying an evening in a simple way? Is this too going to be a bad resolution for me? Or can I actually continue this when I get back to the states? I wonder but I know I will have to battle with myself too. I will have to tell myself “read damn you!” I know I will. In a way that is kind of sad.

Please Lord, let me win the battle against laziness.

But I guess you have to take the good with the bad, because I am never going to complain about washing clothes when I have a washing machine! =)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Evening Post - Bonus Egg!

This past weekend was wonderful!

On Friday, I traveled to Alyssa's site with perfect transportation from Bukedea to Nyondo. Perfect transportation! That never happens. At Alyssa's I met up with Smiles, Elizabeth, and Brennan and we had a great night catching up with Meat Spaghetti Sauce. Meat!

The next day we ran sessions at Alyssa's Health Day. She began an Orphans and Vulnerable Children program with Sister Rose and we presented on water and sanitation, dental hygiene, malaria, moringa (look it up!), and reuseable menstrual pads. It was great. MK's students presented and Tony's joined us that night after he had a successful workshop himself. More catching up with Green Jello from Elizabeth.

Sunday started off with Blueberry/Banana Pancakes! Heck yes people, Blueberries! Then we went off to the pool where we were joined by Caleb and Cassandra. A very cheesy cheeseburger put a smile on my face as well as a birthday massage at the spa! Thanks Alyssa =) A glorious afternoon finished off with C and C visiting us in Bukedea for the night telling us about their trip to Kenya / Hell's Gate / Lamu.

But I forgot to mention that on the taxi Sunday, we met up with Tony's school Bursur. He didn't know it was my birthday, I didn't really tell people, and he began singing to me on the taxi. A chicken would come tomorrow he said and I would slaughter it myself! People think it is hilarious that I slaughter chickens. “Oh Madam Asio, she knows how to slaughter!”

Anyway, Monday went along well and at 5:30 in the evening Tony got a call from Mr. Oriokote saying the chicken was there. Five minutes later Tony rode up with a chicken hanging off his handlebars. It was funny to see but a very thoughtful gift. In many ways I love Uganda and our Ugandan friends. And in many ways Uganda is just ridiculous.

In the process of cleaning the chicken we realized that the cock was actually a hen. I thought I was taking out the gizzard when a fully formed egg plopped onto my hand. A Bonus Egg! It was crazy. Not only am I slaughtering chickens in the banana plantation but I am getting eggs! Life is so silly.

While turning the “Big 2-5” this year I reflected on my life thus far. I decided that I wasn't going to view it as getting older (as all my friends kept calling me) but to look at it as growing up. What else am I going to experience? What else is going to come my way? No idea. But it is exciting to think about.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Saturday Evening Post - March 19th 2011

Who is Stacey F-Markon?

I hate running.
Well, I hate running without a purpose, like catching a frisbee.
Uh, why do I hate running?
Maybe one day I will go for a run.
Tomorrow I am going for a run.
I like running.
I really like running!
What? Who am I?

I swear, someone must have spent millions of dollars to perform “inception” on me to get me to like running. Did you know I am even thinking about training to run the Kampala half marathon in December? Since when?!

It is crazy what you feel in Peace Corps service. You have good, bad, angry, giddy, etc days. But you don't necessarily open yourself up to change.

This past week I was talking with my friend Kiera about Peace Corps service. You know everyone is different and everyone is going to experience service in a different way. You change with service. I told her I couldn't believe myself that I am running. Yep! You surprise yourself she said.

What else will change? What else will I open myself up to while I am here? I mean really, this is the only time in me and Tony's lives that we will ever be separated from life in the states. It's like going away to college but to the extreme. People change in college but they still have influences around them. We don't have those influences in Peace Corps.

It is a time of freedom really. Freedom to really explore yourself as a person and what you want to become. This new Stacey, I have no idea where she came from but she is there. Its weird and scary in a way. You think you know yourself and then Bam!

But what am I so afraid of? Why not grow and change? Why hold anything back?

I have another year in Uganda to surprise myself. Who knows who I will become. Its shocking and intriguing. It makes me wonder what I have been missing all these years.

I don't know! It's crazy. I am still flabbergasted at the idea of running but I am still going to get up in the morning, plug in my ipod, and run.

I am going to run past my Deputy Principal (who looks at me like I'm crazy), past Peter pushing the water cart, past the Bore Hole, down to the old railway station built by the British, along the tracks, past the brick-makers, wait for the cows and goats to cross the path, run up to the mango tree, turn around and run towards the sunrise over Mt. Elgon and home again.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Website Unveiling

So I finally have become satisfied with where I have gotten the website. As I sit in Kampala using free internet I am letting the news out. So here it is, the new and improved life monitor of Tony Markon.


See you there.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Don't Call it a Comeback...

Well, maybe you can. I am not going to lie, it has been entirely too long since either Stacey or I have posted anything on this blog. There has been a reason though. Actually many reasons, but one of the largest has been the website I am working on. Another reason is we simply have been lazy. Ultimately there are really no excuses.

But, now that the holidays are over, school is back in session and we are finally settled into our new schedules the posts will come back. And so will a link to my website. For the most part the blog will be Stacey's while I will use my website to keep people up to date.

Welcome (a little late) to the new year.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A challenge for our readers

So something occurred to me the other day. One, we haven't been interacting much with our readers. So far the blog has been a one way street. We know (or hope) people are reading our blog and we also know that we don't talk to everyone we should one on one. Two, there is a section for comments at the end of the blog post and we would love to hear what you think or have you tell us how big of losers we are for not talking with you all.

So here is an attempted solution. I want everyone to send in questions for Stacey and I to answer in another post. We are going to be in Kampala (the capital) the week of the 25th and it would be really easy for us to get good internet to answer all of your questions in a post.

That is where you come in. Add comments, send us emails, hit us up on facebook, anything really that will get us some questions to answer. We can generate some commonly asked questions as well for some filler, but we would really like to hear from those who are active followers.

You have two weeks. Get on it!