Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Reflections before leaving for Uganda

It doesn't really seem real that I will be in Uganda in less than three days. I have been trying to mentally prepare myself for the culture shock that is soon to come by reading recent articles about Uganda and google imaging "Rakai village" and "Kampala" but even these images seem insufficient in easing my uncertainty about the experience. However, it is true that this experience will definitely be a culture shock in all sense of the word. Throughout orientation today, I realized how much I am looking forward to this cross-cultural exchange that is about to happen. There is definitely something fresh and exciting in learning about new cultures, and in understanding how the interaction between the people and their culture makes a functional society. I hope I can learn much about the Ugandan culture in the three weeks that we'll be there. The one aspect of the program that I am really excited about is getting to experience both the rural and urban cultures; hopefully I can be observant enough to discover important differences between these two. During the pre-orientation trip to the Lexington Market, being observant proved to be extremely useful in understanding interactions between people eating at the Market. Hopefully, it will be even more useful in understanding Ugandan culture. Finally, I am really excited to start working with my Ugandan peers and develop international relationships. Even though this interaction is only initially based on my interest in maternal health, I hope it will develop into something more substantial.

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