As someone who was born and raised in the United States, I learned about Africa in the most biased way. During one of our first lessons, Dr. Geoffrey Anguyo discussed how students would ask him , “Where are the lions?” “Do you have running water” Where is the jungle. I too, was one of these ignorant people. All I remember reading about Africa is Joesph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness in school and the wars between different groups of people. Never did I imagine that I would be able to have the opportunity to come to Uganda. Once here, I realized that all my stereotypes and preconceived notions were untrue. Here people seem happier than the folks back home in the United States. Mother’s brought their children to work with them.
There is this idea that everyone in a “developing” country is desperate and in poverty but coming here has taught me that this is untrue. There is a diverse socio-economic spectrum. There are people here who are educated, business owners, and entrepreneurs. I learned that I still have a lot to grasp while living in this amazing place.
The Khiefo living space is quite nice. I am living in a quad room with two students from the United States and one student from the United Kingdom. There are eight of us in the suite. I had no idea that we would be allowed to have hot water so that was a nice surprise. There again, I had a pre-conceived notion about a place I have never been too.
This week I’m learning to have an open mind and to let go of any ideas I have about people. Here pictured is Hunter Davidson and I in front of the staircase of the Khiefo Apartments.