This past Spring, Mark Jordahl of Conservation Concepts, led a BeadforLife trip to Uganda. One of the trip participants, Dave Ensign, has agreed to do a guest blog for us about his trip. Enjoy!
I’ve often imagined a trip to Africa where I could experience the continent’s breathtaking beauty and unique cultures in a meaningful way without finding myself alone in a confusing city rifling through a Lonely Planet guide. Preferring a personal connection to my destination, I was thrilled when BeadforLife, an organization with which I’ve always loved to collaborate, offered their early 2012 trip to Uganda. The informative preparatory conversations and emails with Mark Jordahl (Conservation Concepts) made it clear that this would be an amazing trip. Mark has extensive knowledge of the country, and has a huge network of Ugandan friends and resources.
From the first day of exploring beyond our lovely hotel in Kampala, I could tell that we were in for a special experience. The group members had an adventurous spirit, and we were quickly welcomed into the BeadforLife family with a visit to the beautiful complex in Bugolobi, Kampala (including the Shea Butter facility).
Many fun activities were squeezed into our ten days together, including safaris, dance performances, and delicious cuisine. But for me, the biggest rewards came in being invited into the homes and lives of the Ugandans. Touring the Namuwongo slum to learn how alumni of the BeadforLife program are sustaining themselves provided a unique window into the daily challenges of people in developing countries. Staying in the Friendship Village with a loving host family expanded my exposure to the Ugandan experience, as I learned how to prepare traditional food and help with the daily chores. Visiting the M-Lisida orphanage showed me how Ugandans can work together to ensure education, safety, and a better future for Kampala’s vulnerable children.
As Americans, we enjoy wealth and opportunity beyond what most Ugandans can imagine, yet clearly this bounty does not ensure our happiness nor does it provide a sense of fulfillment. A trip to Uganda offers invaluable insights into what aspects of life’s journey really matter. Those lucky enough to visit Uganda should find themselves returning home with a renewed sense of calm, and an abundance of ideas on making our lives more meaningful.
To learn more about Mark Jordahl’s upcoming trip to the North of Uganda, you can contact him directly at email@example.com.