My Life Changing Trip to Uganda
Updated: Sep 19, 2020
I recently took my first trip to Africa while studying abroad in Uganda. Under my university’s school of Public Health, we studied alcohol related harm and alcohol prevention. Why study alcohol use in Uganda? Well compared to other countries worldwide, Uganda has the highest alcohol and HIV correlation rate. Alcohol use is a public health crisis in the country.
Not only was I able to meet with residents of the community and local community leaders, but I was able to see how non-commercial alcohol is made. Many women of the Kakira village in Jinja, Uganda make alcohol for profit. They do not make much and the harsh conditions of the area make it hard to live safely. Many have gone blind and been harmed in other ways due to the exposure of toxic fumes and substances. Our professor, who already works with the women in selling jewelry and handbags instead of making alcohol, challenged us to brainstorm more alternatives. We are working on starting a poultry farm and looking into other resources that will work for them. We conducted research on five different slums in Uganda and observed the infrastructure and marketing of alcohol. This data is still being analyzed but will hopefully show some significant results that can probe its way into the policy around alcohol marketing.
The Nile River
Not only did we do research, but we saw the beautiful, breathtaking land of Uganda. From the moment we landed, we were embraced and loved by the people of Uganda. They constantly showed us their appreciation of our visit, through dance, shouting, and hugs. We did a ton of sightseeing and shopped at the local markets for the latest artwork and dresses. My favorite experience of all was our visit to the Murchison National Park. We saw antelope, elephants, giraffes, lions, buffalo, exotic birds, hippos, and more. It was so surreal! The food we ate was delicious, I’ve never had that much good food in my life.