Tuesday, January 3, 2012


During some last minute gift shopping for my host family, I realized I don’t know anything about them. How old are the kids? Am I accidentally buying a doll for a sixteen year-old boy? As I put the doll back on the shelf and looked for some more gender-neutral gifts, I found that I could hardly contain my excitement. I can’t wait to Skype with my Ugandan partner tomorrow, provided all goes smoothly. I can’t wait to step off the plane in Uganda after waiting for three months. I can’t wait to meet my host family and show them photos of my own family and see children play with the toys I’m bringing. However, my anticipation does not only apply to the social aspects of the trip. I am also excited for the opportunity to combine the knowledge of public health I have gained in the classroom back at Johns Hopkins with the skills I will be acquiring in Uganda through an independent study project as well as a service project in the homestay village. Today’s exercise in Lexington Market has already begun to teach me how to discard my preconceived notions and observe with an open mind. I look forward to expanding upon these exercises in a completely foreign setting while forming lasting relationships.

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