A Day in the Life of a Mzungu

June 26, 2015 • Uganda
Leighton Norvell is a global public health intern with Samaritan’s Purse in the Kampala and Moroto regions of Uganda.

Living here has been an adjustment. Each morning, my supervisor, Kristen, and I brew some Starbucks (brought from the States) in a French press and make oatmeal on the gas stove, which are the ultimate “tastes of home,” so we don’t feel so far, far away. We leave some breakfast for the guard at our house and drive up the bumpy road to the office.

Then we spend about 45 minutes doing devotions with 15 to 20 other staff members before heading either into the office or into the field. Going into the field may involve meeting with a government official or representative of another organization, shadowing a care group of leader mothers, or doing a special task such as distributing mosquito nets.

A Day in the Life of a Mzungu

Samaritan’s Purse staff members share prayer requests and a devotion before beginning their day.

From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., lunch is served, usually consisting of white rice, posho (cornmeal), delicious pintos, and either goat in a tomato-like sauce or fish in a peanut-sauce. I usually take my rice to the guards, request extra goat and pintos, and bring a few boiled eggs and veggies from home. Recently in the field, we were given chapatti, which is actually an Indian flatbread. It basically tastes like a thick, fried tortilla.

When the workday ends at 5 p.m., Kristen and I head home for some Insanity she has on her hard drive since I am sadly far, far away from any weight room, followed by a “shower,” which requires boiling a pot of water on the stove since we don’t have a working water heater and pouring it into a bucket with some cool water.

Although life here is sometimes difficult and certainly different, I’m thankful for the opportunity to do this work and for the things I’ve learned.

The Samaritan’s Purse internship program is an opportunity for college students and recent graduates to use their skills to impact the world in a tangible way. Find out more here.

Uganda Projects Samaritan’s Purse has been active across Uganda since the late 1990s and is currently working to meet the needs of these refugees by helping to provide food, water, latrines and other hygiene items, and temporary shelter. Whether drilling wells, empowering women to start a business, distributing food to refugees, spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS, or providing livestock to impoverished families, our aim is to demonstrate the love of God to individuals and communities in great need.

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