Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Student Takeaways

As we enter into the last weeks we are encouraged to look back over the course of this semester. Students entered into the challenges and joys of life here in Mukono, Uganda. Through engaging with their host families, roommates, practicum sites, travel, and studies they have gained new insights and understanding of the world. While USP is definitely not about easy answers tied up in pretty packages (just ask any USP student ever), students learn, grow and see God at work throughout the their time in Uganda in some pretty profound ways. Here are some insights that our Fall 2017 USP students want to share with you.
Jamie and John in their matching kitinge outfits.
“There is so much importance in living into your community, wherever and whoever that may be. Love comes like a hurricane when you stop holding on so tight to individualism and let others in”.   - Jamie Gendimenico (Eastern University)

Mr. Odwagacen, Alexa, Megan and Joanna on field trip to the Buganda Parliament for Politics.  
“It is honestly hard to string together words that will encapsulate this semester, but in all this I have learned that true community isn’t just about getting coffee or passing by a familiar face on the street. I think it goes back to not only a recognition of human brokenness, but the universality of pain across all individuals and cultures”.    - Alexa Bragg (Gordon College)

Jessica Mount participating in an ice breaker at The Recreation Project in Gulu. 
“In Uganda, I've learned to live in the tension. I've been able to break free from unhelpful black and white realities. This is an invaluable lesson that I'll carry with me in my career as a social worker and my everyday life when I'm back in the states”.                                                                                                                  -Jessica Mount (Point Loma Nazarene University)

Rachel Phillips baking for carmel rolls for our USP Thanksgiving.

“At ACHERU, I have seen how connected faith is to healing. The staff often remind each other that "We do the work, and God does the healing”".  - Rachael Phillips (Westmont University)

Dr. Opol, Brooke, Jenna and Julianna visiting a mosque for their
Contemporary Religions in Uganda class.
“I learned the importance of admitting I need help. When I was vulnerable and shared my struggles with others, I was overwhelmed with an acceptance and support than couldn't have come from any other place. We all like to be strong and have it all together, but I think when we lean on others we recognize that we are dependent creatures, and it's a humbling experience”.                                                           -  Julianna Kabakjian (Messiah College)
While the semester is coming to a close, we are excited for our end of semester debrief retreat where we will process through the experiences our students have had and insight's they've gained as well as discuss how to integrate their experience here into daily life as they look ahead to  re-entry into the US. 

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