My Last Week in Uganda

I’m writing this from Egyptian airspace, and steadily moving further away from Uganda. Thankfully, the last few days of my time in my second home were wonderful. I relished every last walk to and from school, every last late night help session, every last trip to the well, every last time being covered in chalk dust, every last bucket shower, every last time fighting my way through my mosquito nets, every last simple conversation, the list goes on and on.
We went back to the school where I promised the students we’d play a full football match. After a difficult lesson (we were all anxious to play), we had P7, the oldest students, versus P6 and me. I had what I’d humbly describe as a perfect through ball for an assist, and we went up 2-0 on P7. Then, P7 scored 3 goals unanswered. As the sky darkened dramatically and threatened to rain during extra time, I scored and we ended in a tie.
We also visited a new school, and Uncle Sandy introduced me to the staff as a doctor. I didn’t encourage it, but I certainly didn’t fight it. I didn’t hate hearing, “This is P5, doctor,” when entering a classroom, or, “Thank you for your suggestions, doctor,” when explaining the need for toilet covers. While teaching the younger students, there was undoubtedly the best moment of my work. When I talk about not sharing drinks, I make my hand into a cup and pretend to drink from it, then hold it to other students to take. When I put my hand down to the littlest boy in the room, he gave me a fist bump.
On Thursday, I taught my last lessons, and then afternoon classes were essentially cancelled as the school prepared a farewell for me. I was so humbled as my school, the preparatory school from the village center, and some village leaders attended. Again, there is nothing better than hearing that the little things I have tried to do to help have actually made a difference. Moreover, while in the taxi on the way to the airport, I heard on the radio, broadcasted all over Uganda, my name (including that I’m a Mulangira) and the things I have done.
It was so difficult to leave the friends, family, and home that I have found here, especially when they keep asking me when I’ll be back. It’s hard to believe that 10 weeks can go by so quickly, but I will never forget any of the things I’ve experienced here.
However, the journey doesn’t end now. It’s time for three more weeks of adventure, exploring Europe and more of Africa. I want to end the last of my weekly correspondences with something special. My best friend amongst the students, Abert, entrusted me with the delivery of two letters. One is addressed to my family, the other to FSU. I’m just going to leave an excerpt from the latter here: “And I have realised that Florida State University in America is the one and only university which can teach someone to be well behaved just to succeed in this little world.”

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