One of the things that has surprised me most is how far Africa has come! I am from the generation of charities showing pictures of starving children dying with flies buzzing around them. They were heart wrenching. Around 1970, when I was 7 years old, I remember when we were given food we would be told, “eat up as there are children starving in Africa.” Africa is beautiful and Africans are beautiful spirited people. They work so hard and never seem to complain. A common misconception is that poor people are lazy, but from what I have seen in Uganda, this is not the case. I even saw a man riding a bike and using the revolution of the wheels to sharpen knives. People also make artwork from pop can tops, and other recycled material.
Instead of wearing dirty clothes and pajamas and slippers to town, they are flawless in the way they present themselves. Women wear a lovely traditional dress called a Gomesi. It is as if to say, life may be hard, but I will put my very best effort into letting my appearance shine. The most shocking thing is they do this with little water and no washing machines. They also have to content with the rich red mud when it rains. Kampala is a dusty and sometimes muddy city, yet people keep themselves looking sharp and still take such pride in how they present themselves. We all could learn great lessons from them. I was also so pleased to see so many of the charities I have heard of actively present in the Kampala as well as the surrounding areas. It is one thing to read about these charities and the work they do, but it is nice to see their offices and their projects on the ground in places like Uganda.