Monday, November 28, 2011

Kailee Lee- Global Health in Uganda


Uganda touched my my heart. I assumed before leaving for Uganda that I was about to have a life changing experience, but the experience I had there was even more profound than I imagined. Uganda is a beautiful country with beautiful people. I may sound a little sappy but my study abroad experience in Uganda really made me feel like I was in touch with human beings in an entirely new way.

The purpose of this particular study abroad trip was to do water testing, community assessments, to survey women, teaching women about hygiene kits and helping some of the towns with brick making and micro loans. The first and second day of the trip were two of the most amazing days I have every had in my life. After a bumpy drive through pineapple fields and viewing beautiful Lake Victoria we arrived at our first water testing site. The site was across from a elementary age school yard and when we arrived it was lunch time. Within a few short minutes of arriving at the water site our car was swarmed with children yelling “muzungu muzungu!” (Muzungu means white person). Everywhere we went the swarm of about 200 kids followed us, watching our every move. Basically every time we encountered children throughout the entire month we were swarmed by curious and beautiful kids that wanted to touch us and watch us.

The second day in Uganda was really an eye opening day for all of us. We had the opportunity to work with a school called Gods Grace. When we arrived the children sang some songs and did a skit they had prepared for us. While singing the songs the children were extremely happy and energetic. It was refreshing to be in such a happy atmosphere. The skit the children performed was about HIV in Africa and the hardships that many of the children had gone through. About 8 of the children stood up and told stories of how they had lost their loved ones. One girl told us how she had lost her uncle to HIV, a boy told of how his mother had been killed by a wild animal, two twins stood up and told us how both of their parents had left one day and never came back. I don’t think one person in that tent had a dry eye. It made me extremely grateful to have a safe home and two parents.

My month long experience in Africa was full of eye opening and life changing experiences. From playing duck duck goose with children that have nothing, to bungee jumping over the Victoria Nile, Uganda is a beautiful place that I will not soon forget.

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