Blogs from Uganda, Africa

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Africa » Uganda June 11th 2019

This past week has been a huge learning curve for me, but one of the best hands on learning experiences I could have asked for. Our community placement was delayed by two weeks related to some unforeseen circumstances at Mbarara University. This gave us some extra time when we first arrived to relax and sightsee a bit in the country before starting work last week. During our time in Mbarara, we went to the market numerous times where we have begun to master haggling. Some of my favorite items from the market include: mangos, avocados, tomatoes, and cucumbers. We also volunteered at Divine Mercy Orphanage a few times while in Mbarara. Last week we were in Rugazi working in a Health Center IV, which is a health centre one level below a district hospital. We returned ... read more
Crater Lake in Rugazi
Wonderful group of healthcare providers I get to work with

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Rwenzori Mountains June 11th 2019

Things are starting to get busier for your friendly neighbourhood, U of S student healthcare team! We spent the last week in Rugazi village with the U of S medical students (2), as well as a family physician from Ile-a-la-Crosse. We lived at and spent our mornings working in the level IV health center there (one step down from a hospital). We would either round on the inpatients on male/female medical, pediatric, and maternity wards, or spend the morning in an outpatient clinic (ART or general outpatient). I learned so much about malaria and sickle cell anemia, both of which are infinitely more common here than back in Canada. I also found it useful to spend time working on the maternity ward reviewing my obstetric knowledge. The women here are so stoic compared to North American ... read more
On one of our walks
Our VHT leader buying jackfruit for us. That big piece cost 1000 shillings (about 30 cents Canadian)

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Rwenzori Mountains June 8th 2019

After 2 weeks of being delayed (due to the professors at MUST going on strike), we finally came to Rugazi. I have absolutely loved being in the clinic as I’ve been able to assist in physical assessments and observe procedures being done, however some days have been hard. The night before last I got woken up at almost 1:00am to see if I wanted to observe a C-section. I had never seen one before and wasn’t sure what to expect. I ended up fainting before they even cut through the adipose tissue. Once my sight came back I continued to lay on the floor of the OR for a few minutes until I felt comfortable standing again. I got up just in time to see them take the baby out of the uterus. The baby wasn’t ... read more

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 » Rwenzori Mountains June 6th 2019

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 ... read more
another view of the crater lake
impromptu hike up a mountain
the cutest hotel in the middle of nowhere...

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Mbarara May 31st 2019

Welcome back, fellow traveler! I'm sniffling a bit, partly because I am just so overjoyed that you're still following this blog, and partly because I think I have a cold (mostly the latter). Where did we leave off last time? Oh yes, our rendezvous with the Michigan crew. Our Ugandan friend, Marius, had brought over some delicious mangoes and fried grasshoppers the evening prior, and we brought the little "critter fritters" over to share. I daresay the little 'hoppers weren't exactly delicious, but they were palatable enough if you didn't stare at them too hard and gross yourself out. Anywho, we didn't exactly scare the Americans off, but they have since left (ie. fled) to a week of community placements while we continue to pass the time with no fixed itinerary. Since we had a very ... read more
Warm welcomes and wedding invites
First home-cooked community supper!
Another land of living skies

Africa » Uganda May 30th 2019

May 30th marked my birthday as well as two weeks that I’ve been living in Uganda! Celebrating my birthday in Africa was definitely a first me, but my fellow QES scholars made it special. A birthday cake lit with a match (we had no candles) made my day. Excited for what the coming weeks are going to bring!... read more

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Mbarara May 29th 2019

Greetings from Mbarara! What’s new? After six days in this new city, we managed to flood our bathroom, subsequently run out of water, and get invited to a Ugandan wedding! But first things first: Mbarara is a busy and bustling city. My first impression: wow, there are so many boda bodas! These Ugandan taxis on motorcycles are as numerous as cars and are way more reckless on the road (which is saying something since vehicle drivers are notoriously reckless). They also can carry up to three passengers behind the driver or transport large bunches of bananas, parcels, or even goats on occasion. Mbarara has held nothing but surprises so far. While some things may seem similar, in reality, almost everything is different. For example, the toilets in our house: we didn’t know that the toilet handle ... read more
Enjoying a lazy afternoon at the pool
Shrimp or Grasshopper?

Africa » Uganda » Central Region May 29th 2019

We have been in mbarara for a couple of days now. The rest of the group has been here one day longer then me and Haley(a third year nursing student). Haley and I spent the last three days traveling to the impenetrable forest and doing some gorilla tracking. It was amazing. A fantastic experience that consisted of trekking through the very dense and monotonous forest with a group of four other tourists. We were accompanied by a guide and two armed guards. The guards were there to ward off mountain elephants and gorillas that had not been habituated. We hiked for two hours before we reached the family of gorillas we had been assigned that day. In total we saw 8 of the 17 members of that family including the dominant and subordinate silverbacks. The family ... read more
One of the gorillas we got closest to.

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Mbarara May 28th 2019

We made it to Mbarara! This past week we finished up touring in Entebbe and set out for Mbarara. We drove from Entebbe to Mbarara (about five hours) through the countryside, stopping at the equator on the way. We took our picture at the circle denoting the equatorial line and there was supposedly a display demonstrating The Coriolis Effect on water, but since it was raining we decided to stop for it on our way back to Kampala. It rained the whole drive but the countryside was still picturesque. After leaving the cities (Entebbe and Kampala), the landscape became rolling, lush, green hills and constant communities. Unlike Saskatchewan, we were never driving on a stretch of uninhabited highway for more than a few minutes. The communities were so frequently occurring that the drive was never dull ... read more
Eating grasshopper
Our first family meal in Mbarara




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