Josh, a 2019 trip participant
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Student Spotlight – Josh

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While we at KinoSol love talking about our trips, it’s way better to hear straight from the students who have experienced it! Here is our fourth student spotlight featuring Josh! He graduated in December with a degree in marketing from Iowa State University. Josh is here today to share a few takeaways from his time in Uganda!

Do you have any future career plans?

Continue to expand Big Acai in the Midwest (SuperFood Cafe).

Josh launched this business while still a student and has been full-time on it since. If you’re in the Midwest go check it out because it is delicious!

Why did you want to come on this trip?

To experience a new culture, meet new people, help villages with problems and learn from all these experiences to better my knowledge of what exactly is going on in these 3rd world countries. I have plans to go back soon and would love to do another trip.

What was one of your favorite memories from the trip?

students working in local community in Kasese
Josh and other students working in a local community in Kasese to help improve record-keeping

One of my favorite memories was working with one of the villages that had problems with record-keeping, like tracking how much produce is sold in markets and how much they need to bring next time. I also really enjoyed talking to some of the kids but also some of the families.

What lessons did you learn while on this trip?

I learned that simple problems for us to solve could be life-changing for people in these areas. I learned how important we were to these people. Being there helped some people change their lives.

What is one of the most “African” thing you saw, experienced, or heard?

Josh learning to make samosas
Josh learning to make samosas in a home kitchen

I really enjoyed the food. Seeing those kitchens and how makeshift they were. That really showed me how much better we have it in the US. The bathrooms were a different story. The worst smelling thing I’ve ever experienced. That showed me how important running water is. 

Any advice for future students that travel with KinoSol?

Have fun. Be safe. You are in great hands. Don’t be afraid to experience new things. Remember you being there, are changing people’s lives for the better.   

How has your view on entrepreneurship and business been impacted by your time in Uganda? 

Things are different. The government controls most of the exports. It is hard for people to make good money when they sell to poor people. Their creativity is off the charts and has me wanting to go back soon.

Has this trip impacted your future career goals? If so, how?

I am still looking to partner with a social entrepreneurship coffee company to bring back their amazing beans back to the states and tell their story. It has been challenging with regulations, but still in the works.

Any closing statements? 

I want to thank all of you for this experience. I had a once in a lifetime experience that I will always remember. This has changed how I think when purchasing new items. It has shown me that you don’t need a lot to make a huge impact. I will continue to try and do business in Uganda and maybe other countries as well. 

Josh’s creativity and business mindset brought immense value to the communities we worked with while in Uganda! We were thrilled you joined us on this trip, and thank you, Josh, for sharing in this student spotlight. Don’t forget to stay tuned for our upcoming student spotlights!

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