A Reflection of My Life after living in Uganda as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tycoon Children

I get tired of hearing about the rich tycoons in Uganda. Whenever a wealthy area or school is mentioned it is always followed with disgust for the tycoons who are obviously there. I am always facing being an outsider. I was blessed to be born in the United States of America where I received a good education and because of my citizenship hold many freedoms. I did not choose to be born there. I did not choose the color of my skin. So while I am constantly facing these guilts and frustrations I sometimes get upset with those who point fingers at the rich or priviledged in Uganda because I can identify with them on some levels. Yes, many times they are the corrupt and immoral people but sometimes they just worked really hard to get there. Or sometimes they are just innocent children who were born into those blessings.

My area is near the capital and fairly well educated. We have one of the best and oldest schools in Uganda in my town. It was started for the Bugandan princesses back in the 1800's. We also are surrounded by village where many of the older generations are illiterate. We have many government schools that don't pay their teachers and health centers that can't meet the sick demands of the community. This population snears at the local rich schools that are full of students from ambassadors, big doctors, government and foriegn business families. But these children haven't had any choice in who they were born to or where they were sent for school.

I was at church yesterday when 8 -10 girls walked in. They were beautiful young girls with manicured hair and nails, their uniforms were spotless and pressed, and their skin was flawless. What really caught my attention was the way they walked. They walked in confidently with their heads held high. They nodded to their elders and smiled at the children. They were polite in finding a section of bench to sit on. I admired these girls and leaned over to ask my friend where they were from. She informed me they were tycoon children from one of the best schools in Uganda.

After church I went home and told Annet about seeing these girls. I expected her to lament about them being tycoon children but she surprised me. She said, "Oh yes. Those are ambassadors children. But those girls at that school are good. They bring things to the needy. And they are always so kind to people in the trading center. Many grow up and go abroad to do great things. They are the Ugandans we should be proud of."

While many blame others for the priviledges they were born into it's nice to hear once in a while that those (myself included) are still good people who can do great things with the freedoms and wealth we possess.

1 comment:

  1. What wonderful insight. It can probably carry over into any culture/community.