To never have to start a sentence with "I wish I would have..."


The contents and opinions of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the Peace Corps or the U.S. government.

Monday, May 2, 2011

What a year in Uganda has taught me

A year ago I swore in as a PCV. I moved away from my family of other volunteers into my village and began to understand what a “primary school teacher trainer” really did. I’ve overcome more struggles this past year than I have my whole life, and have had even more successes.

A year in Uganda has made me learn to appreciate the small things in life and the importance of patience. The littlest thing like being addressed by name can make all the difference in how much satisfaction I get out of my day.

A year in Uganda has shown me how much of a self motivator I really am. It’s taught me to not care about what people think or how they perceive me because, here, they’re going to talk about me and stare at me no matter what I do.

A year in Uganda has taught me the value of being a woman, something I definitely took for granted in America. I’ve been sexually harassed on a near daily basis here, from being asked for sex in a somewhat joking matter to be flat out propositioned for sex as a fee for getting my mail.

A year in Uganda has made me realize how strong I am and how much I can endure. I’ve pushed myself to the limits and, if possible, have set higher standards for myself than I ever did in America. More importantly, I’ve learned how to pick myself back up and try a new approach when I don’t quite meet the goals I’ve set for myself or when I’ve utterly failed.

A year in Uganda has made me realize the value of relationships. I first had the know-it-all approach of wanting to “fix” everything that was wrong with my village, or what I thought was wrong at least. I’ve learned without the trust and respect of my community, nothing can get done. My relationships in this country are the backbone of my success and along the way I’ve met some truly inspiring and amazing people. They have changed my life more than they know and I hope I have done a sliver of the same for them.

A year in Uganda has taught me that while having initiative is one of the keys to success, you won’t get anywhere without follow through. Watching foreign aid come in and build schools without training teachers devastates this country and instills in it the notion that white people are the save all because they throw money around to fix problems. I’ve truly learned to respect and appreciate the value of Peace Corps as an organization. They have it right when they put volunteers in high need communities with the expectation of training locals and providing them with the skills they need in order to live a successful life. Like the old saying goes, if you give a man a fish he eats for a day but if you teach a man a fish he eats for a lifetime.

A year in Uganda has shown me that change doesn’t necessarily mean the end. Change is definitely a scary concept that I am still getting comfortable with, but more than that change brings about opportunity and growth. Without change things would remain stagnant and boring. Change means excitement and the chance to learn even more about yourself.

A year in Uganda has made me appreciate family and friendship. Without the constant and never judging support I get from you guys back home, there's no way I'd still be where I am today. Your love and encouragement keeps me going on the days when I find it hard to muster up the motivation to leave me house. Thanks for all you do!


1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on a year full of impressive accomplishments. You continue to amaze me! Love you!