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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

June 8, 2009

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.


  1. Shout out to the matoukee! jk. The time did fly, and we learned a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff... When I think about sustainable developement, I can make sense out of conserving the environment and culture, getting internent and other necessary supplies to the schools, making healthcare accessible, and all kinds of other issues. But when it comes to a certain level of government corruption, I don't know what to think or do. In the USA, we struggle with many of the same issues that Uganda is struggling with (if only on a much different scale), but I haven't thought too seriously about what it would be like to really fear my own government. I don'tknow what to say when people face the fear of DEATH for speaking their mind. It is almost kind of creepy to think that we might have even met with people that have been tied to political imprisonments and even murders. I'm not going to mention any names (or acronyms) but I think we did get a little taste of some Ugandan politics.

  2. I have to agree with Juliann, at the beginning of the trip, we saw a full 3 weeks ahead of us... what seemed like shortly after, we were counting down on last days in Uganda. :( I definitely cherished my last few days I had left. How often do you really get the change to travel to Africa??? Now, having been home for a while, I realize how quickly the trip really went by and also, how much I learned... especially, what I learned about the way of life in Uganda. Since being in MN, I realize how I adjusted to life in Uganda, the slow-paced travel, being with friends 24/7, on the go all the time w/o a lot of "down time", etc. Now, I have to adjust to life back in the US. I really miss Uganda and definitely hope to return...