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Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Fort Portal
September 7th 2012
Published: September 7th 2012
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Matatu taxi Matatu taxi Matatu taxi

13 ppl in this! 5 hr drive!
The beginning!
We arrived in Kampala and begun with a whole new world. Broken down houses, small crowded homes and small very busy roads. The initial shock sunk in as to how different this world is. We stayed at a guesthouse which we thought wasn't the nicest place..little did we know what was to come. We packed into a matatu which is the local taxi. It fits in north America about 5-8 ppl and in Africa fills 15. They had our luggage tied to the top of the minivan and we begun our journey to fort portal. It is a 300km drive and took us about 5.5 hours to get there. Along the way we were periodically stopped by their roadside police who are fully stocked with ak-47's. I sat in the front and had to talk to them, basically shit my pants. Our driver end s nice macros Kampala and was cranking his African tunes the entire way. Every 10 km Ed a small town which of course had speed bumps slowing us down to a near sto
As some were about a foot high. Every local who looked at us would save and smile and the kids yelling
Huge birdHuge birdHuge bird

These things are everywhere and have like 5 foot wingspans and huge gizzards! Nasty
"muzungo" which means white person. Along the ride we saw the beautiful landscape Uganda had to offer consisting of lush forests and beautiful mountains. Life as we once knew it soon dramatically changed. We arrived in fort portal when it was dark( thank goodness cause my left arm was getting really sunburnt from the ride up) we pulled up to a gated house that had grass. We were told where our rooms were and went to see what this place had to offer. To our surprise our hotel was a palace compared to what we saw in front of us. I will email the video of our place but it ain't even close to 1star rating hah. We pulled out our sheets, bug net and pillow cases and settled in ad best we could. The other volunteers greeted us and showed us around. We have a shower and hot water as long as the poet isn't out. The power goes out quite often basically every time it thunder storms and fort portal has a thunderstorm watch daily. The power had been off for 4 straight days before we had arrived. The shower is so hot you have to mix it in half cut after bottles with cold water and pour it all over yourself. It's been 4 days and the appreciation for water pressure and warm showers already has sunken in. Sam had her orientation for her HIV aids program and was given a pretty life changing tour of the facilities some of the patients have here in fort portal. Very traumatic looking at the hospital and how sick and how little is done for the patients. Or room mates Are mostly nurses from all over the world ranging from recent grads to experienced nurses. The stories they share about how the hospitals operate are so eye opening and make you realize instantly how bad things are here. Over crowded, terrible wounds and lack of resources have made for indescribable situations that these patients go through daily. Most discharged far sooner than reasonable for example a mother is discharged within a day or hours of given birth and told to stand and move instantly after giving birth. Wounds which need stitches are sent unstick he'd and patients need to buy Most of their supplies before they can even receive treatment due to such a lack of supplies. Sams program starts with a week orientation and then they get more specific into work. She isn't sure exactly how her placement will look but will probably involve working in the community and educating and promoting to teachers, kids and those infected ways to treat manage and prevent HIV. My placement is far lighter, I'm doing head coaching for a football club team that is just starting up. The coordinator is expecting me to coach and manage the club on my own which is hilarious because I haven Played soccer since I was 10. He took me around town on a boda boda which is a motorcycle taxi To the fields we will use and introduced me to a few sponsors of the club such as the district chairperson of the region we live (kabarole district of Uganda) and the chairperson of the school where the boys go. The goal is to get these boys and girls playing sports on weekends and evenings to prevent them from making poor decisions and adding to it he extremely high rats of HIV and alcohol abuse that this region struggles rom. The kabarole district is one of the most highly populated region in Uganda with HIV positive people and the highest alcohol consumption rates n all of Uganda. Today is my first day heading to practice and to give the kids the jerseys. I really feel that that Isnt enough and am going to try to get balls, cones and better jerseys for the kids so they can benefit better. They have over 100 kids registered and only 4 soccer balls. It's so sad to see the fields that we have that no one respects or.cares for and the fields they use every day have grass so high because they can't afford to pay someone to cut it. Their posts are falling down, and yet every kid had the biggest smile on their face. We loved our experience at the orphanage and Sam is already looking into how we can bring a baby home. I think if adoption ever were to occur it would be from that orphanage. The man who works there mentioned that no child has ever been adopted from that orphanage. It is so sad, you walk in and 10 kids swarm you with their innocent eyes wanting to hold your hand or have you pay any sort of attention too them. We are going to go there daily when it's not raining to spend time with the, before my practice which is after and very close to the orphanage.The politeness of the people, smiles and waves you get from every person on the street really do make you feel comfortable. Every kid will run waving and ask "how are you" and wait until you respond "I'm fine" those phrases are repeated about a hundred times a day! HahaWe had muzungo night last night at the local pizza place and went with our entire house. When people ordered a vodka it came in the form of a Mickey haha good thing I got the beer instead. It was good to order a western meal of pizza and Sam getting pasta (go figure). Our next mission is to find some sort of cabinet or rope to hang our clothes cause our room only came with a bed. We will post pictures and videos online this weekend or early next week when the wifi gets working again.

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7th September 2012

hi there...
love your writings...thinking of you guys lots....luv grandma

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