One of the things that’s really struck me about Uganda is the children.
I’m not sure why, but there seems to be some kind of association between traveling to the developing world and children. Before I left, people were telling me all about how cute the kids are here. As well, the people i’ve seen travel to places like the DR, Rwanda, Peru, or anywhere else tend to change their FB profile pics to one of them with a kid from that place pretty soon after they get back.
Even as I see the slums here, the places where people look like they are barely surviving, I can’t help but smile when the kids run up to us excited, laughing, and waving. Between giggling and asking us where we’re from to yelling out “Muzungu” (the Ugandan term for white people) in awe, these kids just seem to be so happy.
Which I guess is the amazing thing about kids. They’re so young and full of life they haven’t grasped some of the issues surrounding them. In a way, they are both an example of the tragedy of something like poverty and a reminder to the rest of us about what’s worth fighting for: that happiness. It may be a small thing, but it’s one that makes me wish I were important enough to change the world. I wonder if that’s selfish of me to say?
At the same time, seeing these kids I think is also a measure of well-being. Uganda is in the early stages of becoming an economically prosperous country, which is an important thing to remember as we travel around the next two weeks.