The end of my time in Uganda is fast approaching. People have been asking me lately how I feel about leaving and I don’t think I have really processed fully my experiences here yet. I know it will be something I will never forget and it will be a part of me for a very long time.
I guess I can say that I possess a mixture of sadness and happiness. Sadness at leaving a place where I have met so many interesting and good people and seeing so many new sights and experiences. Happiness about going home and seeing family, my girlfriend, and friends.
I have also learned a lot. I have learned many things about the healthcare system in a foreign country. I have also learned about the development “business” and how it appears differently to you once you are on the ground to witness the actual implementation of the work. There are many well intentioned people here in Uganda trying to help as best as they think they know how. However, the question is really whether it is truly helpful in the long run. In this area, there are many ideas that are mixed with unselfish volunteers, dedicated Ugandans, religious zealots, con artists, corrupt officials, and of course the people who need the help the most (or may not seem like they do at times).
Uganda is an interesting place with a lot of potential. It may not represent all of Africa but it does give a profile of how development aid has succeeded (or often times failed) in the African continent. I wish only the best for this country and it’s people.