March 13, 2009

Settled in Soroti

So I arrived safe and sound here fairly late on Tuesday after a long coach journey.

When I touched down in Uganda, I was surprised how green and lush it was. The taxi journey to Kampala was longer than I thought and there were loads of roadside places along the way selling everything including the kitchen sink. I went out with some fellow medics on elective that evening and it was good to see them. The next day I got up early and went on the bus, which turned out to be run by cowboys. The journey was meant to be 6 hours but it took 12. Although the progress on the bus was really slow, it was an interesting introduction to Uganda. People would get on the bus and try to sell everything from worming tablets and cold remedies to food and drink. At one point someone put 3 chickens with all their feet tied together under the seat in front of me. Nice.

So, I arrived quite late on Tuesday and was taken for dinner by the Amecet staff at the Soroti hotel. Apparently the best place in town but still only about three pounds 50p for a main course. The next day was meant to be my rest day but I ended up going to quite a remote village with the mobile drugs clinic where we dished out loads of medicine. It was by quite an old building; we sat under a tree at a table working. At the end of the “surgery” I found out that the building was a very basic maternity hospital.

I started my day job the next day, and continued today. The children at the orphanage are a bit younger than I expected (babies and toddlers) and they are healthier than I was prepared for, which is good for them, but not so good in terms of me learning medicine. However, there are opportunites to do medical things connected with the clinic – I went to the clinic and asked if I could look down the microscope at a blood film for diagnosing malaria – I saw the nasty little parasites! Also, I have been invited to the hospital by a doctor who I happened to bump into, and I plan to go on Monday.

As an experience this is all amazing. I miss all you guys in England, but I am really glad I came here – there is just so much to experience and do.

I haven’t taken many photos yet, and I just tried to upload one, but it won’t work. Sorry.

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