Blogs from Queen Elizabeth NP, Western Region, Uganda, Africa

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Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Queen Elizabeth NP July 17th 2019

It’s me again! I am not on the road to Kampala, but I still need to catch up on my blogging. My last post finished when I returned to Rugazi to begin our community placement (the real deal this time). Divided into the groups Rugazi A and B, twenty of us packed into a MUST bus and sped down the speed-bump-riddled roads to the Rubirizi district (we call our roadtrips African massages since you get shaken up pretty well). Upon arrival, we realised had no running water again. No big deal, because it will come back on right away right? Not so this time, and our custodian/babysitter (because we’re clueless as babies) Martin recruited the guys haul 20L jerry cans for our water needs. This is when I learnt the interesting way that Ugandans close their ... read more
Our banana caps
Latrine squad

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Queen Elizabeth NP July 1st 2019

Hello bloggers and family, So again I must apologize for the 2 weeks it has been since I last updated, life in Rugazi is busy. We are working mornings in the clinic and then in the afternoon we head out to the community to work on our project. This last Tuesday I woke up pretty sick, along with a few of the other Canadian students, so we ran some blood tests and we all tested positive for a bacterial infection. So it has been an interesting few days hooked up to intravenous (IV) fluids, but 24 hours after starting antibiotics and I am back to my crazy self. I never imagined myself running IV fluids from the bars in my window in a village in Africa, but a new experience nonetheless. I hate that I haven’t ... read more
the children making their own pads
teaching the children
teaching the children to make pads

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Queen Elizabeth NP June 28th 2019

Agandi, and welcome back to the pearl of Uganda! Another couple of weeks down in Rugazi, and we've successfully hashed out our team community projects! The supervisor finally paid us a visit, and gave us the OK for our "plan A" topic on menstrual health. We bought and brought over 300 packages of Afripads (Ugandan-made reusable cloth pads) with us and are looking forward to distributing the pads in the coming weeks as we educate girls in primary 4 - 7 (approximately ages 10-16) about menstrual hygiene and how to make their own cloth pads from the resources available to them. By giving the girls the skills to make these pads for themselves, we hope that this project will be sustainable and have an impact that goes beyond just handing out donations. Thanks to Halimah, the ... read more
Interviews and interventions
Playing pretend
Ninkukunda munonga!

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Queen Elizabeth NP June 26th 2019

The last two weeks have been jam packed. We completed our community health training at MUST with the Ugandan students. The days were full of classroom learning and our evenings were spent with Kenneth and Resty (our Ugandan friends) exploring Mbarara, enjoying local restaurants, street food (lots of rolex), and night life. That weekend we embarked for Rugazi again, this time accompanied by our Ugandan counterparts. We have spent the last two weeks at the same health centre I described in my last entry. I have found myself establishing a niche on the maternity ward. I find I can be most useful there and I am learning so much from the midwives, who are all so good to me. The mothers and babies are also incredible. I'm in awe every day of the resiliency of the ... read more
Our Rugazi community team with a local Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA) and our Village Health Team (VHT) member
View from one of our runs
Part of the Health Centre IV where we live and work

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Queen Elizabeth NP June 16th 2019

Agandi! It seems that I'm beginning to run on Ugandan time, so my apologies if you were beginning to feel impatient waiting for another delayed post. This blog post will be brief--which may end up becoming the Ugandan sense of "brief" which probably means that it will take longer than you would have anticipated even before I mentioned the word "brief". Sorry, but not sorry. ;) If you want to get a better sense of this Ugandan time I have been mentioning, here's a quick and dirty summary on our experiences with the lingo regarding time: Be there in five minutes means "I haven't left yet". It takes about ten minutes translates to a range of anywhere between 30 minutes and 3 hours. Soooo the pace of life is definitely slower here, which I have come ... read more
Mango Madness
"B" is for Best
Roadtrip to Rugazi

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Queen Elizabeth NP June 16th 2019

Hey bloggers and family, I apologize, as I have been terrible these past weeks at keeping everyone up to date on my life in Uganda, I have been in Mbarara for the past week doing the LCP training (which I actually don’t know what that stands for, but I think its leadership community project). This training was essential for our community project as we were introduced to and worked alongside our Ugandan counterparts, so all our learning was done together and we have already begun to build relationships. That’s not to say it wasn’t a long week of sitting in a lecture from 0815-1700hrs each day but we survived nonetheless. The Ugandan students Ken and Resty who accompanied us to Rugazi last week were our teachers for the sessions, so that made the learning more enjoyable. ... read more
my little sister on this trip
Resty and I
meal prepping

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Queen Elizabeth NP June 7th 2019

Hey hey, and sorry for the delay! Agandi (how are you)? Plans shifted a lot since my last post--so if you're confused by the progression of events I am about to recount, don't worry, I'm just as confused as you. instead of going through training all this week, we did a one day orientation on Sunday. Although we were a bit apprehensive of the orientation since we only found out about it the night before, it ended up being incredibly engaging and helpful. Together with some of the local university students, we discussed and participated in several activities about what "development" means to us, our core values, barriers to communication in cross-cultural work, and how to acknowledge our privilege and blind spots. It was a little embarrassing to go through a variety of case studies taken ... read more
Nutrition nerds
Teamwork makes the dream work
White coat wannabes

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Queen Elizabeth NP June 6th 2019

It is noon on our final day in Mbarara, it’s been pouring rain outside since early this morning, and Rayden, Brooke, and Angela have ventured into the rain in search of an authentic street-made Rolex. I think Ugandan food has grown onto us since we’ve arrived in the country… Rolex is definitely a favourite of ours. Today, we head out to our community health placements, and boy, what a ride has it been to get to this point. I should start with pointing out a major theme of this trip: African time. Granted, this is a generalization, but this term describes the common attitude towards schedules, meeting times, and life in general in Uganda. While Westerners (especially North Americans) have a tight grip on their time and look at it as minutes and hours that make ... read more
Ukulele by the lake
What a beautiful wedding!
The Nutrition Gals

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Queen Elizabeth NP September 28th 2018

The drive from Bwindi to Kibale (where we have a permit for Chimp trekking tomorrow) takes us up the western side of Uganda through the Queen Elizabeth National Park. We don’t expect that much from the park, but do want to try to find the tree climbing lions in the south of the park. The lions are actually quite easy to find – there are 6 in one tree but these are the only ones we see. I manage to bog the Rav4 in a boggy part of the trail. My travel companions are a bit worried about out pushing us out as we have just seen lions up the road, but another vehicles comes past soon and it doesn’t take too much effort to push us clear. We drive along the main road through the ... read more

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Queen Elizabeth NP November 9th 2017

Things were looking up weather-wise. For a second day in a row, it was mostly hot and sunny, with the heavy rains taking place at night. Today was spent visiting the northern part of the the park. The draw here is a boat ride along the Kazinga Channel to see wildlife from the river. There wasn't a lot to see, but the drive thru the park and the boat ride both made for a relaxing day. However, as we were leaving the park at the end of the day, word got out that there was a leopard walking around outside of the park gates, so the race was on among all the drivers to get to it first for the best viewing -- and hopes for a bigger tip. We got there before most, but others ... read more
Kazinga Channel
Kazinga Channel
Kazinga Channel




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