Local Ugandans make great first impressions
Student Victor Grossling and a Ugandan woman took selfies. Students found the local residents to be friendly and engaging. (Yulin Yu | The Media School)

Student Victor Grossling and a Ugandan woman took selfies. Students found the local residents to be friendly and engaging. (Yulin Yu | The Media School)

After leaving the airport, we drove an hour to the hotel. Though the windows, we saw craft markets, goats and cows walking beside the street, unconstructed roads and giant cactus.

My classmates were impressed by these original natural scenes, while they made me think of my grandparents’ hometown. Both Kampala and my grandparent hometown, NingXiang, have the same smell of the soil, clay houses and nature. Only the skin color and the language are different. I feel very surprised by the similarity shared by developing society. We, human beings, all come from the similar world.

Ugandans are the friendliest people I have ever met. People talked about their lives with me very honestly.  When we were at the community church, I was holding my camera and wanted to take pictures of the children and women in their beautiful and colorful dress. I smiled, looked at them and pointed to the camera, afraid to offend them or be rejected. However, they just smiled back to me.

Ugandan children greeted the students and clamored for photo opps. (Yulin Yu | The Media School)

Ugandan children greeted the students and clamored for photo opps. (Yulin Yu | The Media School)

“I want to be your friend,” a woman said after I took her picture.

And then, 20 more kids ran in front of my camera and smiled. I took some photos and showed them. These kids gathered around me very close and looked happy after seeing their faces in the photo. They liked to be in the photo, which is very different from what I had read in a book about Uganda culture.

Uganda makes me think of the home of my grandparent, the similarity of developing societies and the simple relationships between human beings.