May 26, 2017

As we came back from our luxurious stay at Queen Elizabeth National Park, we couldn’t help but remember what we were coming home to – a hole in the ground as a toilet, bandaged bed nets, and bugs creeping in our rooms. But what was surprising to us is that we used the word “home” to describe our stay here at Kibale National Park. Within the last 2 weeks, we’ve grown to be connected with the forest and its local community. Even with a 3-course meal and a swimming pool nearby, we remember that as Planetary Health Professionals, our drive comes from uniting with the community and transforming our knowledge into action. Therefore, the superficial living conditions that accompany our field school do not linger in our minds when we reflect back on this experience. What does linger in our mind is the impact we have made in the Kyanyawara community and the impact they have made on us. Altogether, we are happy to have called Kibale National Park our home.