Lessons From Africa #1: First World Problems

Hello everyone. It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here and it’s been even longer since I was in Uganda. It’s almost been 6 months since I’ve been there which is just crazy to me. It shows you how fast time goes by. I will say the impact the trip had on me really hasn’t gone away, I still think about it a lot which brings me to the first lesson I learned from my trip there. We think we have a lot of problems, but when we compare them to what I saw over my two week period in Uganda I’d have to say they’re first world problems. Living in Canada I’m pretty spoiled, there’s nothing I want that I can’t have, I live in a country full of abundance. There were things in Africa that I would say were inconveniences like for example the extremely low water pressure, the fact that we were unable to drink water from the tap, or even brush our teeth with that water, or even the simple fact of weekly garbage pick up (they tend to burn their garbage, because there aren’t really dumps, or if there is garbage pick up it’s far too expensive). The thing that stuck out to me through all of this, is how happy the people are. If we look at their circumstance from Canada we could very, easily say they have no reason to smile, their life is difficult, they don’t have near as much as we do, some only have one shirt they can wear, or their house is a shack,  or they don’t have running water. What struck me is how much I have allowed my circumstances affect me and to see these people who would literally give you the shirt off their back even if it was the only one they had, struck me. How is it that these people appear so much happier, yet I have SO much more than they do? One thing I realized is the fact that these people have no idea that what they experience is any different from anywhere else in the world, sometimes ignorance can be bliss, but more than that they understand the true meaning of joy. Joy is not based on circumstance, they don’t let what they have, or don’t have affect the quality of their life and this influenced me. We allow ourselves to get so caught up in first world problems, and we let it steal our joy. On this trip, I was reminded that I shouldn’t allow what’s going on around me to affect my mood. We are so blessed and if we choose to shift our perspective and focus on gratitude we will be much happier people. 


Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 


Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4 



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