T.J.
Senior at Fordham College for Exploration 2012

T.J.- volunteer with Oysters and Pearls
©Amy Rothenberg

Sometimes I play this game with myself where I try to remember an entire day out of the fifty that I spent in Uganda. I try to remember everything I did and everything that happened to me from the time I awoke to the minute I fell asleep. But, especially as it slowly gets further and further into my past, I cannot. I cannot remember all of the things that people said to me or all the places that I went or even all the names of the people that I met. But I will always remember the way I felt while I was there.

I felt in touch. With places, with people, with everything. Whether I was watching a movie before bed with the children at St. Jude’s, teaching a class at Gulu High School, or hiking to the top of Murchison Falls, I had a constant feeling of being a part of my surroundings. In my current lifestyle, it’s very easy to get lost in things to do or people to see. But in Uganda, although there are things to be done, the surroundings and the community gave me no choice but to feel part of something important. For instance, the students at Gulu High School, both blind and sighted, engaged me with interest and respect. Every class became an adventure in which everyone experienced something new. Especially during our trip to the National Park, we were forced in a very tangible way to come to terms with our environment and those whom we share it with.

I think about Uganda often, and every time I do I want so badly to be there again. Some day soon, I hope.