We welcomed back another of our sponsorship girls not too long and her name is Memory Moono. Memory was sent to Uganda under the Youth Sport Exchange Program (YSEP) or Fredskorpset (FK). We asked Memory to summarize her trip in her own words and this is what she had to say.
My stay in East Africa Uganda was such a wonderful thing. Just to experience life in other countries was great. I had never traveled out of Zambia, and it was exciting to see a real life plane.
Upon reaching Uganda, I was placed in Kampala, which is the capital city and I was welcomed by my host family. I stayed there for eight months and within these eight months l learned the local language which is Luganda and this made it easier for me to make friends. I experienced aspects of their culture, including how to greet elders and I also tried to involve myself in day to day house work.
I also got the chance to wear some traditional Ugandan clothes called gomessi for the women and a kanzu for the men. They take their tradition very seriously and if you were to attend a traditional wedding (called kwajula), you had to wear your traditional outfits.
I found things that I had never eaten before such as matooke, their staple food. At first I didn’t like it but as the days went on, I adapted to it. I experienced roasted bananas which they call Gonja as well as Rolex chapatti with eggs. I loved these foods so much and I miss them already.
I had another host family and I stayed with them for two months. I had so much fun and enjoyed my time there a lot. My host mother used to take me out for fun activities like going to see comedy shows; she never let me stay bored for a minute and was always looking for ways to decrease my loneliness. We would go out a lot as a family which was good because it helped me feel less homesick.
I was able to work with children and youth in schools and in the community. I taught physical education in schools and in the communities, I trained under 16s in football. I also taught the youth about awareness and during my free time, I had coaches who would help train me in different sports such as netball, volleyball, wood ball and sitting volleyball. When I was working from the office, I would take that time to work on my reports and assist in day to day office work.
As for my social life, I made friends who I could interact with and go to the beach with during holidays and who I could go to parties with as well as go to dance clubs with. It was great for me because I had never been to such places before and they were really enjoyable experiences which changed my life. My stay in Uganda helped me see the world in a different way and to formulate dreams and plans for the future. The Memory that boarded that plane to Uganda is not the same Memory that came back to Zambia. I’ve changed for the better.
I owe a lot to FK, NIF and my home organization for giving me the wonderful opportunity to explore and experience the exchange program.