After coming to Uganda last year and seeing what I saw, I knew that I was blessed; however, this time around has really impacted me by helping me realize how blessed I truly am.
For instance, 1/3 of the students at the vocational school, Ave Maria, are HIV positive. When I heard this, my mind was blown because all of the children there seemed so happy on the outside, but I know that on the inside, they are suffering more than ever. It killed me finding that out and then spending the entire day with those children because they are children that are close to mine and my sisters age. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like if one of those children were my sister or close friend. It was also troubling to me because who knows how long those children have to live. I mean in one year, half of them may end up dying due to HIV which is very heart breaking.
Another image that comes to mind is when we were at Abia. The people were so grateful that we came to see and spend time with them, however, each and every one of them is suffering way more than I can even imagine. Of course, we all saw the rags that they called their clothes and heard their stories of how they needed more support, but that was it. While we were there, I felt like I was in the bus again, seeing only a sliver of what really goes on during the day outside of all of the shops we pass by and never really getting the full picture.
To get to my point, everything that I have seen thus far has reminded me that I am very blessed. My darkest days do not even come close to those of the people in Uganda and I need to always remind myself of that. I know that some days I feel like the whole world is against me and that nothing worse can happen, but there always is something far more worse that could. For instance, in today’s society having a job and money is something that everyone wants and if you have it, you always want more of it. I know that I have fallen victim of being like that and am not pleased about it. I get upset or stressed about not having a lot of money in my bank account after paying my rent and bills, while the small amount of money that I do have left would be enough to support a Ugandan family for quite some time. It’s disgusting that we can be so caught up in having the most money or best job and not even realize that the things we do have could help out someone who is in desperate need of it.
The things that I have in my life are things that anyone in Uganda would love to have. I have a loving and caring family that would do literally anything for me, while some of the people in this country have no idea where their siblings, mothers, or fathers even are, let a lone if they are alive. I also have a college education which is something that hardly no one in this country/world has. I should be ecstatic that I have a college degree from Creighton University, rather than just shrugging it off like it’s not an accomplishment even though it is a very big accomplishment.
As I stated above, after coming to Uganda last year, I knew I was blessed. This year, however, has been a great reminder as to how blessed I truly am and how I need to be more grateful for everything that I have in life; even the small things.