Minerva Fellow Interview: Joseph Hinderstein

  1. Where did you go and what was your experience like?

I lived and worked at the Engeye Health Clinic in Ddegeya Village, Uganda. Though very challenging to describe, it opened my eyes to the challenges and the beauty of the human condition. I continue to be inspired by the staff and the community that made my stay so memorable.

  1. What was your fondest memory of your time as a Minerva Fellow?

Each year, Engeye throws a holiday party for any and all children to attend. In Uganda, most large gatherings are not kid-friendly, making this event one of a kind. For seven hours straight, 1,400 children danced their faces off. Towards the end of the day, each child received a large plate of food and a soda. It was a magical day.

  1. What did you do during your time? What does the fellowship entail?

I spent most of my time assisting in the daily operations of the clinic. Once I became confident in my Luganda (the local language), I was able to check patients into the computer system, administer basic laboratory tests, and fill prescriptions in the pharmacy. Working alongside our dedicated Ugandan staff was truly an honor, as they were an incredible resource for learning about rural healthcare. I also spent some time teaching English at the primary school down the road. The placement at Engeye really allows fellows to pursue their passions and find new ones, a strategy that I believe promotes the right type of development.

  1. How has the trip changed you? 

It changed everything about me. My values, the way I approach challenging situations, my ambitions, and my passions. I can’t imagine my life without this experience.


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