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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

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Franschhoek July 17th 2019

As the morning began, we expected to make a short tour into the Stellenbosch wine country and then visit Robben Island. Upon arrival in Stellenbosch, we took in the sight of goats frollicking at the Fairview Winery. There was a tower with a goat walk that escalated around it. We had never seen a goat playland before. This one even included a bridge over the road that led to a goat condo. The goat commune consisted of several 1-2 year olds and a goat father who was at least 15 years old. It was really something. Before actually entering Fairview we got some very unfortunate news. Due to expected high winds that would effect wave swell, our scheduled trip to Robben Island had been cancelled. This was a huge letdown as following Mandela's experience was the ... read more
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let down your Goat
from The Long Walk to Freedom
Historic Moment in Time

Africa » Uganda July 17th 2019

We spent a total of three weeks in Rugazi with the Ugandan students. We were split into two groups as we were 9 Canadian students and 11 Ugandan students. We were paired up with two medical students from the University of Saskatchewan. In the mornings we spent our time working in the clinic and the afternoons we worked on our community projects. We chose health education of UTIs and menstrual health for our two projects. Our interventions for the UTI project included health talks in a school with about 150 students present, a health talk in the community and also in the outpatient department. During these talks, we covered common signs and symptoms, causes, prevention, and complications. Every audience was very receptive and were eager to participate and ask questions. The students were very engaged and ... read more
The girls showing off their homemade pads

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town July 16th 2019

Our day began with an 8:15 a.m. departure following another hearty breakfast at The Portswood. We headed south from Cape Town towards Muizenburg, which put us on the Atlantic coast. From here, it would be a series of quick and scenic stops to admire beautiful coastal views and/or wildlife. Our ultimate destination was the Cape of Good Hope/Cape Point--the southwesternmost point on the African Continent. First, the wildlife: Though we did not see any sharks or baboons, signs pointed to trouble with both species. After heading uphill from a beautiful beach, we encountered a "shark spotter" shack, looking over the swimmers and surfers to track any approaching shark dangers. Near the "shark shack," another sign warned us that baboons "are dangerous WILD animals - DO NOT FEED - Keep doors locked and windows closed." We continued ... read more
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Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Mbarara July 16th 2019

Hi everyone! The last week has been jam packed with travel across the country in a giant green mystery machine-esque van. This week has been filled with emotional lability. It began when we had to leave Rugazi and I had to say goodbye to what had become my Ugandan family. Leaving the health workers, community members, and Ugandan students that we had lived with for the last month proved more difficult than I expected. Then our supervisors picked us up to travel to Kampala and Gulu to administer preliminary surveys and attend meetings for their research project on health-seeking behaviours in adolescent girls. We stayed in relatively lavish accommodations and ate at fancy restaurants; this incited waves of guilt. I left people I cared about and who grew to care about me, for what? To live ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Cape Town July 15th 2019

Hello, and Greetings from a new Continent. Yesterday, we did well on a 11-1/2 hour flight from Paris to Cape Town. Our guide, Andre, met us at the airport and transported us to our hotel, which was a huge upgrade from the small rooms we had experienced in Paris. This place is very nice. We socialized a bit and called it a night. Today, we got up to enjoy one of the best breakfast buffets in a long time, including cooked-to-order omelettes. We really enjoyed it and it was good enough that lunch was unnecessary. Andre picked us up and gave us a brief orientation to the V & A Waterfront area before we headed up the Lion's Head Mountain. Normally, tours here take a cable car to the top of Table Mountain, but at this ... read more
Cape Town
Lion Head Mountain
Bo-Kaap

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg July 9th 2019

After our overnight flight, London to Johannesburg, Ron thought it a good idea to be picked up from the airport for a half day tour instead of going straight to our hotel. Our driver took us to Soweto where we learnt of the history of the struggle to abolish apartheid. We visited Mandela’s home, the Hector Pietersen museum and Walter Sisulu square. We enjoyed a lunch of local cuisine with a cold beer on Vilakazi Street which is the only street to have been home to two Nobel piece prize winners, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. ... read more
Walter Sisulu square
Walter Sisulu Square
Monument to the Freedom Charter

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Mbarara July 8th 2019

Good morning! I am writing from the road between Mbarara and Kampala. These past weeks have been filled with adventures, and I’ve done a poor job at keeping up with my blog. However, in the spirit of keeping a faithful recollection of my trip, I will make a blog post for every week I’ve missed. Since I will be on the road these next few days as we travel between Kampala, Gulu, and Mbarara, I will have plenty of time and no excuse to avoid blogging. The funny thing is that I enjoy writing and I am always so satisfied when I post a blog. But I always want to add so much detail to my posts, making the writing process quite time-consuming. And so I stop writing because I’d rather be doing other things. Last ... read more
Happiest moment of the day
Our tumor fruit

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Kampala July 7th 2019

Agandi! Where to start? So much has happened in so little time. We have finished our community placement and now we are off to Kampala for a couple days to make some "site visits". We're not entirely sure what that entails, but we are trusting that our supervisors will make it a meaningful and memorable time. :) Yesterday we returned to Mbarara to spend the night before continuing the journey to the capital. Saying good-bye to the Rugazi community was difficult to say the least. for once we actually left on (Canadian) time, which was unexpected and made the hugs and teary good byes feel all the more abrupt. Even in spite of language/cultural differences and the short amount of time we spent in Rugazi, the people and the circumstances they face have affected us deeply ... read more
Afripads for All!
Pad-making Partay
Our Parting Gift

Africa » Tanzania » Centre » Iringa July 4th 2019

Our first breakfast at RUCU went similarly to our first dinner; we were told to be in the classroom to start at 8 AM, but when we arrived at the dining hall at 7:30 and strategically Google translating some questions, we discovered that the cafeteria doesn't even open until 8. Class was promptly moved to 8:30 permanently, and we enjoyed the standard breakfast of maandazi (sweet fried dough balls) and very sweet chai. Today was also our first Swahili class; our instructor Paulo is hilarious and knowledgeable, so the hour flew by. In lieu of our lecture period, we all participated in the "selfie challenge," a 2-hour long group scavenger hunt around the city of Iringa. Two hours felt like enough time to get a feel for the small city and I'm now much more comfortable ... read more
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