Being Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

24 August 2010 at 02:00 11 comments

By Sarah Curl, KF12 Uganda

I have spent the last two weeks in Kampala, Uganda learning how to adapt to a country that is very different from the one I’ve known for the last twenty-three years.  It has taken some patience, some meltdowns and some courage to continue on.  In the last two weeks, I have had my luggage lost, been chased by a crazy man with a branch and peed on by a child on a mini-bus.

When I arrived in Entebbe, Uganda after traveling for over twenty-four hours from Los Angeles to Detroit to Amsterdam and finally to Entebbe, I found out my luggage was nowhere to be found.  The employee at the airport continued to ask me what my cell phone number was, where I was staying and who I was traveling with.  I calmly told him that I had no cell phone, did not know the exact location of where I was staying and that I was on my own.  I took his phone number and hoped for the best.

Traveling in a foreign country is always exciting and has new adventures waiting around the corner.  Over my short time here I have learned that things never go as planned, but I have learned to become comfortable with this and am even learning how to thrive in it.  Last Thursday, I ventured to Mubende, a town north of Kampala which took 4.5 hours each way in a matatu, which looks like a minivan/mini bus.  In total it took twelve hours with travel times and wait times to talk to a borrower for 30 minutes.   At the end of the day I was exhausted, but was feeling lucky to get this opportunity to explore a country completely on my own, talk to Kiva entrepreneurs about their loans and their hopes for the future.  This is what being a Kiva Fellow is all about.

I have learned much about myself in the last few weeks.  Traveling has a way of doing that to you.  You are on an emotional roller coaster where one minute you have everything under control and the next minute you are completely lost and chasing after a bus.  That is the beauty of traveling, sometimes it’s fun to not be in your comfort zone.  Getting used to being unsure of where you are and where you are going is half the fun and getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is the path to success or at least sanity.

Sarah Curl is a Kiva Fellow serving in Kampala, Uganda.  She is working at Pearl Microfinance, enjoying eating traditional Ugandan food everyday and using boda-bodas as her main form of transportation around the capital.

Join Pearl Microfinance’s Lending Team here!

Find Kiva loans from Pearl Microfinance here!

Entry filed under: KF12 (Kiva Fellows 12th Class), PEARL Microfinance, Uganda. Tags: , , , .

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  • 1. Peggy O  |  9 September 2010 at 17:29

    You are a trooper Sarah. Hang in there and the time will go by fast. I remember how tough you are from being with you in Guadalajra when you were in 6th grade – only girl on the trip, but you didn’t care. We were pals 🙂

  • 2. kevin hagerty  |  5 September 2010 at 22:50

    Sarah congrats on taking on this awesome endeavor be safe have fun see ya soon Love kevin and family

  • 3. Ann  |  27 August 2010 at 03:25

    Sarah, you are doing an awesome job as a KF! Your dedication is an inspiration, and I can “see” you growing as a person even though it’s just via Skype, email, and blog postings 🙂

  • 4. ashley heltne  |  25 August 2010 at 21:37

    Loved reading this post sarita. You’re moving from culture-shock survivor to full-on thriver.

  • 5. Tara Capsuto  |  25 August 2010 at 11:45

    Sarah – Great post and fantastic attitude. Keep up the good work and I hope you got/get your luggage back.

  • 6. Caty  |  25 August 2010 at 11:15

    I’d have to question Boda Bodas as an enjoyment for you, but none-the-less am thinking about you and your safety with each ride you take! Keep it up, you’re doing wonders!

  • 7. Sherry  |  25 August 2010 at 10:16

    Greatly enjoyed your post! You are such an inspiration!

  • 8. Monica  |  25 August 2010 at 09:34

    Sarah you are amazing! I am so proud of you and I wish I could be there to laugh with you about all the craziness in your life right now. I can only picture a crazy man chasing you with a branch! hahaha. Keep it up and make sure to enjoy each and every moment…even the strange and scary ones.

    I loved the article


  • 9. Annabel  |  24 August 2010 at 09:24

    Loved your post! Second what Sam said…Hey Sam,long time no see/talk:)
    Can’t wait to hear more

  • 10. Sam  |  24 August 2010 at 03:03

    I am glad you have taken it all in stride. Its hard, but I for one appreciate what you are doing, as some of my loans are with your organization.
    This is a great blog for people thinking of being Kiva Fellows to read, just to mentally prepare themselves for what lies ahead.

  • 11. brittanygoesglobal  |  24 August 2010 at 03:02

    This was a great post Sarah, I totally agree with you! Glad you are having an intense but rewarding experience 🙂

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