Saturday, July 30, 2016

Farewells and Goodbyes... no, "See You Later"

It is so hard to believe that just 2 months ago, I landed in the Motherland for the 2nd time in my life. This time, I was blessed to visit the beautiful region of Eastern Africa, specifically the country of Uganda. The moment I landed in Kigali, Rwanda and along the 2.5 hour trek to Kabale, I felt so at home. What happened over the next 2 months is sure to go down in the memory book of life.

You are already aware that my team and I have been working, and very hard at that, but I thought it would be great to mention it again :) Interacting with Ugandans, whether in the health facilities collecting data, or in and around town making lasting friendships, it is surely an aspect that cannot be matched and will forever be treasured. Here’s to developed friendships!

It was an honor to coach my first 'football' team, consisting of “visitors” from America and Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST). The home team truly got a run for their money, and the intensity was definitely high throughout the duration of the game. Go team, you were great!

We weren’t the only ones in Kabale working though… MUST students definitely challenged us during our stay to continuously bring innovative research ideas to the table. We also provided consistent and reciprocal feedback to one another throughout our projects. At their research presentation, I, along with KIHEFO staff learned a lot about their project focusing on dental hygiene. I am so very proud of these guys! They are truly inspiring and will certainly be missed.

So, all things must come to an end, right? Eh… Sure. When asked what will be missed most about Uganda, definitively, my answer is the people. Unfortunately, during my stay, saying goodbye to groups of people happened a bit more frequently than I would like. But when I was reminded to not say goodbye, and that the appropriate phrase is 'see you later', things seemed a bit better. I certainly hope to meet these people again!

Until next time… I encourage everyone to make it a priority to travel to the Motherland. I promise you won’t be disappointed. A HUGE thanks goes to Christian Brother’s University MHIRT for the opportunity to travel, learn and grow in such a beautiful place.      

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