Huntington University is a Christian liberal arts college in Indiana

Student finds second family in Uganda

Storch spends semester abroad
Megan Storch

When someone is passionate about something, you can tell by the way they talk about it or how they put forth effort into it. It can be through working for a dream job where you show your passion, or being able to live it out every day, and there are a lot of times that a passion can be for a place. This is the case for Megan Storch, a senior missions major, who has had a passion for Africa.

Megan studied abroad in Uganda for a semester through the Best Semester program; however her love for Africa had been present long before that. During high school is when she first found a love for Africa and it was at Huntington University where she plunged in to a semester long investment in Uganda.

Megan had quite the adventure starting right off the bat, she moved to a different home stay as well as being part of the student dorms. She was immersed in the language and culture through classes taught by Ugandan professors and lived for 10 days as part of another rural homestay where she lived in a hut, had to kill a chicken and didn’t live through the Westernized concept of time. Other than classes, she experienced a bit of adventure as well: white water rafting on the Nile, bungee jumping over the Nile, as well as a weekend Safari.

When asked what the most influential part of her trip, she said it was the idea of living faithfully each day and to ask herself, “How can I do today well?” wanting to get the most out of her day to really engage where she was at. Megan remarked on the view of relationships and how a lot of it is based on the give-and-take aspect, where people wanted to give so much and she said, it “blessed them by letting people serve me”.

But, we can’t talk about Megan’s trip without mentioning her host family. You could tell how much they meant to her just by listening to the stories she had. She lived with 7 brothers and 2 sisters, her “Mama” as well as another girl with the program. Megan talked about making music videos with her brother and watching soap operas with the family.

One amazing story is a couple weeks into the homestay, one of her brothers, Alex, asked both of the girls to come into the sitting room. Here he explained the history of the Buganda Clan (the clan the host family is a part of), and stories. This was extremely significant because it was a way of welcoming them into a part of the culture, accepting them and giving them Ugandan names. Megan’s Ugandan name was Omumbejja Zalwango (meaning princess); she was referred to by this name for the remainder of the trip.

Megan still keeps in touch with her family and is going back to Uganda next summer for one of her brother’s weddings. She said that this experience opened her perspective to experience a new culture and way of life, by engaging in areas that may be uncomfortable or challenging is where “you can learn new things about yourself.”

Learn more about how you can become connected to businesses and organizations through the ERC at www.huntington.edu/erc.