It’s been a month since I last wrote, and even longer since I’ve posted updates. So, consider this a random highlight reel of the last few months and a peek at what is coming up. I can’t believe it, but somehow I only have 41 days left in Uganda!?
- Soon after returning back to Uganda from Chicago, I attended GHC’s Quarter 3 retreat. All the Ugandan fellows convened in a lovely part of Kampala on Lake Victoria, Munyonyo, to check in one last time as a country group. As always, it was great to see everyone and to hear exciting post-fellowship plans.
- I finally made it to Uganda’s biggest National Park, Murchison Falls! Five friends and I traveled several hours north of Kampala to spend one night in the park. My favorite parts were a boat ride on the Nile River, hiking to the top of Murchison Falls (and finding a rainbow there!), seeing giraffe for the first time, and getting up close and personal to a big, male lion. But beware of nasty tsetse flies there! They bite through anything, including jeans. It was unbelievable.
- My lovely GHC co-fellow, Peter, got married! In Uganda, there’s a ceremonial introduction event of the groom to the bride’s family. Along with a few other GHC fellows, we traveled 5 hours to Masaka, where his fiance’s (Stella) family home is. Essentially, they were welcoming him into the family as he offered the dowry for his soon-to-be wife. Though I couldn’t understand a word that was said, the venue was really colorfully decorated, the outfits were beautiful, the food was delicious, and Peter & Stella were so happy. Then the following weekend, we bused up to Kampala for his wedding, which was a Christian ceremony in a church, with a reception at a nearby venue. Check out my gomesi in the photos – the traditional outfit for Buganda women.
- Per my previous post, I kicked off my first ever Indiegogo campaign for a small project to distribute menstrual hygiene kits to vulnerable girls in our district. It just closed last week and I’m happy to say that we raised $3,160 in one month! We finished our first distribution earlier this week and ACODEV will be continuing to do so over the next few months. If you’re interested, there’s a full update here. Thanks to everyone that supported us in one way or another!
- Lastly, and most importantly… on June 8th, I became an Aunt! My sister and brother-in-law had their first baby, Colter Hayden Stephany. He’s the first grandchild in our family so it’s quite exciting for all of us. As you can imagine, I’m counting down the days (69!) until I get to meet the little guy.
Though I’m still figuring out part of my post-GHC life, there’s a lot that I’m looking forward to in the next few months:
- In mid-July, we’ll be welcoming the next class of GHC fellows to Uganda, including two new fellows to be placed with ACODEV. We’ll be orienting them in Kampala for a few days, celebrating ACODEV’s 10th anniversary together, and traveling back with them to Kasese to turn over the keys to our house. So bittersweet!
- On July 27th, I’ll have to say until next time to Uganda as all 106 current GHC fellows travel to Kigali, Rwanda for a five day end-of-year retreat. We’ll finally reunite with the whole class of fellows who have been placed in the US, Zambia, Malawi, Rwanda, and Burundi. Most of them we haven’t seen since last July at Yale University.
- Before returning to the US, I’ll be visiting family in New Delhi, India for two weeks. In addition to lots of quality time together, I’m excited to visit a few spots with them including Jaipur and Agra. It will be my first time to Asia and I can’t wait!
I’ll do my best to check in here again, but imagine I’ll have less and less time over the coming weeks as I wrap up my job here. And as the fellowship nears an end, so will this blog. But, that just means that I’ll hopefully be seeing many of you in person shortly. I hope that everyone is having a lovely summer!