These six weeks were incredible. While I am certainly looking forward to hot showers, toilets with seats and raw vegetables, I am really going to miss Gulu and all the friends I have made. Part of me would love to return to Gulu to teach at Sir Samuel Baker School as a permanent teacher - six weeks was simply not enough. But then another part of me realizes that it is not really my place to go into that school and "fix" things. There were certainly aspects of the school that seemed a bit dysfunctional but it seems are slowly improving and SSBS will someday be the great school it once was. I also think a lot of the problems at the school are a result of a failing system and the teachers were doing amazing things in the face of the challenges with which they were faced. Also, who knows if the teaching methods I use in the US would have made a major impact on student performance...
Which gets me to my next steps: I am facinated by international education and what is transferable across cultures and what is not. What are the commonalities of good teaching? I know that no matter what education is the key to making the world a more peaceful and sustainable global community. Everyone needs access to information and needs to be taught to think critically - to ask questions, to challenge the status quo and to engage in constructive dialogue to work toward the betterment of this quickly shrinking world. Not sure exactly where I fit into this but I'm confident that graduate school is my next step - Comparative Education or International Education Policy will afford me the opportunity to explore and further develop some of these new ideas and understanding. This trip has given me a whole new perspective on what education is, should be and can be. I have be re-energized by this experience!
Thank you to everyone that has followed along on my journey. I have found it nearly impossible to put my experience into words - a lot is missing. Please feel free to e-mail me questions as I would love to continue to share stories with those interested - firstname.lastname@example.org.