Ready or not, here it is! Tonight I will spend my last night in Mukono on the UCU campus and I’m not quite sure how that is possible. The past month has again flown by full of continually learning in the classroom and at my internship.
Even when I thought it was impossible, I was able to complete all of my required hours to fulfill my senior social work practicum requirement. I am so thankful of all of the invaluable lessons that I was able to learn while interning at Refugee Law Project (RLP). I was able to engage in several new activities that led to social work and personal learning. Some of the valuable lessons I learned while completing the various tasks at RLP included a better understanding of the importance of referral as well as the value of the client-counselor relationship. I have learned the importance of continually presenting oneself as a learner in a country and culture vastly different than my own, which will continue as I return to my home country. I was also able to practice the difficult task of learning to terminate with clients that I had worked without regularly over the past few months.
In addition to the usual emotional difficulties in departing from clients, I was also struck by the tension of saying goodbye to clients as I return home as they are refugees who do not have a home that they can readily return to. I was reminded of the privilege and blessing of the security of returning to my homeland while also being able to establish new homes abroad.
Another hard goodbye included bidding farewell to my host family and roommate. Both have been unbelievably welcoming and intentional about creating a place of home and security here for me in Uganda. No amount of thanks can express how grateful I am for this unbelievable hospitality from my host family picking me up each day from my internship, to my roommate welcoming me into her home to celebrate Easter with her family.
Heading out also includes some fun activities such as the Honors College Global 5k as well as the partnering to lead community worship. Last night we also celebrated the completion of our program with speeches and great food.
While I am leaving Mukono, the journey still continues for a bit. Tomorrow morning, our group heads out to Rwanda for a week to continue the learning journey in experiencing first-hand the country’s history and reconciliation process. Many feelings accompany the end of experiences such as this, all of which are hard to put into words. For now, I’ll leave you with a few glimpses of my final days here and look forward to sharing more once I return back to the States.