Junior recounts her recent move from Uganda

The Newtonite

[media-credit id=25 align=”alignright” width=”229″] Junior Patricia Muumba works on a problem set during physics class, today G-block. Muumba moved here from Uganda at the beginning of this school year
by Malini Gandhi
For junior Patricia Muumba, who moved to the United States from Uganda this past summer, the most shocking aspect of coming to this school was not its large size nor the sight of a costumed principal Jennifer Price waving at cheering crowds at the Tiger Hunger Games.
Rather, Muumba said her biggest surprise about this school was—yes—the bells marking the beginning of classes. “They didn’t sound like the real bells that I was used to, but rather had this weird robotic tone,” she said. “It was shocking and kind of scary.”
Up until this August, Muumba lived in Uganda and attended the British boarding school Mt. St. Mary’s Namagunga in the city Lugazi in the Mukono district.
Though she lived in a city, Muumba said the landscape in Uganda was remarkably different than urban suburbs outside of Boston with “more nature and less busy street life and not as many cars.”
In addition to the natural landscape and atmosphere of Uganda, the vibrant people living in the country stand out as creating some of her best memories, she said.
“There is a real sense of culture in Uganda,” she said. “There are over 50 different tribes, all with a rich past and identity, and yet despite the diversity, the people are so united,” Muumba said. “We actually celebrated the anniversary of our independence day Tuesday, Oct. 9, and it was our 50th anniversary, which is a huge deal. I think that’s what I’ll miss most about Uganda—all of the people.”
Transitioning to a new country, new school and new life has been overwhelming at times, Muumba said.
In addition to robotic sounding school bells, other small surprises in simple aspects of daily life have been startling at times, such as the discomfort of driving on the right side of the road, Muumba said.
Another difficult transition has been the English, which Muumba described, with a laugh, as “oh my goodness, so much different” than the English she was used in Uganda and in the British schooling system.
But despite some adjustments, in general, Muumba said the transition has been fairly smooth.
According to Muumba, this school’s teaching style and classroom atmosphere is similar to those at her school in Uganda. So far, she has liked all of her classes at this school, finding that “all the students are really nice and the teachers really give students their time and attention.” Specifically, the guidance department has given her a lot of support and “made me feel very welcome.”
Other aspects of the school Muumba has enjoyed include the bustling cafeteria packed with colorful posters during Club Day and the dramatic Tiger Hunger Games complete with music and a fully garbed Effie Trinket. Muumba said she found both events “very exciting.”
“I loved attending Club Day and seeing all of the clubs that were clearly helpful to our community, and the Hunger Games was a really fun way to publicize the book. So far, the school has been very alive and welcoming,” she said.