"To [the Ugandan] the individual is always an abstraction; Man is a family." ~ John Taylor
Studying abroad is experiential learning; learning through doing. We can learn about the communal aspect of the culture here through readings and class discussion, but how do we really know and understand what that means, untill we become a part of it-- even if only for a short period of time? How else do we really come to know and care about the realities that shape Ugandans lives, if not through becoming a part of a Ugandan family, and a part of those daily realities?
The past week and a half our On-campus Students have been on their two-week Mukono homestays. Families in Uganda are as different and varied as families anywhere. And for sure, no two students are the same! As both families and students learn about each other, through their similarities and their differences, they do the work of building deep, authentic relationships. What do we have to learn about the universality of human experience through the particularly of this Ugandan context and culture?
It is not always easy, but as with most things that are worthwhile and meaningful, the effort, and willingness to push into the discomfort yields deeper relationships and understanding. As staff, we so enjoy hearing these stories of discovery, growth and connection.
|The On-Campus students, both excited and nervous and about to meet their new families...|
|Mama Robinah receives two students! Rachel and Rachael|
|Paige with her host Mama and siblings.|
|Mama Hope, welcoming Alexa with a big hug.|
|Warm smiles and hugs help quell the nervousness students may have been feeling.|
|Mama Margaret receiving her new daughter, Jess in to her home.|
|Lauren with her new host siblings.|
|Jamie meeting her host mom|
|Bri with Mama Sarah|
|Sierra and her host mom.|
This Friday the students will return to campus, their dorm rooms and roommates, but each student has a Ugandan 'home away from home' here in Mukono now, where they can return throughout the semester, and continue to build on the relationships they have established.
"Discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes." ~Marcel Proust