Homestay: When a family opens their home to host someone for a period of time.
Each of the students had the opportunity to do a 24 hour homestay with various families in Bwindi, Uganda. Without a doubt this was the most impactful part of the trip. Some thoughts the students had:
Alicia: “We arrived at the village around 4:00, my heart was beating so fast I was so nervous. My family had six kids and everyone was so nice and friendly. I was given a bed while most everyone else slept on the floor. I immediately fell asleep only to be awakened numerous times by a mouse making its way around my body until we were staring eye to eye. I awoke to December’s singing (the father of the house) and realized I was desperate to go to the bathroom. He led me to a small mud hut. This was the best experience I ever had reminded me of what I have and have taken for granted.”
Grace: “The family I stayed with had 7 children, 4 boys and three girls. Their house was very tiny with only four rooms and an outside cook house. I actually got to sleep in a bed with the two oldest daughters. Their generosity was overwhelming when they shared the little food they had with me. I can’t wait to return with some useable items such as a pot. The mother relied solely on a small aluminum bowl to prepare their meals. It’s amazing how hospitable they were to me and I am forever thankful.”
Annika: “Meeting the grandfather who was anxious and excited to show me posters of animals with their English names. Sharing which ones live in Uganda and which ones they eat. Then came the list of every president ever to hold office in Uganda in chronological order. He was so proud. The family arrived and then we had dinner. Most all meals consist of rice and beans as well as bananas. The hardest part for me was sleeping. Outside my mosquito net bats fought with high pitch squeals falling to the ground. In the morning I helped ground grains and smashed some Cassava root and then weeded the garden. Fetched some water that was very far away and played with the children. This was an experience that will forever stay with me.”
Jake: “It’s extremely hard to describe what it was like to stay with Gnstatn and his family. It was truly amazing how giving and accepting they were, even though I felt intrusive they treated me like family. It’s also just stunning how they work with everything they have which really gives you a deep appreciation of what situations they’re in. All in all this experience really helped to put things in perspective and reminds me how much I am grateful and love my life.”