Sarah Zelinski


Sarah Zelinski

Africa » Uganda » Central Region » Entebbe August 9th 2015

Well, this will be my last blog post from Uganda. I honestly can’t believe it’s over already. The last few hours before leaving Mbarara ended up seeming a bit frantic as Brit and I tried to get everything organized for Susanne before we left. She and Joseph would have a couple more communities to go to for the second vaccination campaign and we wanted to make sure she had all the supplies she needed before we left her on her own. We also had to say all of our goodbyes, which is always, always hard. Having spent two summers on the project now, leaving everyone is so much harder as I’ve grown close to all these wonderful people. It’s difficult to be excited for the next chapter of my life when I feel the guilt of ... read more

Africa » Uganda August 8th 2015

After we returned from our weekend in Rwanda, Brit and I only had one full day in the field left, where we taught one of our communities how to make donuts. Kahenda is one of the first communities we started to work with way back in 2007, and it is also one of our oldest communities, comprised mostly of widows. Back in June when we attended their community meeting they asked if we could provide training on how to make donuts. Since the community is almost entirely made up of elderly women, the goat project wasn’t a great fit for them anymore; the physical labour in caring for livestock was becoming too much for them and they are often the target of thieves because they cannot protect themselves well anymore. They are hoping to use making ... read more
Janaya discussing cervical cancer
Anthony talking about STI's

Africa » Rwanda » Ville de Kigali August 1st 2015

Every year many of the VWB interns make a weekend trip to Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, and this year Brit and I were joined by Sue, Janaya, and Chantara from the LCP program, as well as Anna, for the weekend trip. The genocide occurred in 1994 and since then the country has undergone an incredible transformation making it a night and day difference from Uganda. But before I go into all that let me just talk a bit about the journey to get there using good ol’ Ugandan public transport. Well before you can take the bus, you have to figure which bus to take and get tickets. Back home this would be a simple endeavour but like most things here, it is far more challenging than it needs to be. We start asking ... read more
Mass grave at Nyamata Church
Nyamata Church
Mass grave at Nyamata Church

Africa » Uganda » Western Region July 31st 2015

Ok, I know I said in the last blog the pass-out was my favourite day of the summer, but that’s not entirely true anymore. It WAS my favourite day until we got to go to a primary school and teach girls how to use and sew reusable menstrual pads. So here’s some background on this story: Way back in May, Laura and I visited Kihwa Primary School in the Nyamuyanja community to drop off some donations she brought from home. The head teacher took us for a tour of the school and mentioned one of the big problems girls face at their school is when they get their monthly periods. Most… actually, I’m going to assume all, of the children come from very impoverished families, many that can barely afford to feed their kids and send ... read more
I'm demonstrating how the liners get folded and placed in the sleeves
The girls prepping the material for the training
Rose explaining how the pads work

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Mbarara July 30th 2015

I left off my last blog with us being down one intern since Lena flew back home and we were now frantically trying to get everything ready before the big paravet refresher training the following day. We spent the entire weekend either running around rural Uganda or on our phones and computers organizing the events. Come Monday morning we still had a lot to do in the next 24 hours, so what does Uganda decide to do? Cut the power about a half hour after we all wake up. Thanks Uganda, you’re the best. I spend half the day at a local cafe that occasionally has internet continuing to chip away on our presentation for the training. I’m not a vet yet, and I have absolutely no clue about the most common chicken diseases here in ... read more
Brit describing how to milk a cow
Paravet Joseph (not our translator) trying out the technique
Teaching some of our paravets how to vaccinate for clostridium

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Mbarara July 22nd 2015

Sorry I haven’t been keeping up with blogging lately; I have been crazy busy the last few days. I have barely had time to eat or sleep, let alone blog about everything. The safari blogs will be coming soon (and boy, they are quite the story) but for now back to life on the project. I’m going to play catch up and try to explain a bit more of the basics of the project so I’m sorry if this ends up being a bit long. Dr. Claire Card arrived in Entebbe shortly after we got back from our mini vacation in Zanzibar (which was amazing!) and that morning we all made our way to Mbarara. Claire is a professor and veterinarian at the WCVM, and is also one of the founders of the goat project. Claire ... read more
An example of a great pen
And a less than ideal pen
The team with Ibriham and Rose

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Queen Elizabeth NP June 29th 2015

Somewhere during the last week, Dr. Seifert called saying he would like some more Napier grass and mentioned he still needed to put a radio collar on one of his lions. We couldn’t turn down an opportunity to dart a lion, so the following weekend we made plans to travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park again. We had our fingers crossed for better luck than last time and hoped we would get a chance to get our hands on wild lions. Our initial plan was to leave after the field work on Friday, but that morning Dr. Seifert had an elephant emergency, postponing us a day. This turned out to probably be a good thing as we weren’t able to get a hold of our dog sitter for the weekend. That evening I was in the ... read more
Dr. Seifert
Don't I look badass?
Lena's photographic vision for us

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Mbarara June 24th 2015

Well, the three of us just got back from another weekend in Queen Elizabeth National Park (see next blog), and there is no power again. So I’ll blog till my computer dies, which may be sooner than later, as I’m also playing music on it in an attempt to drown out the Evangelical revival happening in the park across the street. And cue the rant… Ok first off, this is not an attack on religion (although I’m not a big fan of organized religion in general) but it really pisses me off to see this manipulative, right wing, Evangelical fanatic coming to Uganda to spread his twisted message. It’s a fairly well known fact that most of the people of Uganda are incredibly impoverished and many of these people are also very religious. For many, having ... read more
The school choir also sang and danced for us

Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Mbarara June 24th 2015

Day to day life on the project has continued to be the same as previous blog entries - field work and pulling blood, running tests, and endless community meetings. The day after we got back from Kibale Forest was Laura’s last day with us, so she gave us final tidbits of advice, said her goodbyes and abandoned us to go back to the real world in Canada. Back in my second blog, I mentioned we went to Queen Elizabeth National Park to visit Dr. Seifert and assess some new communities wanting to start their own goat projects. To start, they are planning on implementing the project in three different communities: one in the mountains, one that has issues with elephants eating their goat forage, and lastly, one community that has issues with lions eating their goats. ... read more
I just loved this little girls hair
Teaching basic goat husbandry
Lena explaining how keeping goats alive will turn a profit

I’m currently sitting in my room, in the dark because the power is out due to a wicked thunderstorm, and since there is nothing else to do other than sleep, I thought blogging would be a good idea. It’s pouring unlike anything I’ve ever seen back home on the prairies and I’m listening to Bon Iver, because “Skinny Love” sounds that much better against the backdrop of heavy rain. I’m also still behind on blogging. No surprise. We have been continuing to visit different communities each day to pull blood for brucella testing and at the time of writing we have only a couple more community meetings to go to. Many of the communities are spread out with homes being a decent hike from one another, so often we can only make it to one or ... read more
The mountains in the distance

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