Saturday, June 9, 2012

First Thoughts from Intern & Administrative Team Leader, Andre Anderson

By Andre Anderson 

I just completed my first year of medical school at Brown University and applied to the Uganda Village Project because of my interest in global health and the opportunity to engage public health issues via a grassroots effort. Now, several days into the internship, it has been a whirlwind of events, people and feelings. I am reminded of the days just before I was scheduled to leave for Uganda. My friend excitedly asked me how I was feeling. I responded that I was feeling a number of things. When I discovered UVP, sometime in early November, I was enthralled. I imagined spending the summer tucked away in the simple serenity of a village a world away. I imagined the people I would meet, the villagers and the interns, who would probably form a lasting impression on my life. I imagined actively interacting with and addressing health issues in a country whose health problems have been well documented and publicized in many public health forums. For these reasons, I applied to the Uganda Village Project.

When I found out I was accepted into UVP for the summer, I threw a fist pump in the air of the empty room of which I was studying. In the weeks and days before the trip, the months of high excitement became mixed for the first time with anxiety. I think it stems not so much from regret but more so from the process of having to let go. All that defines you, whether it be the classes you attend, the hobbies you engage in daily or the people with whom you interact with will be interrupted not for one week or one month but for two months. As I sat in the terminal of JFK, I realized the necessity, through painful, of letting go of yourself in order to clear ‘space’ and accommodate the new sights, conversations and feelings that this experience would be sure to bring. In between New York and Uganda, I remained suspended somewhere between thoughts of home and thoughts of Uganda. By the time I arrived, it had been an emotional roller coaster but I found myself experiencing a deep sense of calm.

Now three days into my summer abroad, I am excited to see all that I imagined is slowly coming into form. The village appears peaceful and serene, the villagers and interns engaging and fascinating and the health problems very real and apparent. The adjustment period will take time and to be sure, there will be the ups and downs, but I’m happy to be here for the summer.

Andre Anderson is a rising second year medical student at Brown University and is serving as an Administrative Team Leader in Namunkesu Village this summer. 

1 comment:

ojok francis said...

Dear Andre, First welcome to Uganda, Next, be sure to learn and of course enjoy the pearl of Africa Uganda and thanks for this short piece of information, it is encouraging to me as an Alumi of UVP!
Francis Ojok 2011 intern with UVP!