Whether you are choosing to study abroad or traveling for vacation, there is no doubt that that destination changes you. Now imagine that you are traveling, but for a singular purpose: to serve members of a community and work hand in hand at strengthening their development. Purpose changes everything, and with this purpose, you yourself are changed. Here’s how serving in Uganda can change you:
1) Seeing the World Through a Different Perspective: We live in a world where we are constantly surrounded by abundance. We are inundated with information, news, and updates on our friends’ lives. We have an abundance of options when we travel to the grocery store looking for just one thing and a plethora of choices when we open our closet doors looking for something to wear.
After experiencing a place and a culture where individuals are resourceful and don’t let anything go to waste, it can be difficult transitioning back into your life. But the perspective you gain reminds you to cherish every moment, to seek gratitude in all that you have, and above all, to love everyone and everything with all your heart.
2) Meeting Other Volunteers Who Eventually Become Family: You encounter people in all areas of life, but sometimes it’s hard to build lasting friendships. When you are immersed in a service experience with like-minded individuals, the bond you create knows no boundaries. Experiencing something so transformative together in close quarters not only brings people together, but it allows for deep, meaningful conversations.
3) Feeling In and Out of Your Element: Culture shock is real, especially when you travel to a developing country. But there’s nothing like pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and seeing what you find. Experimenting with new foods, trying new sports and games, and learning a few words of the local language are all experiences that can leave you feeling nervous, but excited. While putting your everyday routines aside and exiting your jam-packed schedule is a break from what you’re used to, you’ll find that pushing yourself to do more is exactly what you’ve been yearning for.
And who knows, once you settle into a different environment you just might discover new things about yourself. Take it from one of our past volunteers, whose four weeks in Uganda surrounded by educators inspired him to become an educator, too. A new passion sparked by his service with PED.
If you’re interested in serving in Uganda with PED, check out more information on our Volunteer Program.