Bilal Jawed ’17 – It didn’t hit me when I first got the news in the spring. It didn’t hit me the weeks leading up to the flight. It didn’t even hit me when I stepped onto Ugandan soil for the first time and rode to my apartment in the late hours of the night after a long two-day journey. But this morning, precisely at sunrise, that’s when it hit me. That is when I realized I would be spending my entire summer in Kampala, Uganda. I awoke to a certain cocktail of sounds that affirmed that I was 7700 miles from Crawfordsville. The Adhan, the Muslim call to prayer at sunrise could be heard from a nearby mosque, monkeys howling from treetops, a baby crying in the next door complex, and the fan blowing against the mosquito netting covering my bed that protects from Malaria.
It was certainly daunting and awe inspiring at the same time. will certainly be challenges in adjusting to life in Kampala, both big and small. Its always tough knowing your family and friends are just going to bed as you are waking up or knowing fast internet speeds are a luxury of the past (I definitely will never complain to the Wabash IT department ever again). The package includes no air conditioning, lots of traffic, and frequent power outages, and a myriad of other adjustments, but anything can be seen as an adventure in an appropriate light. The ground is red, the people are very friendly, and I am ready to get to work. More to come about working day to day with HIV patients in Mulago Hospital!