One of Field of Hope’s core values is adventure -- having fun and being challenged on the journey. Which my time in Uganda has had no short coming of adventure along with some challenges. From long car rides on rough roads that make my stomach turn to almost (unknowingly) eating a gizzard, this usually results in a good laugh or a sweet moment to follow.
Some of my favorite memories I have made so far are at the trainings we’ve had with the smallholder farmers groups in very rural parts of Uganda. The purpose of training is to better understand what a cooperative group is and how the group dynamics work within them. The leaders of the trainings, Patrick and Walter, went through various activities that covered topics such as being stronger in numbers, thinking outside of the box and learning how different personalities work in a group. “Knowledge is power” is a phrase that has also been reiterated throughout the training. Taking advantage of these learning opportunities will empower these groups, strengthen them and eventually create economic growth within their communities.
The local language of Luo is used for communication at these trainings and most of the community members know little to no English. Learning a foreign language has never been one of my strengths and I have pretty much only learned the word “Apwoyo” which luckily for me doubles as a greeting and a thank you. Even though communication can be a challenge, it has all been part of what has made this trip even more of an adventure. I have loved to see how much can be communicated without words and I have learned that a smile can go a long way.
In between these trainings, I had the opportunity to go on a safari adventure. This country continues to amaze me with its beauty. I am trying to soak up every minute I’m blessed to be living in the Pearl of Africa.