beautiful crater lake
totally worth the hike!
Hello Bloggers and Family,
We are now in Rugazi, we arrived June 4th
in the afternoon and have settled in as best we can. We are staying in a dorm style facility that is part of the Rugazi health centre. It is very basic accommodation but we have clean beds to sleep in and flushing toilets, so no complaints here. Two upper year Ugandan students have accompanied us Canadian students, they have already completed their community placement. So they already know the drill and are helping get us settled for this week, which has been such a blessing.
The first day we hit the ground running, I chose to go to the maternity ward. From 8am until 8pm this small clinic delivered 8 babies, 3 of which were C-sections. I was able to do a few maternal assessments under the supervision of a Jr. midwife, and I was also able to go and observe a C-section and assist with the infant assessment. This small community handles many deliveries, and most of the mothers are very young. Many of these women were younger than myself (23) and were delivering their third or fourth child. The average number of children per
another view of the crater lake
I can't remember the name of the lakes...
household in Uganda is approximately 6. But the sense of community that women have in this community is one of the most beautiful things I have experienced. When I observe how they interact with each other I am reminded of the saying “it takes a village.” When a child falls any mother/woman will pick the child up, the mother’s hands are full she is able to pass her infant off to another woman without question. This is probably one of my most favourite parts about Africa.
This health centre is categorized as a level four, which means it is one small step down from a fully functioning hospital and handles much of the health concerns within this community and surrounding villages. It has an HIV clinic, laboratory, pediatric ward, medical male ward, medical female ward, maternity ward, and operating theatre. With one circulating physician, a Sr. and Jr. midwife, and a few nurses, it functions quite well, ward rounds (where the Doctor goes around the entire hospital reviewing charts and assessing patients) can take all day, which is not surprising. On this particular day he had to preform a C-section during the middle of his rounds.
impromptu hike up a mountain
notice how we are all dressed in our fancy "visiting community" clothes!
in the clinic we met with the Village Health Team Leader (VHT) who will be showing us around the community and coordinating our visits with community members. We visited three surrounding villages Kasungu (spelt how I think it was spoken), and Kasara 1 and Kasara 2. The one village Kasara 2 required us to hike up a very steep hill surrounding one of the many beautiful crater lakes, it was a very narrow path that was worn from villagers travelling, but not an easy hike by any means. Once we arrived at the top we encountered many isolated homes surrounded by dense forest. We met a community group here having a weekly meeting; they were discussing the town’s budget and going through the financial “books.” This consisted of a larger tin box with a lock on it, that functions as the town’s bank, with the ability for loaning money for children to go to school, and pooling money to support members of their community. Again the sense of community is so beautiful to witness. This village has around 70 people that this system supports, resembling a large connected family. The community group was very willing to show us the box
and allow us to look at their system, this was very incredible as I am used to finances being kept confidential.
We also had to hire a cook for this week as none of us know how to cook over a coal stove and there was no one to be able to teach us, but we have been well fed and will be eating in Ugandan style this week.
Thanks for reading,
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