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Published: June 19th 2016
Our day-to-day life is pretty awesome in Rugazi. During the weekdays, we are busy with both our clinical and community work. Evenings and weekends seem to be filled with different versions of homework, errands and social gatherings. I do a lot of stretching and yoga. In fact, today when I went to do yoga, several of the other students came out and more or less followed along with me. It was fun trying new poses together. I’m really glad I brought my yoga mat to Uganda.
This past Saturday 5 of us (Joline, Britany, Dayna, Julius and myself) traveled to Mbarara. Dayna had chipped her tooth and really needed to visit a dentist. The rest of us accompanied her and picked up supplies. We bought supplies for the clinic using money that we raised through a beer night in April. The highlights of this donation were some thermometers, 2 manual blood pressure cuffs and 2 automatic blood pressure cuffs. We also purchased groceries and supplies for a Canadian meal that we had planned for Sunday night. Julius is a Ugandan student, and I’m so thankful he came with us because figuring out transportation was very challenging. On
the way there in the taxi, I ended up being squished into a row with 4 other adults, and for a short time I also had a baby on my lap.
Sunday morning I had planned to go to church, but I woke up with pretty bad back pain from our Mbarara cab ride. Instead I spent the morning stretching (also crying) and icing my back (travel towel + water + freezer). In the afternoon some of us went to King Fisher resort to swim in the pool. From here there is an amazing view of Queen Elizabeth Park. We will visit this park when on our safari and it is the only place to see Elephants in Uganda. Some of the Ugandan students also came to the pool but they did not swim. They went for a walk around the resort and were able to see some elephants from very far away. We rode boda bodas to and from the pool since it’s over 5 km away.
After the pool we prepared our Canadian meal. We made beef tacos on chapattis and banana boats (banana, chocolate and peanut butter wrapped in
tinfoil). It was Brooklyn’s birthday so we decided to get some balloons and do a little decorating so that we could have a real celebration. We celebrated all of the birthdays that had passed since we arrived in Rugazi: Dayna, Stevo, Brooklyn, Martha and our 2 friends who were in Kibale, Montana and Richele. The Ugandan students really enjoyed the meal and I’m expecting to start getting marriage proposals from them and not just from the locals.
There is not much in terms of day to day work for the nutrition students in the health clinic. As a result, each of us has been looking for other things to do and dreaming up new projects. Jill is preparing a speech and posters for nutrition presentation to be given at the HIV (ART) clinics on Wednesdays and Fridays. Sarah headed the cleaning up of the new pediatric ward. Some others helped her to clean up the ward, set up new beds and put extra supplies into storage. It looks pretty great in there now. I decided that I wanted the clinic to have a tippy tap outside of the latrines.
tippy tap is an outdoor tap constructed from several large branches, some string, and a large jerry can filled with water. The idea is that people step on the string to allow water to pour from the jerry can so that they can wash their hands. The clinic has several latrines, and the one outside of OPD and the ART clinic does not have any nearby taps. This week we are doing some teaching about hygiene and sanitation to school aged children in our village. I decided that the health center should be setting a better example if we are expecting people to follow our advice.
This decision led to a lot of fun activities. We made friends with another group of students, who let us use their machete to cut up tree branches for the tap. We bought a jerry can. Then the next day we dug the poles into the ground (also using machetes), tied the branches together and filled the jug. I didn’t have a long term plan of who would maintain the tap (fill it with water) and I still wasn’t sure if I should buy some soap for it. I didn’t expect
people to use the tap, I just wanted it to be seen and accepted by the community members. However, within an hour of setting it up, Dayna saw two people use it. I’m excited to see if it’s still standing tomorrow! If I see people use it, I will definitely build a soap stand and buy some soap for the clinic.
This week we are in labour and delivery. So far it hasn’t been that exciting, but stay tuned to hear if I get to see a baby being born.
Tot: 2.554s; Tpl: 0.045s; cc: 8; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0508s; 2; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb