A month in Uganda: Will Arndt

Uganda holds a special place in my heart, so much so I decided to travel there after I graduated college. It was a wonderful experience and along the way I got to see a few of my good friends. I also learned a few lessons, namely traveling on a boda-boda (a Ugandan motorcycle) through Kampala is quite an intense experience.

I met up with Father Matthias early in the trip and stayed with him for much of the time. The work he is doing to help One Heart Uganda is valuable, but the work he is doing within his community is awe-inspiring. His ability to juggle being a priest, community leader, headmaster, and helping us run the scholarship organization is incredible.

Climate changes effecting tuitions
I got an opportunity to visit Fr. Emmanuel Mugagga, our good friend, who showed me the farming problems they’ve been having. Maize is tough to grow and with the changing climate, it has begun to get even tougher. As a result, school tuition is increasing across all areas to offset rising corn meal prices. They are fighting through it like they always do. If everyone had the spirit of the Ugandan people, the world would be a better place.

Parmesan cheese pleases
I met with our contract employee, Kayongo James, a hard-working, wonderful guy who delivers the best work he can. He is traveling the country getting to know our students and their families, so we can understand how best to support them and stay in contact. When we discovered the only Italian restaurant in Uganda, we both learned he loves parmesan cheese, remarking, “This is surprisingly delicious!”

Loras College connection
I also made some new friends. I had the pleasure of meeting and touring with Javis Mugagga Lubwama, who works for a leadership development organization, Cornerstone Academy. He was also the only person I encountered in Uganda, who knew my alma mater, Loras College (shout out to President Jim Collins).

I spent a month in a spectacular country with some of the most special people I will ever meet. If you get a chance, I’d suggest you check it out. The golf in Kampala isn’t bad either.