I have severely mixed emotions about this. Being a white girl that went to Uganda, I was treated differently because the color of my skin and I didn't like it… I didn't like it at all. Yes, perhaps the pleasantries and being first in line were because I was a guest; a guest of the people and a guest of the country, but there were many other guests there that didn't get the same treatment. We should celebrate our differences, it’s a beautiful thing. But they should bring us together, not separate us. You don't have to go to Africa... go to South America. Europe. China... I wouldn't recommend going to the Ukraine, Russia or you know, Iraq for instance, but go somewhere were you are the odd man out - it will change your life.
And yes, of course I’m going back and so should she. But I’m not going to physically build anything or be anyone’s “savior” or whatever she said. I attempted to teach the kiddos Math one day and I was bloody terrible at it! I never wanted to be a teacher, but now I know that is definitely not a career option. Those are not reasons to go back or go in the first place, like she said… they have contractors and they have teachers. And they need those jobs, just like American contractors and teachers need their jobs. There are a lot of wonderful Americans and other foreign aid workers all over the world doing amazing work. But like one very wise woman told me once, you have to find your own path.
But I’ll never forget their faces when they tried Pop Rocks for the first time and when they broke open the glow-in-the-dark bracelets and started painting everything they saw, even me. The color was so bright in the dark African night and that moment of sweet, pure, carefree, happiness is a moment I will never forget. Maybe I just miss being a kid. They want the world, just like we all do, but yet they ask for, and get by on, so little. I wish there was some way I could make them understand what they give me is more than I could ever give them. Maybe that’s just selfish of me.
I will also never forget the 3 amazing people (they know who they are!) I met who (or whom?) I am lucky enough to now call my friends. I want to make memories with them. They are part of my kick ass friendship circle and Ally Chan loves and misses them dearly.
Besides, it’s really nice to get out of the States. It’s healthy to see how the rest of the world lives …and it’s comforting to know this country isn't the end all, be all of existence.