I have been home for about two weeks and I still cant go 10 min. without thinking about the people of Uganda. Every worry I have goes away when I am in Africa. I have no cell phone, wallet or personal care in the world, only the care of these people that need me. The second I get off the plane in Africa, I feel this amazing sense of home and where I belong and need to be. This is where I am supposed to be. These people have changed my life in more ways then they will ever know. The people of Africa are the most pure example of perseverance, community, and hope. These people have nothing, but everything that I want. They have no money, clean water, food, shelter; but they have the most amazing smiles. Their smiles are the most inspiring thing I have ever seen. It is better to have nothing, but everything; then to have everything, but nothing.
Since I have been back I have not bought any material object for myself, not because I am taking a stance against it, but just because I would feel disgusted with myself. In America we live in a very individualistic culture, where it is all about how much money can I get, not worrying about those around you that are struggling and suffering. In Africa it is about how can we all survive. The sense of community that these people show is shocking. People from the village gather to help re-build each others houses when accidents occur, they give each other food when their hungry, and comfort each other in times of need.
Upon arriving home, I have started planning for the next trip in 2 years from now. My Brother (Adam) and I will be hopefully teaching at Tororo High School for the Summer. Idaha and Henry have informed the teachers that we are planning on coming and we are trying to get a house and a price range, we will be staying for about 2 months probably. My mother will be going on a mission trip there, Me and Adam will be on that team for the two weeks she is there, and then go back to teaching at the high school. If you are at all interested in going to Uganda, please contact me!!!!!!!
I will never forget these people or their stories:
1. The Pastor of Namnoya (Traveled 20 miles on bike in the bush to lead his church)
2. Tororo High School-Idha (the Heart of GFR in Uganda) and Henry (Two of the most inspiring and uplifting people I have ever met)
3. Kampala Night Life- (Lee's Dinosaur Call and the bar that we, the white people, walked into and they instantly change the TV Celine Dion on rotation until we left.
4. Fred, Aka Hollywood-Best Bus Driver Ever, enough said
5. Jerome- The hardest working man in Uganda, The Soul of GFR in Uganda
6. The naked boy in Gulu-He walked around and no one looked at him any different, him and his best friend just held hands and walked around smiling. This is my most inspiring image that I will take away from the trip.
7. Sleeping at St.Mary's in Gulu with the Night Commuters- I can not put into words how many emotions I felt that night, but i will try : inspired, scared, cold, overjoyed, exhausted, emotionally drained, proud, welcomed, and crazy.
8. Dead Hippo floating down the Nile- Just Cool!
9. Bosco- Malaria might have drained him for activity in the beginning, but his smile and laughter really kept me going in the end.
10. The Team: This was the most dynamic and well connected group of people I have ever met. We really pulled together and carried ourselves because of some unfortunate circumstances. It was an amazing experience seeing how this trip affected my dad, and how it has opened is eyes and mind, I have never been more proud to call him my father. And meeting a person that I truly care for and connect with, is an added bonus.
11. Becoming Numb to Guns.