Uganda Blogs - Natasha Ferguson
This past winter break, 7 of our members had the opportunity to travel to an orphanage in Entebbe, Uganda. Now over a month since their return, they reflect on how this experience impacted them.
Growing up in an environment where one is used to having AC, WiFi, new shoes, a family, and so on, it is easy to assume others who don't have these luxuries are miserable. At least that is how I felt going into my trip to Uganda, given that I had always felt sorry for children who were born into harsher circumstances. Having grown up in a third world country, I was especially aware of my privilege (or so I thought) and naturally felt guilty for having lucked out in this lottery we call life. However, this past winter break I learned that my preconceived assumptions were completely wrong.
One of my biggest take-aways from my time in Malayaka House was realizing that what makes one happy and feel like they have lived a “full life” is not measured in one all encompassing scale, rather in thousands of smaller scales that are tailored to everyones individual experiences. What makes me happy or sad is not the same as what would make a child in Malayaka House happy or sad, as I soon realized in my week with them. The children were so happy and loving and not at all as “miserable” as I thought they would be for not having amenities that I would uncomfortable without. They loved having new soccer nets, card games, polaroid photos, and could care less for having a microwave or WiFi.
There are multiple scales of happiness, and it is important to be aware of them and not try to force our own scale of happiness on others. The impact of our actions is directly influenced by these scales, and by keeping them in mind I was able to make my presence in Malayaka house more impactful.