I visited Kin for the first time in the winter of 2011-2012 after turning 18. At the time, I had never left the U.S. My goals were to go on an awesome adventure, step outside of my comfort zone, and experience a new culture. I chose to volunteer at Kin primarily to immerse myself in a village community, but also in an effort to give back. Although most of my time was spent playing with the Kin children and exploring the rest of Uganda, I taught the children geography and math for an hour a day.
My experience was transformative in several ways. First, I developed a passion for teaching which led me to teach English in Brazil, work as a TA in college, and fund a year of backpacking from teaching online. Second, I became addicted to travel. Since 2012, I have visited over 40 countries (3 in Africa) and spent almost three years living abroad. Third, and most importantly, the exposure to the Ugandan people and culture changed the lens through which I see the world. I am an intensely more grateful, and thus happier, person as a result of the experience.
I feel very privileged to have built friendships with Uncle Ben and the children, and it fills my heart with joy to know that other people will have the same opportunity. Go to Africa! Go to Uganda! And when you do, stay at Kin!