The final week in Uganda was loaded with farewells, work, travel, and adventure. We began the week by moving back into our guest house from our respective home stays. The two weeks of living with different families in huts was so relaxing and provided a new perspective of the Oyam District in Uganda. The people are truly one with nature in every respect. The only thing that is put into peoples’ bodies that isn’t grown or raised themselves are sodas. People in our village only drank sodas and bought them to offer us as a kind gesture. It was incredible to eat real organic and farm raised foods, bathe outdoors, and sleep under a roof made of straw. The addition of a break from the entire team was also nice in regards to mixing it up in terms of our experience.
The beginning of the week involved a primary school visit and making sanitary pads with the business Apit Penino. We made 30 pads in one evening on Tuesday. By Wednesday we had our farewell event with members of GHNU, staff, the San Diego State and Wake Forest interns, and traditional dancers. It was fantastic. We watched the performers, danced, had a bonfire, Felicia and Dr. Bob gave out awards to the entire Syracuse team for completing the internship, we feasted, and enjoyed the company of each other one last time. By Thursday we were packing up to hit the road for Friday morning. On Thursday, Felicia accompanied the other team one last time on home visits in Adyegie and said a final farewell to her homestay family who lived close by.
Between Friday and Sunday we traveled a total of 10 hours from Loro to Jinja to Kampala and finally Entebbe where we departed the country. We did our final shopping for friends and family, some of us went bungee jumping, we went on a boat ride up the source of the Nile, and rested for our journey back to the USA via Dubai.
The concept of home is a funny thing. After about a week in Uganda we were calling Oyam our home. Every evening after work was done around 5/6pm we all went home to our guest house, hang out, eat dinner, and go to our beds. Home is a place you feel comfortable and reside for a period of time. That time lasted six weeks, and will always feel like another home, a place we are welcomed to. Now being back in the USA, in our respective states, homes, and with our families, home is still the same, but our feelings about it and how we live has changed. Thank you Uganda for broadening our minds further and welcoming us into your homes that you allowed us to call our own.
Our team can’t express enough how amazing of an internship this was. Working with Global Health Network Uganda was empowering to each of us, community members, and the businesses that we were able to work with. The GHNU staff is incredibly intelligent, hospitable, and dedicated to uplifting their entire district and Uganda as a whole. Syracuse University’s Nourish Chapter is doing great things by sending interns to Uganda for the last four years to work with GHNU and forge this sustainable partnership. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts and our minds.