My Experience in the United States of America (Tusiime Samuel)
It is every African’s dream to visit the United States, a place which is branded the world’s paradise. Visiting the US was a dream to me that I thought would never come true. Even right now I can’t still believe it that I visited the United States, so my dream came true that at one time I thought would never come true.
Oh my God, what an experience boarding an airplane for the very first time, what a good thing with mixed feelings not knowing what to expect when you are inside the plane, getting nervous while the plane was ascending, knowing how the seats are arranged according to numbers, the seat belts if they were similar to those in cars, how we could eat while the plane was moving, wondering whether the food wouldn’t spill over, but all in all it was a good feeling tasting the plane environment, turning around that table to eat food, trying to cope up with the new food names. All was amusement. I remember Ana Overton told me that “Sam, only expect dry foods when you get to America” and I was like how am I going to survive when I spent so long without eating “matooke” (a Ugandan well known basic food)? I remember also asking Mr. Steve West what the plane seat belts are like, and he had to explain to me that they are only waist belts hahahahaha!!!!!! What a feeling trying to imagine how snow looks like and at what degrees the coldness is, when you are inside the house or the car, it looks like it’s hot outside but just step out and you will get the feeling of winter!
WHAT I MET IN THE US: All my experience began the day I set my foot on American soil in Raleigh- Durham. Surely as soon as I reached Raleigh the climate changed, became cold to me while those who came to pick me up were not feeling cold. What an experience to begin with! The first time I went with Mr. Steve West and Juliana West and Mr. Dirk Hamp to visit Paige at her office, I was carried by Santa Claus, first time in a long time to be carried on someone’s lap. My first night at the West’s house, I remember telling them to adjust my cellphone time because it was very dark and yet my watch read 5:30pm, hahahahaha!!!!!! They laughed and told me that this season it gets dark quickly. Wonders never end in this world!!!!!!
I can’t believe it that I visited the federal courts where Mr. Steve West works, district courts, and up to the Supreme court. This was quite an experience for me, as who could imagine on earth that SAM would go to court with the USA Magistrate Judge while he was trying cases and also have lunch with him? I also met the United State’s Attorney, what an experience to me as law student and attending classes at Campbell Law School.
I went to Wilmington with the Sibert’s family, visited the U.S.S. North Carolina, a war ship now docked permanently, went to the famous Carolina Beach and crossed to the other side with a ferry. What a sweet feeling having lunch at the ocean. I went to one of the Rotary Clubs in Wake Forest. I went to Jelly Beans for Roller Blading, I visited Boone with the Hamps, saw The GrandFather Mountain, what an amazing place, oh my God that Bridge, it was so high hahahaha, but thank God I crossed it to and from. Wait a minute, I can’t forget about the time when I went for snow tubing in Boone and at Appalachian State University. I appeared in the Wake Weekly newspaper in Wake Forest, which made me so happy, and then I went to California, visiting Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive, played volleyball at the beach, and went to Disney Land. Wow! Wonders never cease to end. I also visited Washington DC with Shamell, going to the different museums there, but what I liked most was the Wax Museum and the historical USA monuments.
MY LESSONS: Some important things I have learned from my time in the United States are the importance of keeping time and appointments, associating and relating with different people, especially those I had never seen before, improving my public speaking, more especially speaking anytime you are requested to do so, as this has taught me to always be ready because anything can happen. I remember Mr. Steve West telling me how he was given a sudden notice to speak to a school and he spoke successfully. As a law student, being in those American court rooms and associating with different US attorneys and judges has helped me compare and relate how the Judicial system runs both in Uganda and the whole world. My particular interest was in knowing what those judges base their decisions on those cases on, and I sure did ask them. Getting to know how different things are done, cooking the American way, church services, generally the daily life and routine that people in the US live was so interesting. Learning many different games like Bowling, Hockey, Beach Volleyball, and Laser Tag helped me learn how to compete hard and in a more positive way.
Wait a minute, I can’t forget this: I now have an experience in being interviewed by the media. This has helped get the nervousness out of me, especially when you know that what you are saying is going to be read by the whole world. This helped me since I have plans of being a future leader. Above all, my coming to the USA has made me a better person in life, having a great exposure of the world and has expanded on my way of thinking. My request is that you pray for me so that what I experienced I may be able to put it into practice to help me and other people here in Uganda. NOTE: I am writing a book that entails all my experience while I was in USA and what I learned from there. I want this book to help those who have never been to the USA to know how it looks like and with God’s help give them lessons.