I took a few days away from the city and my room, and travelled to Jinja. One of the people I met there was Dennis Ssesanga, a man who I had met at a grant writing workshop at the American Embassy a few weeks before. He was in Jinja running sexual reproductive health awareness activities with the organisation he works for Marie Stopes, and he was kind enough to show me round the clinic in Jinja.
I was really impressed with the clinic. It was by far the most welcoming clinic I had been in in Uganda, it somehow felt very female orientated and female friendly with lovely recovery rooms and waiting areas. I was lucky enough to be introduced to the team and particularly the manager, where we talked about the possibility of partnering, using Hip Hop and health activities to connect to youth on their community outreach work.
Me and Dennis had a small window to have a chat over coffee where we discussed his wide breadth of work, his social enterprises, creative poetry platforms, online newspaper and health work. I was really impressed by his passion for the work he does around sexual health. His focus on de-stigmatising HIV as a tool to reducing infection rate and improving health seemed very convincing and positive.
After he left I sat and worked on my computer for five hours without break. After days of feeling lost, unmotivated and producing very little outcomes, the work seemed to flow out of me. These moments feel as if I am on some spiritual wave, connected to the source of life which is feeding me the right food to be able to complete what I am put on this earth to do. The trick is learning what life ingredients feed this feeling of being on the right path and able to produce such good work. I am starting to see that it is human connection and moving away from my normal daily routine and environment that gives me that extra energy and inspiration, and that I have to try and create more of these opportunities to stay happy and productive.
Reflecting on my time so far in Uganda I am amazed at the opportunities that always arise from just random meetings here. It seems that I am in a place where I meet interesting, inspirational, service-based people all the time, allowing opportunity for meaningful conversation and connection at unexpected times. My current struggle is finding the time and strength to hold all these people in my life, and grab and utilise the multiple opportunities that keep arising, it is certainly overwhelming. I would welcome any advice and mentorship on how to create seeds within all the conversations and relationships I am developing, seeds that will grow and manifest something beautiful in the future, whilst at the same time allowing myself to keep my focus on the few projects that need my attention and nurture at this time.
It is interesting to me, and I am very aware of how this feeling of being on a wave of opportunity and alignment does not seem to exist for me in the UK, and is why I struggle so much with the thought of returning home. I think being in a different country and unfamiliar location opens my eyes, heart and awareness to how much opportunity and need there is to act and serve, whereas when I am surrounded by familiarity I am in a state of slumber. It is also possible that I am truly on the right path here in Uganda, and my doubts and fears of being the wrong person for this work, unequipped and inexperienced, are just my mind’s way of trying to sabotage something that could be truly beautiful and something impactful far into my future.