Reflecting on Our Journey
By Olivia and Colette
We saw it rather fitting, that since we have done everything together since arriving in Uganda that it be the perfect ending to our journey to write our final reflection together.
If you could tell the next interns one thing, what would it be?
If there is one thing, we have learned from our journey here in Uganda, is that every day you come home with a new story to tell. Often times we step back at the in the evenings and think to ourselves “How did this all take place in just one day?!” Every time you leave home you can expect a new adventure as you are surrounded by a different culture, people, landscape, and energies. We have learned how important it is to engage with the culture and you will often find when you do, you will be welcomed with open arms. We didn’t know the language coming in, and often got it wrong but people here are so appreciative for your effort and will love taking on the role of teaching you new things. It is through these interactions that we have been able to submerse ourselves so deeply and would recommend you take the leap as well! If you do, you might find yourself having your every own “Rolex Man” just like us!
What is your greatest take away from conducting hospital observations?
Maternal and child health is often a top concern throughout many developing countries due to lack of funding in the healthcare sector, often leaving them without the necessary medical equipment, resources and adequate staffing needed to have positive patient outcomes. We are very fortunate to have gotten the chance to bear witness to the extraordinary efforts of the midwives who somehow always greet these challenges with a smile on their face. One thing we often hear in hospitals throughout Uganda is “it was challenge but we pushed through” it has been a true gift to be able to partner with such motivated hospital staff, who not only seek change but makes it happen every day. Our greatest take away is that despite the barriers that these hospitals face, we have seen how dedicated and eager the staff are to help mothers and continue a strong relationship with various supporting organizations to give mothers the best possible health care available.
What has working for FullSoul taught you?
It started with one person, Christina Hassan recognizing a need, through hard work and dedication she was able to assemble a team that reaches beyond borders. We have learned that it takes a village to implement the change and have seen the importance of building community relationships across the globe. Having had the chance to work with Rotary, SPECT, and the hospital teams here in Uganda we have come to understand the value of a strong partnership that feeds off each other to turn one person’s vision into lasting change. We hope this is a lesson that we can take with us for the remainder of our academic journey and then into our professional career.
Sitting here on our balcony writing this, it is crazy to think our time here in Uganda has already come to an end. It felt like it happened in flash but I know we are always going to remember the people we have meet, and lessons we have learned from working in maternal health as a proud FullSoul intern.