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Q&A with Esha Scott

Updated: Feb 6, 2023


Name: Alecia Baker

Occupation: Preschool Intervention Specialist

Destination: Uganda

Native Languages Spoken: Lugbara and Lugandan

Reason for the trip: My focus project for the summer of 2015 trip was to implement Days for Girls training on feminine hygiene and health as a means to aid young girls in continuing their education and generate discussions among these young women about what issues they collectively face as they pursue their education and betterment of their lives

Experience: It is impossible to put this experience into words; it is simply that, something you have to experience. I came into this trip with the idea of gaining and understanding through partnership, of seeing another side of the story of young girls in Uganda determined to become educated and to what extent those dreams hit brick walls. I wanted to know their thoughts, their stories, their struggles, and their triumphs. I wanted them to share those private stories with each other to and to know that we all face giants in the pursuit of something worth the struggle. I wanted them to see that united they rise, divided they will fall. What I realized is that these principles, these challenges, these fears, are all realities that women as a whole a face and I am again humbled in the correction of the “us and them” mentality that is too often the single story of African girls. For us, there is simplicity in feminine health, access to education, assistance when those walls get too high to climb. It hadn’t fully occurred to me the extent of the impact a period can have, and that for girls everywhere, it is just that; a period. The end of the story, the tiny dot to which all dreams can be sucked into like a black hole. And divided as women, that pull is strong enough to take us down one by one. Banded together, however, we become too large for our problems, too bold in our greatness to lose another beside us, and too knowledgeable to withhold wisdom from our sister that can save her life. These girls live in silence, blindsided by the one issue all women must conquer on a biological level, and without proper assistance and access to materials, their quality of life diminishes with each drop. The inability to stay in school, to ward off the tricks of men, to watch their dreams drown are only some of the challenges that come without proper education on feminine health. So we came, we taught, we learned and we conquered and for 120 girls who earned reusable sanitary napkin kits and the tailors in local villages who are now producing them, we did come with a message of hope. We opened the lines of communication to let stories be shared and used as tools to break down walls and build up stairs. But as I understand the danger of a single story, I want to make it clear this one is not about saving anyone as is too often the face of Africa. These girls are strong, bold, and braver than I have ever had to be, they do not need saved. They needed what every girl in every city in the world needs-unity. We as women are limitless, powerful beyond measure if we only look to build each other up instead of constantly competing against each other. This is the story all women would be changed by to adopt into their lives. In all the ways we compare ourselves to the girl next to us, I can remember in every way, she shares my story more than I will ever know. Woman to woman, we are the same under all the lines we write. Walking a mile in other girl’s shoes, you will realize you’ve been wearing the same pair.

Favorite Place to Dine: My favorite place to dine while in Uganda was in the homes of the people we stayed with. As much as I may have craved some familiar food, a home cooked meal of rice, cabbage, and beans hits the spot like nothing else at the end of a long day of adventuring. Any home you could enter, you would be most welcome.

Where I stayed: We stayed in several places as we traveled the country. The main two started our journey in the house of a friend and partner of F.O.Y.A, the second was the African Village which was a wonderful bubble world among the colors and chaos of Uganda with real toilets and hot showers.

Hot Spots: Definitely Murchison Falls Safari- talk about wild. In the villages, everything is a hot spot because of its indescribable beauty and authenticity. Jinja is the place to go for shopping and Kambabazee Restaurant has the best whole fried fish and fries.

Sites to see: Smiling faces of every person who you make eye contact with, traditional grass hut houses, incredible wildlife living free on the Safari, and baby chimps and the Entebee Zoo.

Most Memorable Moment: Getting the biggest group hug from hundreds of children at once. Connection is everything.

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