Exciting news! This summer I will be traveling back to Africa! I am so excited I can hardly wait for the regular school year to finish! I will begin by participating in a study abroad program in Ghana studying the disparities in healthcare along with Ghanaian culture.
I then plan to travel back to Uganda. I was offered a chance to help a graduate student conduct research in an area of southern Uganda. I also hope to visit the health center that S.C.O.U.T. B.A.N.A.N.A. has funded for the past 5 years and see how things are unfolding there. I would really like to possibly make it to Gulu to see how the Invisible Children programs are being run, but I am not sure yet if that is possible.
My friends then mentioned that they would like to volunteer at an AIDS assistance program in Tanzania, so maybe I will cover 3 African countries in one summer! It will be very exciting to use my french and swahili in a country where the language is spoken by the population.
I really can’t wait as you may be able to tell. 4 years is a long time to be away from the land you have fallen in love with, from the people who have given you so much direction in life. I have a lot to catch up in from 4 years past. The toughest issue to deal with when working to help people in communities across the ocean is the great distance and displacement from the actual issue. Many people ask me how will I know that people’s lives are really being affected and changed? When will I be able to see the results of my donation? So many people want to see the direct result of their efforts and I can’t blame them. I have faith and I trust the organizations that S.C.O.U.T. B.A.N.A.N.A. supports, but I can definitely hear the request of the people who help. For the past 4 years I have been working so hard for communities so far away and I can’t wait to see the real impact that my efforts and the efforts of other dedicated individuals has had on the communities that I will visit this summer. I keep telling myself not to rush it because everything comes in due time and at its given time. For now I’ll keep learning about Africa in class and know from previous experience that there is no way any classroom or grade will even compare to an on the ground African experience.