Volunteer Spotlight: Sharon McCoy

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In this blog post, our volunteer Sharon McCoy shares some of her experiences working with Rukundo International in Uganda.

Given the opportunity, would you participate in such an experience again? Why/Why not?

“Yes indeed….I would participate again because we were well supported by Rukundo and the Ugandan volunteers.  There were ample opportunities to engage with the community that we served.  Much of the trip was very ‘hands-on.’ I felt secure and safe and appreciate that adequate measures were taken to assure these things.  There were always things to do and places to go.”

In what ways did you benefit from this trip? How did this trip impact you?

“The trip provided me with an opportunity to travel to remote part of the world to learn first hand about this country, the people and the culture.  It has impacted me in both tangible and intangible ways.  It put dimension to the plight of third world countries that have very little infrastructure in place to support the poor, sick and disenfranchised.  It also gave me an appreciation for community and the happiness that can be found there.  We in the US are inundated with the abundance of things but are often relation-ally deficient and unhappy.  I have a renewed interest in providing material support to those because the need is very real.”

In what way do you feel that the local population benefited from our group being there?

“I believe that by providing a water pump to the school that we served will have a sustainable impact on that community.  Drawing from a well with clean water rather than another contaminated source will reduce the community’s susceptibility to waterborne illnesses.  Individuals tasked with getting water (possibly long distances away) will be safer and have more time for studies and playing.   The program at the school provided valuable information about clean hands and also gave the children an opportunity to likewise engage with us and learn more about our culture.  It also provided the children with an opportunity to practice speaking English since their studies and tests are written in English.”

What did you learn from this trip?

“I learned that while it is more comfortable to live with modern conveniences, people can survive without them- humans can be happy if not joyful with no shoes, one outfit and a bread roll; bananas with brown spots are not necessarily over-ripened and are tasty; the Macarena is not just for weddings; Muzungus make most young Ugandan babies cry; and no matter where you go in the world people are fundamentally the same.”