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Published: July 29th 2016
What a week! I have to say, this has probably been one of the busiest weeks that I personally have gone through thus far in the Uganda trip. Let’s start at the beginning!
Sunday was our last day at beautiful Lake Bunyonyi. This lake was easily one of the most gorgeous views I have seen in the trip, although it’s a tough comparison against the mountains in Ruhija. We were very sad to pack up all of our belongings from our canvas tents (which were SO cool), but we ended up begging Silas and David for more time at the lake. Luckily we were able to squeeze in some extra time to try canoeing and another dip in the crater lake. We then packed ourselves into two vans, stopped for some juicy pineapple and gooseberries, and then we made it back to our home in Mbarara!
Back in Mbarara we meal planned, ran to the Nakumatt (grocery store) and Central Market, and then made it to Café Ark to catch the Euro Cup final with the Vets Without Borders girls! We actually almost fell asleep by halftime (it was a LONG day), so we left
Monday was an exciting day because it was Carrie’s first day on the maternity ward with me and Britney! Even more exciting was that there was a lot of laboring mothers, so she really got to be thrown into the experience. Jill and Tenielle also joined James and Sarah on the Nutrition ward, and Joline and Dayna went to pediatrics to join Richele for their first days. Brooklyn also remained in the emergency ward. Ian continued to work with the Vets Without Borders girls, as they prepared to take us to Kahenda for the cervical cancer education & screening day for Tuesday!
Tuesday was a long day, we piled into 2 cars (squishy) all the way to Kahenda which was roughly a 45-minute drive out of Mbarara. After setting up in the local church, we had a few individuals pile in to be screened. We set up shop right away and started to identify issues people were having regarding STIs and related illnesses. After screening a few individuals, the Nutrition group started their presentation about nutrition to a group of about 40-50 people, including elderly, adults and schoolchildren. The rest of the nursing
group presented about cervical cancer, which went well considering not many of the individuals knew much about the content, because we didn’t think we would read it out loud in English, as well as translated. Everything worked out, and I think people understood our message! Ian spent most of the day vaccinating goats with the Vets group, which I think he was very happy about! Topped that day off with some local traditional Ugandan food, and back home to Mbarara we went!
Wednesday was a day off for many of the nursing group, but a few people decided to go to the hospital. I, unfortunately, did not feel very well (shocking), but I was able to get up at 6am to go with James to meet Gad, our Ruhija community placement supervisor. Although we could not go to Ruhija with him & Alex, we were able to send some supplies we bought with our fundraiser money for the health center, as well as a local football team. We also arranged to meet Gad the next morning as a group (with Ian and Richele) to give feedback about our experience in Ruhija. The meeting went well, we had
some laughs and enjoyed the philosophical wisdom that is Gad Ruzaaza.
On Thursday James decided to come and observe obstetrics, which I think was a great experience for him. Although he did not see a natural delivery, we were able to take him into the OR (here it is called the Theatre) to watch a C-Section. Richele remained in pediatrics, and Ian was out and about vaccinating goats!
On Friday we had Jamie and Shauna (Vets girls) join us to observe obstetrics as well. They really enjoyed the experience and got to take a few pictures with a newborn! Later in the day we also had Julius, a student that was in Rugazi community placement with some of the others, came to visit and we taught him how to play beersbee! Ian and the Vets group also took Tenielle and Carrie out to experience what they do in a day with the Goat Project. They both came back beaming – happy to get some hands on experience with goats!
Saturday was yet another busy day, as me, James, Carrie, Dayna, Julius and Britany took a taxi out to Rugazi so that
we could meet many of the other students, and then go swimming at King Fisher pool! The place was absolutely breath-taking…. It had a multi-level pool that overlooked Queen Elizabeth National Park. It was amazing, and so worth spending the whole day there. The other Ugandan students from Rugazi ended up joining us at the pool, which was good to finally put some faces to the names we heard so much about! Unfortunately we only made a day trip, because I could have easily have stayed the entire weekend poolside! Alas, we had chores to do for tomorrow so we shipped out around suppertime for Mbarara! It was such a busy week, but I am happy knowing that we are trying to make the most out of our time here in Uganda. I just can’t wait to see what the next few weeks will hold!
Until next time! - Montana
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