My Best Friend from Uganda

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Our UNC interns are back from Uganda. Brianne shares about a close friend she made during her time there.

Meet Oroma Jennifer. This summer we became fast friends during my time at New Life Medical Center in Uganda. At the age of 26, we have a lot in common. We both love to bake. We listen to a lot of the same music. And, our favorite television show is Friends.

But our 13-year-old selves were wildly different. Being 13 in the US, I was obsessed with boy bands and my biggest worry was what outfit I was going to wear to school. Being 13 in Uganda, Jennifer's family decided she was to marry an older man in their community. Not wanting this for her future, she ran away from home. A family friend gave her a bag of flour and some cooking oil and taught her to make chapatis, or unleavened bread. Jennifer sold these on the roadside to pay her school fees for the next several years, and she has recently completed her degree in Special Education.

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New Life Medical Center is where Jennifer chooses to get all of her medical care. The clinic has taught her everything she needs to know about HIV; how the virus spreads, how it can be prevented, and also about the importance of getting regularly tested for HIV. I will never forget the day she proudly showed me her test result slip that said, “NEGATIVE." We jumped around cheering for joy and went out to lunch to celebrate. It was cause for a celebration and a happy day indeed!

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