I can’t believe it has been over a week since I returned home from Uganda. I have actually been avoiding reflecting on this trip because I knew it would be one of the hardest things for me to do. This trip provided so much for me…so much that I’m not sure how to put it into words.
Before leaving for Uganda, I had a conversation with my cousin, Mike. He had previously traveled to Guyana for a service trip so I knew he would provide me with great advice for this adventure I was about to embark on. He told me that he hoped I would find peace and clarity just living in the moment in Uganda. I thought about that my entire trip. I wanted to be present. I wanted to experience every single thing that the country had to offer me… and somewhere along the way, I felt as though I found myself again.
As P4 students, we are all in such an incredibly tough spot when it comes to making a decision for our future careers. I had personally struggled immensely throughout all of pharmacy school to make the decision of where I could see myself working after graduation. While being in Uganda, we worked very closely with pharmacists, physicians, and a variety of patient populations. I learned the importance of adapting to the environment I am in— to learn to think outside of the box and use whatever you have available. Through this experience and through every scenario I was put in, I finally had a moment of clarity where it seemed so obvious as to where I belonged in my future career. It took me leaving the States and traveling to Uganda to find myself, but through every single experience Dr. Manning provided us with, I figured it out.
All I can think of that is left to say is thank you. Thank you to every single person who I met in Uganda who made me feel as if I was home. Thank you to every child (and mother who let me hold her child) for making my heart so happy each day. Thank you to Uganda for being one of the best countries to exist. Thank you 10 million times over to Stacy and Dr. Manning along with the 6 other students I went on this trip with. I can only hope that I have the opportunity again to do something like this. And lastly, thank you to this experience for helping to shape me as a person and a professional.