Friday, 10 August 2018

Three Weeks in Uganda

Last week I returned home from Uganda. As we flew the 4000 miles home I had some time to write down my thoughts on the three weeks I spent there with 18 other students and 3 teachers from my school.

My expectations of Africa had been mostly dirt roads and dusty plains, but what I came face to face with on the first morning I woke up in Uganda could not have been further from what I pictured. Uganda is carpeted with luscious green landscapes dotted with huts and striped with blazing red roads. As you drive along, mountains canopied with tropical greenery tower above the roads, and you will be greeted everywhere by smiling faces, waving hands and excited shouts of “Mzungu!” (meaning ‘white person’ – not a derogatory term but one which we never failed to find amusing!). 

Ugandans have a much slower pace of life, without the rush and chaos of the days back home. It allowed us to focus on and enjoy what was in front of us at every moment, never following a rigid schedule and taking our time at everything. Meal times were never spent looking at screens. The lack of wifi and service (a curse and a blessing!) meant that conversations were not flaked by glances at phones, especially with the Ugandans. As we walked they would hold our hands and talk with us about their culture. They asked about England, our lives, and about our families. Names were crucial and they never forget any details even when we saw them days later. 

I loved Uganda for the honesty, versatility and courage of a country that has been through and is still going through so much. Most of all I was stunned by the free and unstoppable happiness of a people who have so little yet do not let this define them. Words or even a camera cannot fully capture the beauty of the simplicity of Uganda- it really is a place you have to visit to truly see. 


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