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Published: September 15th 2012
Hello everyone! I cannot believe it has already been two weeks since we started our adventure! I can defiently say that I was not prepared for all of the the things that Uganda has to offer! It is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever seen! We are living right by the Ruwenzori mountains amongst the hill side, banana trees, chimpanzee and lush green countryside. Inside of that Beauty lies the ugly truth of the current state of the country. The immense poverty that we see everyday is unbelievable
I am currently studying how HIV/aids effects women in rural Uganda. The last two weeks I have been given an intensive orientation and begun doing community outreach. The first day of orientation really put things into a harsh reality for me. We went to visit the local hospital where our coordinator had a client she wanted to visit. As I walked into the hospital ward I quickly realized that our Canadian standards are not the same as they are here. The wide open room housed several dozen patients. Some who had their faces cut with machetes, a man who weighed less than 80 pound and this young woman we were to visit. We sat beside here bed And i soon came to the understanding that she was dying from AIDS. Her lifeless body still haunts me. She verbalized to us that she wanted to die and refused to come to terms with her disease because of the stigmastism As we sat there a doctor came over and pinned her down without any anastetic and forces a feeding tube down her nose because she refued to eat or drink. I have never heard someone scream in such agony in my life. Currently, we are living with two nurses and they let us know that this is something that happenes regularly. They do not have the proper anastetic to do surgery and they use what we would use for removing a tooth for major surgery and patients are waking up 3-4 times throughout their surgery. The conditions of the hospital are so below standards, that if we even break our arms, we have been recommended to be evacuated to either Nairobi (not with the current state of country) or South Africa.
Me and Kyle one our first school visits on Friday. We presented to 200 students. Me and kyle acted out a skit on the ABC (Abstinence, be faithful, condoms) approach in which they use here in Uganda. It was quiet entertaining, and we got a lot of laughs. At the end of every presentation we give out blank pieces of paper, and let the students write any question they have about sex, and we read them out loud and answer them for everyone to hear. Its quiet sad when you realise how many misconceptions these people living here have..here are some examples, and questions that were asked by the students:
-Is it true that whites brought over the HIV virus and are keeping the cure from us?
-I have a sugar daddy (high school student), he says he loves me, and pays my school fees..waht should I do?
-My uncle plays sex with me, but he pays my school fees, what should i do?
-If you have sex standing up, is it true you won't get pregnant?
-If you touch a womans breast, is it true she goes into heat?
-is it true that you can get hiv from mosquitos and kissing?
These are some of the questions answered. Although it may seem like some of the kids are doing this for a laugh, this is truly their reality. These questions have been posed through several different community visits now.
We also have had the chance visit one of the local orphanages! There are children from 6 months-15 years old living here. There basic needs are barely met, and its hard knowing that his is their reality. We went the other night for their end of night praryers, where a volunteer gave out suckers. And even with these children having absoloutley nothing, they still were asking us if we wanted their one peice of candy.
The orphanage is run by a local bishop. it is becomming more apparent as the days go by that he is corrupt, and taking many of the donations for himself and his family. The orphanage has a back house that can foster 24 more children. It is in the beggining stages, but we have gotten a local quote that 1500.00 will completely finish the project. The volunteers staying here have made a facebook page, in which anyone interested can donate as little as 5.00 to help finish this building. However, we will personally be dealing with the money, buying the supplies, and overlooking the consturction of the building. Feel free to ask me if you are interested in helping us out!
On a more positive note, me and kyle are going on a safari this weekend! We have been told we will see wild elephants, giraffes, hippos, crocoidesl, monkeys etc!! So we are very excited. Next weekend we are visinting the pigmy tribe, which is one of the local tribes that lives completeld off the land and are extremely short, The king is 3'4, so kyle standing next to him will be a huge difference!! We will be sure to post lots of pictures!!
We are missing everyone at home, and our puppies!!
Talk soon, love Sam
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