Hey friends! I’m just a few days out from heading to Uganda for the summer to intern at Ekisa Ministries. I haven’t talked about it a ton but last summer went I went to Uganda to volunteer and learn about the country I ended up coming home early. And I hate that. I was having some health issues both physically and anxiety wise, and while the trip was an amazing catalyst for growth, I personally had a lot to do this past year if i wanted to be able to come stay in Uganda long(er) term.
Have I done the work? I really hope so. That’s why I’ve been fairly silent on here. I was just so focused on what I needed to do. Let’s catch up a bit here on my little corner of the internet. I went to Cuba! I might’ve mentioned that in some previous post, but it was a huge milestone in my anxiety! I went to Cuba with my school as a part of a global immersion course. I signed up for the class honestly because I knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to go to a country with so much controversy, history, and so many opportunities to learn.
I was so excited especially right off the bat. I had had such a great first semester and really felt like I’d overcome so many goals in regards to my anxiety and OCD. And while I have, this was such a huge event that pushed my comfort zone in so many ways.
All this to say, right before I left I was a mess. Like out of control anxiety, totally catastrophizing. I honestly didn’t believe i’d make it on that trip or to Uganda. This is where I am so thankful that i’m stubborn, because a very small part of me would not let me back out. It was like, even though I knew I would feel awful going through the anxiety provoking moments a part of me was more nervous about how I would feel if I didn’t make it on a simple trip because of anxiety. And thankfully it went way smoother and was a way more comfortable experience than I had imagined.
It’s so funny how that experience triggered or really showed me that in my life, this was how the enemy was working. I literally wanted to smack my head – heck I may have! It was a moment of clarity that I praise the Lord for giving me. The experiences I had in Cuba made me understand that all the anxiety I have? It’s before everything. And I was bowing down to it, letting it win-letting the enemy win, and i’m not about to let that happen. I was letting the anxiety that the anticipation caused, determine how my life would go.
That being said, Cuba was a great opportunity to show me what areas of my life I needed to prep even more for when going to Uganda. Number one? Health. I have so many food allergies and stomach/digestive issues and I tried to navigate that within the local food in Cuba and it was a nightmare. Last summer when I was in Uganda this was also my biggest issue, so I knew this was going to be a key area to pack and prep for!
I actually work with the most amazing nutritionist, Nomadista Nutrition in LA who actually worked and lived in South Sudan as a humanitarian aid! She has been a lifesaver in helping me be prepared food and nutrition wise to be gone from what and where I normally eat. We actually made a list of nonperishable food, went and bought it, and packed it by week into gallon ziplock baggies, so when I’m in Uganda I know exactly what food to eat which week.
Yup, all that’s going with me. It gives me such peace of mind, and now I know that when I’m in Uganda and feel like I can’t eat that it’s just my anxiety, and I need to mind-over-matter-it.
Something else that is huge for me is having little comforts and reminders of home, so I’m bringing my same pillow, blanket, toiletries, etc. that I normally use and love. I’m going to try and keep and adapt my routine as much as possible, while understanding I’ll probably need to adapt more than keep!
I’m not exactly sure if I’ve talked about these on here, or if I have how in depth, but one thing that is essential for me (no pun intended) to have are my Young Living essential oils. Holy smokes I would not be a happy camper if I forgot these. I use oils for just about everything but they are HUGE emotional supports for me. I utilize these in stressful, anxious, prayerful, transitional, pretty much any and all moments. I got a nice supply of oils packed away in my bigger suitcases and a few in my carry on backpack. To travel I needed for sure my DiGize, Valor, and Vetiver, as well as my Thieves wipes and Baby wipes! I’d carry more to travel but I’m being stingy and saving them because unlike home, while I’m gone I can’t just order more.
I also have a super calming playlist I listen to over, and over, and over again called “Flipping the Fudge Out” (; I’ll try and link it below.
Beside that I’m praying, praying, praying, taking some deep breaths and letting God do his thing.