Uno may very well be a staple in most Peace Corps volunteer’s belongings when they first arrive in country….and, if it is not, it should be (especially for volunteers that work with youth). The rules of Uno translate well into most cultures and the premise is easy enough for volunteers to explain, even with limited language capacity. It is a fun game to play with local youth, students, and host families and gives you an easy icebreaker into community integration.
Uno is also a staple at a lot of M31 gatherings…it travels easy and you really learn a lot about your fellow volunteers when you find yourselves in the middle of a cutthroat round (*cough* my site mate that likes to hold his cards under the table so no one can see his progress *cough*).
When my partner teachers are out sick or are attending a short training, Uno is an easy thing for me to use with my younger students to keep them from roaming the halls like feral cats during class time. I make them utilize their English numbers and colors while they are playing because, well, I’m an English teacher and that’s my job and this keeps them occupied for the majority of the lesson. Moldovan students are crazy competitive so I always get a good laugh out of watching them play games…especially my 6th graders who are already super extra.
So, on Day 93, I would like to dedicate this as a love letter to Uno. Thanks for saving me, my sanity, and my hair during these past months of my service. You da real MVP.