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Uganda is ...

July 29, 2016

What is Uganda?

 

I could describe the buildings without electricity or the latrines without running water, but that is not all that Uganda is.

 

I could tell you of the schools with no books or a classroom filled with one hundred children, but that is not what Uganda is either.

 

Uganda is Sandy, who wanted to teach me Luo, and laughed with me as I struggled to understand her language.

 

Uganda is Gift who wanted to know how my camera worked, and then made the other children laugh when she took their picture.

 

Uganda is Gloria and Mercy and so many other girls who love science and math and music, and dream of being accountants or computer scientists or soccer players.

 

Uganda is children who want to learn, and dream of doing great things with their lives.

 

Today, a teenage girl stood before her whole school and our group, to thank us for providing her with a hygiene kit. I wish I could describe her pure amazement that Fields of Dreams would provide her with three pairs of underwear when she could not ask her own father for even one pair. It is humbling to realize that something as simple as underwear and pads could completely change a girl’s future.

 

But Uganda is more than limited resources.

 

Uganda is even more than just the wonderful students.

 

Uganda is teachers who believe in their students above all else.

 

Uganda is teachers who are raising future leaders, teachers, lawyers, doctors against all odds.

 

Uganda is David, the music teacher at Pageya who can teach his class to make incredible music from almost nothing.

 

There are so many things that transcend culture, social class, or language. To see David, the music teacher working with his students today, was to see any teacher working with students. The love of students for their teacher and the passion of a teacher for his students’ education, these things can’t be captured with words. I did not need to know the language to understand that he was a great teacher. That teacher and those students could have been any classroom in the world.

 

Teaching…Learning…Joy…Love…Hope…These are all Uganda.

 

Uganda is filled with dreamers and thinkers. Uganda is filled with joy and laughter.

 

Uganda is different from us in many ways, but in all the ways that matter, we are very much the same.

 

Uganda is the world.

 

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