Being back home for about a week now, I’ve had a lot of time to unwind my mind and personally reflect on my experience in Uganda. I knew it would be the opportunity of a lifetime but, relaying my experiences to all of my friends and family I feel I am able to cherish this experience that much more. I find myself at a loss of words at times, unable to depict life in Uganda with any pattern of words or pictures. The most impactful thing I can say about life in Uganda is while they may live quite differently and simply, the people seem far happier than most of the people I’ve come across in America or Europe. They seem to need only the essentials, and even without some of these essentials they always wear a smile on their face. I feel privileged to be taking this part of Uganda home with me.
The healthcare aspect of Uganda required the most reflection of everything I experienced. At the beginning of the trip I questioned everything they did in the hospitals trying to make sense of everything. I couldn’t help but to think they practiced like we would have 40 years ago. By the end of the trip I decided I would never comes to terms with some of their practices and felt more comfortable saying, “They just do things differently over here, and I can’t necessarily change this”. While I still disagree with many of their practices, I know they are doing what they think is the best for their patients, and the best with the resources they have. I love how pharmacy is trying to evolve into a more clinical profession in Uganda. Winnie is the best human being ever for working so hard for the profession of pharmacy. She has high expectations for pharmacists in Uganda (and probably even pharmacists in America for that matter). It will be a slow process, but each small step in the right direction will help speed up the process. I hope we were able to do just that and help pharmacy in Uganda take one small step in the right direction.
I hope I am able to take these thoughts with me and incorporate them into my travels, my practices, and my relationships moving forward in everyday life. Being able to take a step back from any situation, gain some perspective, and decipher how to tackle the problem from all angles is a talent I hope to keep strengthening and I know this global health APPE helped me to do so. Until next time Africa, I’ll be back!