And just like that, our work was coming to a close. Frankly, I considered the project to be pretty much complete the previous day, once we wrapped up the survey, but this discussion day was easily my most involved discussion of the three. Because we had four men show up to participate in the survey, we also wanted to include them in the discussion, and luckily we had the resources to facilitate a conversation that with all of the males. George, Joffrey, and I were given the script and ran a discussion that I expected to take only an hour or two, since there weren’t nearly as many participants in our group as there were in the groups of women. However, we were actually the last group to finish, which probably says just as much about our inexperience when it comes to facilitating discussions as it does about the volume of conversation. I was very curious as to why these men had chosen to seek membership in a female-oriented group, and while their responses weren’t to be included in the report, they will hopefully help the team if the decision is eventually made to include men in the project. As one might expect, the men shared many concerns with the women we spoke with, but they amplified their desires for vocational training more than I felt I had heard in the female discussion groups. They had a lot to share, and while I don’t think the conversation was nearly as fluid as those facilitated by the professors, I hope that useful information was gleaned from what we recorded.
Later in the afternoon, Joffrey took me and George out for drinks, and we visited a compound that reminded me a lot of St. Monica’s. As it turned out, it was founded and run by the Camboni brothers, who were responsible for the construction of St. Monica’s as well. After a few hours of wonderful conversation, Joffrey gave us a ride to the Iron Donkey. He also asked why we were going to the Iron Donkey, an American restaurant, two days before returning to the States. I couldn’t provide a good answer, because I had no idea that it was American food. And it wasn’t all that great, either, although I probably would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t foolishly shocked my system with two massive cheese quesadillas after two weeks of abstaining from dairy. But honestly, in hindsight I would’ve avoided the American restaurant not because of the food, but because of the other American people we interacted with. A medical mission team showed up halfway through our meal and immediately went full “Fellow White People” on us. Oblivious to their surroundings, the adult leaders of the group loudly expressed their shock at just how poor Ugandans are and how miserable their lives seem. I was not impressed.
And just like that, our time in Uganda comes to an end, for now.