It has been eleven months of amazing voluntary service at Reach Out Mbuya Community Health Initiative (ROM). Of course, coming to a totally new country at such a young age, I was so overwhelmed in the first few weeks. However, the welcoming and hearty people from ROM made it much easier for me to get comfortable in Uganda. What a memorable experience it is!
I have been working in the Communication and Public Relations Department where I have gained skills that are very important in my future career decisions. I have always been involved in every activity and I’m so thankful for that! I am definitely going to enroll for a media studies course on my return to Germany. I also supported the Community Support team on a number of occasions. Here, I enjoyed activities aimed at improving the lives of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC).
I enjoyed my work a lot because I understood Reach Out Mbuya’s mission and staff so well that I now call them friends. At ROM, the volunteer year abroad can only nourish your growth and will always be a part of you. I was able to learn and experience so many new things that I will never forget and will always have an impact on my future life and decisions.
By the way, Uganda is such a beautiful country with wonderful nature and I am happy that my organization sent me here. She is indeed the Pearl of Africa! I was able to travel a little bit during my stay here. In Fort Portal and Soroti, I visited other volunteers from Germany, but most amazing were my visits to Queen Elizabeth and Kidepo Valley National Parks. I had never seen hippopotamuses, giraffes, elephants, buffalos and many other animals in their natural habitat. That was so nice.
The other thing I have really enjoyed in Uganda is the good food. I really liked the local dishes like matooke and posho. The street food like rolex (omelet and Chapati and kikomando (sliced chapati and beans were tastier! I’m definitely going to miss that. Then the fresh fruits and vegetables you can find here in plenty. In Germany fruits like watermelon, pineapple, jackfruit or avocados don’t grow because of the cold climate. So, it was really nice to get them organic and fresh here.
The eleven months’ experience in Uganda is unforgettable and I’m so grateful that I had such an opportunity. I thank the Reach Out team and all the friends I made for welcoming me. You have made my stay here so much better!
The writer is Antonia Pohl, previously a volunteer at ROM