Monday August 15, 2011
For a person who has never been out of the United States before this has been a zero to sixty experience that has changed my life.
I’ve been on a plane probably twice, and both were to Florida. So the two days of traveling to get to Uganda was pretty intense…but after landing and driving through the villages every materialistic concern, every selfish thought vanished. I remember writing down in my journal one sentence: “the world is so big, and most of us are so ignorant.”
My eyes were wide open for the first time and as the trip continued they just kept getting wider and wider.
I have met some of the happiest kids on the planet, and most of them live in poverty and some are very sick. It baffles me that in America a country where opportunity is around ever corner, most kids (including myself) have lived lives where nothing is ever enough and the appetite for materialistic things are never satiated, and yet here in Uganda where the opportunity…like drinking water and food…is not always there and yet you have these kids just happy with what they have.
At the Bursoga primary school we visited I met a girl named Brenda. She was 15 and preparing for secondary school. She told me of her dream to become a doctor one day. She told me that she works so hard in school to ensure that her dream becomes a reality. She was wonderful.
Her teacher told me that Brenda had lost her mother two years prior, and that she not only suffered from sickle cell anemia but she, like her mother before her, suffered from extreme scoliosis. After a few days of trying to be strong, I couldn’t hold back tears. Here was this girl with the cards stacked against her, so full of life.
I came here with the goal of trying to make a difference, and that is a goal I will most definitely continue to work on for the rest of my life. I am so grateful to be apart of such a wonderful team with dreams of making the world a better place.
One of my fellow teammates said to me on the first day that “you come here expecting to help the children, and in turn these children change your life” and they have done just that. All of these amazing people that I have met here in Uganda, and all of the things I have learned from them have touched my soul and have forever changed me.