One month in and it has been a whirlwind. Immersing yourself in a new world is such a challenge. Dealing with emotions you’ve never had, seeing things you’ve never imagined, learning things about yourself you never thought of. Things that were too deep inside to present themselves in a comfortable environment. Even though these things are so beneficial for growing, they can be really hard to embrace at times. Like really really hard, but when those times are hard, I realize that I’m in a beautiful place. I wake up every day and am greeted with smiles and hugs by women who have been through the unimaginable, yet they go out of their way to make sure I am cared for and feeling okay. It’s like I have 70 moms looking out for me and they have only known me for one month.
How fortunate am I?
They gave me the Acholi name “Omara”. Omara means “You are very loved and very loving”, which I was so excited to receive. However, that name feels conflicted these days because of some things going on in my life and some of the decisions I’ve had to make. But the trials and adversity are needed, because that’s the only way I will become the man that I need to be. The man I want to be.
With that being said, I thank all of you for the support. I miss and love you all, and it’s because of you and the wonderful Ugandans I have met that I don’t have to worry about where I end up or who I am because I have the best people in the world in my corner.
After a solid 19 hours of being on a plane and a one night stay at the Park Inn in Amsterdam, I can finally say that I’ve made it. I have to say I am a little tired, well actually a lot tired and sleep hasn’t been coming easy. Jet lag, 85 degree nights(with no AC obviously), and a mind that won’t stop thinking is a deadly combo when trying to catch some ZzZ’s. Subtract those things from the equation and you have a Patrick who is very optimistic and very excited for what’s in store. In fact, I have only been here for 4 days and I have a grasp on why people love it so much here.
I can’t count how many times I’ve been greeted with a “How are you?”, a “Good morning”, a “Nice to see you” all in 4 short days. I’ve come to find that greeting is extremely important here, which is a thing I sort of take for granted in the US. There have been multiple times when I have seen someone off in the distance that I may or may not say hi to, but just to avoid a potentially awkward exchange, I pull out my phone and look my home screen, as if it’s an urgent message, right as I walk by them, conveniently avoiding any social interaction. But I have a strong feeling I’m not the only one who has pulled that MacGyver-esque move.
But in all reality it’s those simple greetings that have really been helping me adjust here. I feel a warm welcome in a world that’s so new. The Ugandans want me to feel valued, appreciated, and most importantly, they want me to feel like I am home.
Which is more than I could ever ask for.
Well…this is my last night in the US for quite awhile. Thanks for all the love and support, especially from this crew below who threw the best surprise going away party a dude could ask for, along with everyone that has reached out with kind words, gestures, and expressions of excitement for this adventure I am about to embark on.
It really does seem like blessings keep falling in my lap.
Well Hello South Dakota, it’s great to be home again. I am in the final phase of my timeline before I go to Gulu, in fact, only 10 days until I head out! The hype is definitely getting to me and I can’t wait to be there. The build up of getting packed(which I have barely started), getting shots, moving my stuff back from California, combined with all the little things involved in moving to a completely different country has been getting the best of me this last month and I am ready to just be there.
However, through all of the thoughts and stress running through my mind, I am unbelievably thankful that I have the chance to enjoy some time at home with my family and friends. Because I will really miss you guys a lot.
But no time for sappiness though, at least not yet… 😉
Anyways, after reading my first post, I realized that I didn’t even mention what I would be doing in Uganda…ahhhh my bad haha…
I thought I would use this second post as an opportunity to redeem myself and inform you on my duties as a Production Fellow for Krochet Kids Uganda.
In my new position, I will be tasked with the responsibilities of understanding how our physical production flow wraps up into clean and clear tracking reports. The focus of the position will be on compiling the information, and compiling the information will be a team effort. I will have to build and keep a positive working relationship with all of the staff involved, while still getting the desired results on deadlines. I will be overseeing this process and making sure everyone involved is playing their part. The cross-cultural dynamic will bring a unique challenge to get even the simplest parts done on time, so I will definitely have my work cut out the first couple weeks!
Although I will be dealing with a lot of information, I am most looking forward to building relationships with the wonderful staff along with the beautiful women in our program who are responsible for making such inspiring products.
And that’s about as much as I can tell you about the position right now, considering I haven’t even started yet, so I’m going to stamp a “To Be Continued…” on the end of that cause I know you are on the edge of your seats waiting for more! Haha just kidding, well at least I kind of hope you’re looking forward to more…
Wow, 10 days before I leave, how crazy is that??? Well, Chance the Rapper made his debut mixtape in 10 days and called it “10 Day” and it seemed to pan out pretty well for him, maybe I’ll do the same in these next 10 days…
I am writing this on my flight home from California and I just finished my Krochet Kids intl. internship and it was unbelievably refreshing. I feel like I have a direction along with a purpose in this life and I owe it all to my experiences with KKintl. I will be training all of January back in California to prepare myself for my next journey
And could you guess where that might be???
Think really hard about it, I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with Booganda….
Still have no clue yet? Wow Uganda be kidding me….
Haha now that was a terrible joke but should have made it pretty obvious, but if you haven’t caught on yet, I’ll be moving to Uganda, which is located in East Africa. To be honest I am so excited, so honored, so happy, so baffled, and slightly fearful. Not fear for my safety in Uganda, but fear of losing relationships I have in the States due to my absence. I’ve always taken pride in being present in my families’ and friends’ lives which is a challenge in itself…but living in AFRICA and trying to maintain those relationships is a whole different animal! I’m writing this now to hold myself accountable in doing my best to keep everyone updated, and I feel like this blog is the way to maintain interaction and relation with the people I care for and for the incredible people that have cared for me. So without further ado,
Welcome to Schuganda…
And bare with me as I get this whole blog thing figured out haha