All entries for March 2009
March 26, 2009
I have had a busy week so far. On Monday I went with Sam and Agnes Akubu to the village where they grew up. I met members of Sam’s family. They are building up the area around where they live and have plans to plant pineapple trees, orange trees etc. War here is quite recent with a conflict through the late 80s and early 90s, then the LRA incursions as late as 2004. So many people have been reluctant to settle and make long term plans, so what Sam’s family are doing is really a fresh start.
Their village is not how villages are in England – each family has a settlement with their land around it, although there is a central market / meeting area. Here is a picture of what the houses in the village look like…
If you are reading this and don’t know Sam and Agnes, they are Ugandans from the Soroti area who are now missionaries in Arua, and have been to Coventry amongst other places, and that’s how I know them.
Yesterday morning I did some teaching in the local primary school. I was with Nelson, the science teacher, and I taught year 6 about the heart and circulatoty system. It was a good experience, but unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll have time to go back and do more.
Today I went with the mobile drugs clinic to Wera, another village, and when I came back I had a meeting at the hospital – I met a paediatrician who is letting me shadow him next week for some extra experience of childhood tropical medical conditions (which is mostly malaria!).
I’ll just finish by uploading another picture from my trip on Monday – some fishermen on Lake Kyoga. They were beating the nets with sticks to clean them …
March 21, 2009
hopefully I can get these photos to upload…
The first is from the mobile drug clinic (under a tree) where I was yesterday at a village in Amuria county which is about an hour’s drive away.
The next is of the garden of the house where I am staying in Soroti – Amecet ‘n’ amun.
This last one was just a place in Soroti which I thought made a funny photo.
I hope you enjoy these.
March 18, 2009
you’ll have to forgive the lack of photos again, but the internet access here doesn’t let me do everything I want with this blog. Yesterday it wouldn’t let me on at all.
Still I had a good day yesterday, I phoned the doctor who I bumped into in the post office last week, and he invited me to come to a clinic in the town he was running. I was there in about half an hour, and he was really interested in how I was finding medical education in general, and how much tropical medicine I had learnt so far since being here. After seeing a few patients, he said he was going to the hospital, and he took me with him and showed me around the ophthalmology department there. That only was about two hours out of the day, and the rest I was working at the orphanage as usual.
My day off was Monday, and I managed to spend some time in town looking around. There is quite a big market where you can get all kinds of stuff like bananas (really nice) chickens (live!) clothes etc. It was so hot walking around; yesterday one of the locals said how it has been particularly hot lately compared to normal temperatures. Actually I find it quite ok in the shade, but walking in the sunshine is like an oven.
I went to church on Sunday with the other people from the house I am staying at. The singing was typically African, but most of the words were in English, and some of the songs were ones I know from home, so I could join in. Next to me was an old woman with no teeth and a humped back dancing to the music. I was touched when a man who had lost his son two weeks before stood at the front to tell the congregation (about 300-400 people) how he had been getting on. He thanked the church for so many that had been to see him and supported him, and he said “It is very hard to teach your soul to be thankful to God in these situations”.
Hope you are all well!
March 13, 2009
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.
March 07, 2009
I will miss my family.
I took a photo of Gabrielle today and it was lovely, so here it is…
March 04, 2009
Hi, I’m just testing this out so that I know whether it works or not. If it does, visit this page again between 8th March ‘09 and the 18th April and there should be some news from Uganda and some photos.