After 3 amazing weeks home with family, friends and people constantly asking me “how’s Africa” and “I thought you were done” (it’s not a prison sentence people), my 170 lbs of luggage and I have officially started our journey back “home”. Seeing as though this journey takes about 30 hours, I have already had a lot of time to reflect back on this past year. I simply cannot believe that it has been a little under a year since I first left for Uganda. Originally leaving for 2.5 months I could have never imagined what was ahead and the amazing people that I would encounter. I have fallen in love with this country and its people and am saddened to think that this may be the last extended trip that I take there for awhile. With that being said I am extremely excited and ready for these last few months and all of things that my team and I hope to accomplish!
On Monday we will officially launch our project to assess the impact of RHD on maternal outcomes in pregnancy at two different village health centers. After personally witnessing two young mothers brought in with severe RHD during pregnancy last month, I am excited by all the promise that this project holds. I truly think that this is going to have an impact on many, many lives. While working on this project I will be splitting my time in Gulu and at health centers in Nawanyago and Kasambya. While I am not the biggest fan of travel in this country for pretty obvious reasons, the teams at both of these locations are well worth the transportation hassle. They are simply some of the most compassionate and motivated people that I have met and I am lucky to be able to be on the ground working with them. In addition to this major project I also have so many other things to look forward to like the support group truly taking off, Opio starting school, my brother visiting Africa, and the return of old friends to Gulu. With my time winding down I am more determined than ever to cherish every moment, every experience and every relationship that I form. The only thing that stands in my way now is 22 more hours of flying. I’m coming for you Uganda!