Well, it’s morning in Uganda. I’m writing quite informally to introduce my next few weeks of work, all of which will be presented in some way, shape or form on this blog.
In quick summary, I received funding from the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication this spring to participate in a six-week communications/reporting internship in Uganda. My position, beginning Monday, is in partnership with Save the Mothers, an international NGO committed to improving the health of mothers and babies.
I have not yet been in Uganda for more than 48 hours, but, my, do I already have stories.
While much of the content I produce over the following weeks will not be about me at all, I will do my best to mix in some personal reflection and–more than likely–humor related to my daily life to accompany the serious issues I will be reporting on.
My first days abroad can be well described by the following: Tulips and pearls. And not literally, because I will confide that I had to track down a security guard late last night to remove a pesky bat from my room.
Tulips because I somehow managed–after zero sleep over the Atlantic–to putz my way into Amsterdam during my six hour layover in Holland. Though my 7:00am entrance meant very few shops were open, I was able to grab a coffee and muffin and watch the city slowly wake. I left even more exhausted than when I got off the plane, but I’m so glad I went through the hassle of exchanging money and finding the train downtown.
Pearls, however, represent a very different mind game I have been playing since I left home.
For whatever reason, this transition from the U.S. to Uganda has been significantly more difficult than my experience Rwanda. This is probably a combination of a variety of factors, including more serious jet lag, transition from Wisconsin’s spring to Uganda’s heat, having to prepare meals for myself and living alone. As a people person, this last concern is taking the largest mental/emotional toll.
All this said, Winston Churchill called Uganda “the pearl of Africa” and I have no doubt I will also find this to be the case. While my first impressions have been a lot of lethargy, skittishness and uncertainty, I have the utmost confidence that I will thoroughly enjoy my time following this rut.
In the meantime, I’ve tried to pick out the pearls from my first few days in Mukono.
A post with a bit more substance can be expected in the coming days, as I begin work on Monday. If you’re a pray-er, pray for me. If you’re a good vibes person, send them all my way. And as always, I’d love to hear from friends and family from home. Feel free to drop a note in the comments section or email me at doll[dot]meagan[at]gmail[dot]com.