Internship to Uganda #3

Our Compound

Kerri Carleton is a young member of Elkhorn Hills UMC.  She is working in Kamuli, Uganda (Africa) this summer and is keeping in touch with family and friend through her blog.  Her family has given permission for us to share information about her experience.

Please keep Kerri and her team in your prayers during her internship.  Prayers for safety and strength!  You may contact Donna Carleton for information about donating to Kerri to assist her with expenses.


Week 1 of 6

Hi everyone!

So here is how these posts will typically work: I will complete weekly reflection assignments that will ask the same questions every week.  I will then post my answers on here for everyone to read!   These are the questions:

  1. Date and week #
  2. Activities and accomplishments from the week
  3. What is going well
  4. What needs to be changed
  5. What am I doing well
  6. What do I need to change
  7. How can I affect change in the internship

Week of June 7, 2017.  (Week 1 of 6)

Activities and Accomplishments

Top bunk is where I sleep

We spent the first five days in Kampala before heading to Kamuli. In Kampala on day one, we exchanged money and went grocery shopping before packing a backpack for the week, so we could send our big suitcases ahead to Kamuli. The big activities that were accomplished was our visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park and team building. The trip to the park has been my favorite thing so far, and the memories of being ten feet from hippos and elephants and even a lioness from our van will last forever.

  • I’ve always wanted to go on an African Safari, so I can cross that off of my bucket list!
  • I can also now say that I have crossed the equator twice.
  • We also got to go watch a traditional African dance troupe, and it was absolutely phenomenal and showed a lot of the history and art within Uganda. My favorite part was that it ended with a massive dance party and everyone in the audience got to go down to the stage and dance with the professionals.

The team-building was exciting, and I have really loved getting to know the other students on this trip. On the other hand, going into great detail on my future research and projects over the next 5 weeks made me nervous. I am not scared of the actual work, that’s going to be the fun part. I am anxious about the “organized chaos” way of doing things around here. I am continuously being told to be flexible, because most inconveniences cannot be helped in Uganda, and I will just have to adapt and change my game-plan.

What is Going Well

I absolutely adore the ISU students and professors on this trip, along with the ISU-UP staff and volunteers. I have instantly made strong connections with everyone, and I can already tell that this will prove to be important as the trip progresses.

What Needs To Be Changed

The one thing that I would like to be different is a clear schedule and a clear plan that both of my supervisors agree upon and are updated with. I believe Mike, my Ugandan supervisor and ultimately the person I report to, is working very hard on this right now thankfully. He has been so kind to ask me exactly what I want and need for this internship, and I know he will try his best to accommodate me.

What I Am Doing Well

I believe I have been doing well by focusing on my surroundings in a busy area such as Kampala, as well as following instructions from the professors.

What Do I Need to Change

As I previously mentioned, I just need to relax and learn to be flexible when it comes to my research when I don’t know exactly what is going on. I need to put my trust into Mike and Dr. Masinde and know that I am in very good hands.

How Can I Affect Change in the Internship

I can affect change in my internship as well as myself by communicating to my peers, professors and leaders about what I need and what may or may not be working. I can also keep telling myself to stay positive, because even though this week was my “fun” week, I know I will be working in the sun will experience a lot of things I have never considered before, and it is important to realize that I am here to learn and gain valuable experience.

Kappa Delta in Uganda

Kappa Delta in Uganda

To clarify: my research revolves around the water resources in Kamuli, Uganda outside of the boreholes, which are the cleanest sources of water available. To complete this, I will be interviewing people that I randomly select at these outside sources. I am very grateful to have the best translator in Kamuli, Ronald, to complete this task. When I have everything organized and better details to share, I will try to post what I can. I will also be maintaining the 18 boreholes that Iowa State has put in over the past decade, as well as training community members to keep it a sanitary source of water. On Mondays and Fridays, I will be teaching 5th grade math with Elizabeth, an ISU student from Uganda. On top of all of that, whenever time allows or if transportation is not available for my research project, I will be helping out in the primary (elementary) school gardens, where all of the yields go towards the school feeding program. I will be working on the irrigation project when it comes to the school gardens.

In my free time so far in Kamuli, I have really loved playing Bananagrams, journaling, and eating lots of yummy Ugandan food! I am already loving the idea of tea time, where we get home at 5 to yummy mendazi or scones and coffee and African tea!

If you have any questions for me, post in the comments, and I will be happy to answer.




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