Today was a fairly uneventful one. This morning we checked out of our Kampala home (Red Chili). Though most of the students weren't in love with the place, I must admit I grew fond of the dirty floors, the strange cheese on the pizza, and the slowest computers ever known to man. It had become a place of familiarity for me and a relaxing home after long days. We stopped by the National Theatre market on the way out of town to spend some of our last shillings and pick up some souvies for those of you back home who are eagerly awaiting our return. The ride went extremely smooth in comparison to many we've had, and we made it to Jinja just before dark. Our huts are sweet (in my opinion)... though I wasn't one of the unfortunate ones who entered to find strange creatures crawling in their beds.
Now that our departure is fast upon us, it seems like there is no way that we've been here two and a half weeks. When we got here it seemed like we had all the time in the world. We studied everything from agriculture to government corruption to AIDS, and although it seems like I know almost everything on the subject, I know there is so much more to learn. I can't help but admit that I leave Uganda with a bit of a heavier heart than when I entered. Despite all the hard work we have witnessed here and all of the resilient people we were fortunate to meet, we also saw first-hand that developing this nation in any sort of fashion (let alone sustainably) is an incredible battle. A lot of the time the government isn't only failing to aid and support its people, but it is the biggest roadblock that exists. I am not pessimistic enough to think that the battle is lost, mainly because I have met people like Provia who have huge hearts and big ambitions. I know that progress can and will be made, but I also know that our MUBS colleagues have a long road ahead of them. I wish them luck and success in all of their endeavors.
As for my Drake peers... thank goodness the trip is almost over and I can get some time away from a bunch of crazies. (just kidding). As an incoming transfer student, I am grateful and feel extremely lucky to have gotten to know each of them. There is nothing quite like the Oweno market, long bus rides on Big Blue, and large amounts of matooke to bring together a bunch of strangers.