|Thank You, Mr. Evie!
From the desk of Nathaniel Dunigan
Founder of Aidchild, very special homes, academies and clinics for orphans living with AIDS
Uganda, East Africa
Volunteer Evan Goodman with his dad, Dr. Bob Goodman, on the shores of Lake Nabugabo. Below, Evan writes about his three months with us. Dr. Bob, of Harvard, came last week and led an Aidchild Leadership Team retreat! More about that in an upcoming issue. (It was fantastic!) Thank you, thank you, thank you, Goodmans. Your name suits you. We are more grateful than you know. We are better because of you.
I had little to no expectations coming to Uganda. I had never been here before and what I knew was based on the stories and pictures my father, an Advisory Board member and friend of Aidchild, had shared with me back in 2005. Arriving in Africa was, as you might assume, a culture shock. It was the people who made my transition so easy, though. If you have ever been to Uganda you can distinguish their easy-going nature, friendly attitudes, and gracious hospitality.
I lived at the Aidchild site, in Masaka, which was special because each day began with the kids, the main reason I came. My days were filled with developing marketing/PR for the Ten Tables Restaurant and new Terrace Club as well as the Equation Café on the Equator. I was the face of Aidchild for 3 months and was honored to be an ambassador for guests and groups who visited.
Most surprising was my departure. I was overwhelmed with the love I received as I left. I felt extremely lucky to have spent three months with the kids and staff, forming deep, emotionally close bonds. It was hard to look the kids in the eye as I left because saying goodbye felt so sudden and final. At that point, we shared a level of comfort, knowing we had seen each other everyday, and now it had come to an end.
My experience at Aidchild went beyond the kids. The staff and management were above and beyond anything I expected; most of them becoming not only great guides but friends and guardians. As many pictures and videos I show my friends and family back home, I know they can never grasp the depth of my experience and the intensity of the bonds we forged. I just wish everyone could experience what I have, then they would know how beautiful this country and the people really are.
If you think you have the time and resources to have a similar experience, please contact us! I love living a global life. There's much more work to be done.
--Nathaniel, kids and staff