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How’s it going? My name Is Leonie from the Netherlads. I graduated in September 2012 with a Master’s degree in Economics. As the grown up life of fulltime working did not seem very appealing to me I chose to postpone it for a while and travel instead. Although backpacking was an interesting option too I decided that I wanted to actually live in another country rather than visit all places highlighted by Lonely Planet before heading off to the next country. I decided to apply for Aiesec because I believed that Aiesec provides the perfect opportunity to put the knowledge and skills that you acquired in university into practice while working, living and travelling in a new country (after seven weeks my beliefs are fully confirmed). I soon found a project that perfectly suits my interests; RET Trust Ltd. RET is a small micro finance institution that provided group loans to over 400 rural women living in poverty. The project is perfect for me as I have a strong interest in economic development issues and RET allows me to gain first-hand experience in this field. Furthermore, it allows me to contribute to Uganda by using the skills and knowledge I developed during my study: I improved and rewrote their credit policy and employment policy and I developed a tool to monitor the impact of the micro credit on the life conditions of the recipients. But of course working is not all there is. In the past seven week I tried to experience Uganda to the fullest: I lived with Ugandan students, I worked with Ugandans, I ate posho (not a fan though), matoke, rice with gnut sauce and rolex (HUGE fan), I drank Ugandan beer, I know my way around old taxi park (did not expect that to happen like ever when I arrived there on my first day), I washed my clothes by hand (that’s not how we Europeans do it), travelled by boda boda, travelled by matatu’s with over 20 passengers, travelled with buses that were held together by tape, travelled by buses in which it rained inside too, spend Christmas with a Ugandan family, waved at hundreds of children yelling muzungu byeeeee to me and travelled all over the country. I loved every second of it. In one week fun is over though and grown-up life is waiting for me. Wish me luck!



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