My experience in Uganda

Yesterday and today were two of the most incredible and interesting days of my life. Here is why... Together with a group of talented people, we visited and explored the village near the local health clinic in Nawanyago, Uganda. As we walked, I noticed that the roads were much different than they are at home. At home, the roads are paved, well marked, and smooth. In contrast, here in Nawanyago, the roads are made of red dirt with lots of bumps and ruts. The most common vehicles are motorbikes (boda-bodas). There are also no sidewalks and many domestic cows, goats and chickens grazing on the side of the road. There are many children playing and running near the houses by the road.

Each time we would pass by one of the Ugandan children, they would wave and say “hi!” If we got too close, some of them would run or shy away. They were dressed in very raggedy and old clothing. Their clothes were stained from the red dirt of the street. Most of the kids were bare foot, but the lucky ones had flip flops. Some of them played with used motorcycle or bicycle tires and a wooden stick. Even if they did not have any specific toys, they looked to be very happy and having fun. None of the children looked angry or upset. While we were walking, a big group of kids were following us. They were fascinated by the Mzungu (white person) in their village.

I also noticed a few special things about their homes. Many had no doors or windows, just holes in the wall. The kitchen is a small separate building, where they cook on a wood fire. Some houses are made of wood, but most homes are made of bricks. The roofs are made out of metal. Some buildings contain multiple homes and hold many families. The houses have no running water and only some have electricity. To get water, the villagers line up at the well of the village to pump water into big jugs, to carry home.

We stopped at a few houses and interviewed villagers about the new ultrasound service at the nearby clinic. Every interview subject was nice, happy and co-operative. I learned that even though the villagers don’t have all the resources, they always have a big smile on their face. All that made me realize how lucky I am to have running water and electricity, things I have always taken for granted.

This wonderful experience was something that I will remember forever.

- Jacob Miller ITW Enrichment Student

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