After 40 hours of driving to Entebbe, flying to Brussels, waiting for our connection, flying to Newark, waiting for the car service, and finally, driving to Philadelphia, I made it back home.
Leaving the simple, fundamental lifestyle of Bududa only to find myself in the viral, chaotic cacophony of the US has made the contrast even more stark than it was when I left home. After two weeks here, I am still adjusting, processing, and trying to understand what I experienced and how it has changed my values and ideas about how to live a caring and meaningful life.
Rather than write something that won’t be valid tomorrow or a month from now, I thought I would share a few specific answers to “how the trip went” questions. At the end of this blog, I have included the first of probably four videos that shot in Bududa for the Learning Center.
- The people were wonderful – friendly, generous, curious, supportive, and welcoming in every way.
- The weather was hot – 85 and humid during the day, but cool enough at night that a light blanket was needed.
- Food: pineapples, mangoes, and avocados were delicious and abundant at the guest house dinners. Beans, rice, matoki, and avocado were served for lunch every day at the school. Same menu very day. Healthy diet. I lost a few pounds.
- No mosquitoes. No malaria for me. Local folks are not so fortunate.
- Drinking water at the guest house was filtered and treated. Take that water to the school or take your chances. No problem.
- No running water anyplace. It is amazing how fast you adapt to taking a shower by hanging a bag of water from a nail and dribbling water on body parts with a hose.
- Electricity and internet were sporadic and came and went for no apparent reason.
- English is spoken by all of the school faculty. Most people, especially younger people, speak at least some English, but their accent and syntax can often make it challenging to understand what is being said. Watch the video at the bottom of this blog for a charming example complete with captioning.
- There are no wild animals in Bududa. Cows, goats, a few pigs, and chickens are everywhere. Not a lion, elephant, or even a monkey to be seen. We did make an overnight trip to a national park where we saw many elephants, wart hogs, baboons, hippos, giraffes and cape buffalo. Didn’t see any lions.
More stories and pictures here or when we get together sometime in the future.
“A Dream Comes True” is a short video about Nicholas Olowo, a graduate of the Bududa Vocational Academy. He graduated with a certificate from the Nursery Teacher Training Program and was hired as a full-time teacher at a nearby elementary school. Teaching was Nicholas’s dream. Enabling students to get a job that carries a steady salary is the mission of the BVA. Nicholas just one of many success stories.