My name is Ben Miller and I was able to travel to Uganda this past May 2012 as a part of the University of Illinois Students in Free Enterprise. Our mission was to spread entrepreneurial literacy in the town of Kapeeka by teaching 4 modules to local small business owners and farmers. It was an amazing experience!
For the purpose of this blog, I was hoping to not discuss the academic benefits I gleaned from this trip, but rather write about some of the more personal feelings and experiences I had in Uganda. One experience that will stay with me forever is playing soccer (football) with the kids. As you all probably can imagine, soccer is the most popular sport in Uganda. The kids love it. I played all through high school so I relished the opportunity to brush up my skills and play with the kids at St. Jerome. They played with such passion and energy. It was remarkable to see.
In a culture where the people have so little, it was enlightening to see the smiles on their faces as they played the game they love. They spread this passion to me as they would yell “Mzungo! Mzungo!” as I walked up, signaling that they wanted me on their team.
The facilities they had to play on weren’t exactly the most glamorous. A patch of dirt ground, small bricks for goal posts, and whatever ball they could find was all they had. Despite this, they were happier than any child I met in the States. I learned a lot from watching them play and interact. Truly an unforgettable experience!