Dennis’ Volunteering experience in Uganda.
My journey started in October 2018 from Frankfurt, Germany. As part of my studies for business administration I’ve to make a practical semester. I decided to do this abroad and chose Uganda for my preferred destination. I wanted to see how they work and running their business in a complete unknown country.
So I started my 18.5 week experience in Kasangati, a 30 minutes’ drive to the center of Kampala. Staying in the house of Joseph and Irene, a local family with 4 and later 5 wonderful kids. Arrived at the house and in a total new world. Before I started to work, there were a few days left to do nothing as arriving in Uganda and learn where to get something and everything and how to come from one place to another.
I had luck, two other volunteers were already at the place in Kasangati, so I was in good company and they showed me a lot of things around seemingly Kampala town.
I started my work at the Love Uganda Safaris & Tours Ltd, a small travel agency based at one of the main roads in Kampala. It took me about 30 minutes with the public transport to reach work. It was a surprisingly young team and I had a very warm welcome and after a few days at work it felt like I was really part of the team.
We all were working together and brought on new ideas. Both sides could learn from each other. Everything was new and excited, but the team soon helped and gave me the right support.
Of course I was not coming to Uganda to spend every day with work from morning to evening. Uganda has a lot of stuff to explore; activities, exciting destinations, food, scenery, adventure, etc. First of all Kampala with all its different corners, skyscrapers and of course the beautiful nature. For an average European, Kampala seems to be a chaotic and hectic city, but when you take a closer look it works. During my stay I had the privilege to visit some of the most beautiful places I had never seen. First was Murchison Falls National park; wonderful landscape, a lot of animals like giraffes, Lions, Leopards or Buffaloes to name only a few and of course the Murchison falls, where the river Nile is going through its closest spot. But one of the activities of my lifetime was definitely the mountain gorilla trekking experience. Trekking and spending one hour with these rare animals was an outstanding experience. Of course amidst these activities were always the working days, but you can always look forward to explore more from this country.
The work at office varied a lot. There was for example marketing training that I joined. I was allowed to contribute to every work in the office. My activities at work included writing articles, social media marketing or calculating costs. It was good to see that they had given me the confidence to do all the work on my own. Both sides had their benefit from the confidence. As a team you support each other, talk about suggestions for improvement and then try to integrate them into your daily work routine.
During my stay I was able to make new friends everywhere, in office, the other volunteers or in a bar. I was invited to parties or just hanging around with my new friends and it is good to know that I was then no longer a stranger in Uganda. I am sure that I’ll come back one time and it’s good to know that I’ve friends in Uganda which are waiting for me. In addition to the life experience that is also part of the volunteering for me.
My decision to do that was just the right one. A big thank you to Ugandan Family; Joseph, Irene and the Kids and of course the colleagues from Love Uganda Safaris, I’ll miss you.