Thank you for following our blogs hope you are enjoying them as much as we enjoyed our time in Uganda. WOW, time flew, these weeks went by really quickly. After our journey in Uganda, Mike and I traveled to some countries in Europe and London, UK. Now we are at the airport heading to ASHP Midyear conference. For those who are not in the pharmacy world this is where we go and talk to multiple residency programs and try to decide where we want to apply to.
I transferred to Wilkes for pharmacy school and I remember being at the interview and when I asked what type of community outreach Wilkes offers among other things they told me about this APPE and about the trip to Guatemala with our former Dean Graham. The fact that I could go to underprivileged countries and serve them, as part of my academic career, was a deciding factor when choosing a pharmacy school to attend. I am so thankful for this opportunity. I am so thankful for having the best preceptors with us there too.
It is really hard to put this entire experience into words. The emotions I felt throughout the entire trip were unreal, it was truly eye opening. I loved every minute of it, even if I cried, because it was sad just to see somethings. But at the end of the day, I felt very accomplished after providing clinical help to the people of Kampala and Masindi. As you probably know, there is a lack of resources in Uganda, however, they make the best out of it. They improvise with what they have and are very innovative. The doctors and pharmacist were very happy to have us there. They were open to listening to our recommendation as well as taking the time to teach us. This made me feel like was of help.
People are incredibly nice and welcoming, despite the hardships they go through. Every person I met said to me “Are you going to come again next year?” I hope I can someday go again, I hope that once I am financially stable I can go and help them even more. I miss Uganda, I miss the people, and especially I miss the children! I miss hearing kids say “Mzungu” (white traveler) and getting supper happy when we wave back. I’ve actually continued to use this word while traveling in Europe, and I told nearly every person I met what it meant. My dad now calls me that all the time, including on facebook comments, and I love it!
I remember walking down the streets of Masindi and seeing a little boy walking down the streets selling fruits as he kicked a water bottle. He seemed happy doing this. So I joined him, I kicked the water bottle with him and he smiled. It just shows you how important little things are. How impactful a smile can be. Pass it on! I don’t know, this may sound silly to you, but it really made my day, and I hope it made his. Honestly, I did that a lot, I simply tried to make children smile and laugh by making funny faces, playing hide and seek after the presentation to the drug shoppe owners, etc.
If you are a younger Wilkes pharmacy student reading this, I highly recommend you take this APPE. It will change your perspective on life, it will help you become a better human being. It sure did that for me!