A Great Weekend in Kampala

This in not an official U.S. Department of State (DOS) blog and the views and information presented are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the DOS.

My first full weekend in Kampala was great. I spent much of the time working on further development of my Pharmaceutical Care Skills Lab curriculum and the plans to bring the pharmacy students to Mulago Hospital for Pharmacy Rounds, but there was still time for socializing. On Saturday I went shopping and had a nice lunch with my friend, Vicky, who is a pharmacist at a smaller government hospital, China-Uganda Friendship Hospital- Naguru. She is one of the pharmacists who came to the USA to study Pharmaceutical Care in action last fall.

Vicky and KarenBeth at her Mom's home in Kampala, Sat. 31Aug14

Vicky and KarenBeth at her Mom’s home in Kampala, Sat. 31Aug14

We went to a local, bustling, western-style shopping center to get some groceries but also to try and find a charging cord for one of my mobile phones. It is an old, non-smart Motorola phone, which works fine, but the charging cord no longer does. I carry 2 phones while in Uganda with SIM cards from 2 different phone carriers. The mobile phone networks frequently have short-term outages (or sometimes longer term) and it is helpful to have more than one phone as a back up to your primary line. Actually many people carry even more than 2 phones so they have more carriers to choose from. Another reason they have more than one phone is that the way you make calls is to buy “airtime” and add it to your phone- like scratch-off lottery cards. And, if you run out of airtime on one phone, and you either have no money or aren’t near an airtime seller, you can just switch phones. Well, so far no luck in finding a new cord but we are still trying. I did successfully buy groceries and then we went to a bar/restaurant at one of the Rugby practice fields. We both had delicious pan-fried pork with a barbecue-type sauce and “chips”- French fries. I try not to order the French fries too much around here because they are really good, too good, and I can eat a bunch. I’m not doing much fancy cooking here but my housemate, Monty, made a delicious whole chicken on Saturday night. Since our oven doesn’t work, he made it like a stew and cooked it whole in a pot on the stove for hours with a variety of vegetables and some G-nuts. The “G” stands for “ground” nuts but these are not ground up but rather grow on the ground like peanuts. In fact they are basically a type of peanut but I have to say I like them a lot more than peanuts- they are small and I like them roasted and salted. They are nice and crunchy. Anyway, the chicken turned out great and was oh so tender! This is not commonly so with meat from small restaurants that cater to the local crowd. I’m not sure why because what they usually cook is stewed as well.

 

Lunch at a Campus Canteen after Church with Ivan and Monty (my housemate and fellow Fulbrighter), Sunday 31Aug14

Lunch at a Campus Canteen after Church with Ivan and Monty (my housemate and fellow Fulbrighter), Sunday 31Aug14

On Sunday, Monty and I walked down to the Roman Catholic Church to attend the 11am service, which lasted a good 1.5 hours. The large church was pretty full with young people and young families, since it is on the Makerere Campus. The choir was great and I especially enjoyed watching the man playing the Maracas, these are the handheld percussion instrument that looks like they are made out of gourds. He not only shook them to the beat of the music, but he joyfully danced the whole time. The words to the music were projected onto the wall at the front of the sanctuary and some of the songs were in Lugandan and some were in English. I knew most of the English songs. The Priest gave a great sermon that spoke to my heart. I found out later he has just recently returned from serving a parish in California for 7 or 8 years! (He is native Ugandan.) As the church service was about the end, the sky grew dark and the wind began to blow. The light inside the sanctuary seemed to go out but it was really just the dampening of the prior sunlight. Monty and I were planning to go to a little local canteen on campus for lunch and we had to walk quickly to avoid the large pending storm. We ended up walking though the beginning light rain but were safely inside when the heavens opened up. We met a recently graduated Ugandan University student for lunch- a young man whom Monty met last week. We had to almost scream at each other to carry on a conversation through the din of the rain pelting down on the corrugated metal roof. The café was having a buffet and my meal is pictured below.

This is a typical Ugandan meal after church on Sunday 31Aug14 at one of the Campus Canteens.

This is a typical Ugandan meal after church on Sunday 31Aug14 at one of the Campus Canteens.

From the bottom center going up clockwise the food is as follows: Millet (a wheat-like grain that is stirred into boiling water just like making oatmeal- it has the consistency of oatmeal that has cooked too long and has lost its moisture and is now thick and sticky); Matoke (this is the typical Kampala starch- boiled banana that is then mashed and steamed in banana leaves-it has the consistency of mashed potatoes that have cooked too long and are too thick and dry); pumpkin (which is really just a winter-type of squash- I love this!); all the white stuff is white rice; the sauce that is green is basically like pea soup with carrots- it was super delicious; finally the brown lumps in the middle are big pieces of beef. The sauce the beef was cooked is was really yummy and I had that all over my rice and I was looking forward to eating the meat pieces- they looked soft when they put them on my plate- but they turned out to be too hard to cut with a butter knife, which is the only kind of knife they had- so I had to leave them behind. Although the Millet and Matoke aren’t my favorite, I do eat a little bit of each and if I only had that to eat, I would certainly survive. Oh, I shouldn’t forget my Coke Zero. This is the first time since arriving that a restaurant had it in stock. It is actually the only diet soda that they have in Uganda (at least that I’ve seen or heard about) and it only arrived maybe a year ago. I’m not a huge soda drinker so not having a Coke hasn’t been a problem at all, but it was a nice treat today.

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Rain and More Rain

This in not an official U.S. Department of State (DOS) blog and the views and information presented are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the DOS.

Watch carefully and see the torrents of rain spew over the railing onto the walkway at the end of the hall at Mulago Hospital.

This is my 5th trip to Uganda. The first was in June/July 2011, which is dry season, although we did occasionally have a light rain. During dry season, red dust ends up coating everything, homes, plants, and your clothing. When we had a light rain, all were thankful for the dampening down of this dust. It is also generally hotter in dry season, although still usually just up to the high 80’s. The rest of my trips have been in the “rainy” season, Sept 2012 & 2013, March 2014, and now Aug/Sept 2014. But, during my past trips I realized that “rainy” is in the eyes of the beholder. I always thought in Africa, the rainy season was a time when it would rain all day, everyday, and you could never get fully dry. During visits 2, 3, and 4 I learned otherwise. In fact, I, like the locals, have really enjoyed rainy season. It gets cooler at night, into the 60’s, although warm in the 80’s during the day and and the rain helps keep the red dust under control. It is only muddy during the downpours which never seemed to last beyond an hour. I likened them before to “Florida Rains” where you can have it be hot and sunny when you go into a building and then when you come out, you realized it rained but then everything dries up quickly. But, this year, although only a week into my trip, it seems different. According to the locals, it is also a bit unusual. December is normally the rainiest part of the year for them but currently it has been raining every day. It might start off sunny but then there is a good, really soaking rain storm in the middle of the day lasting an hour or two and creating lots of mud and treacherous walking conditions. And the rain has been hard and blustery – you really wouldn’t want to be out in it. Sometimes it rains at night and you feel like the luckiest person alive to be under a solid roof and dry. Yesterday, though, in addition to the thunderstorm and sheets of rain, it continued to rain more lightly the rest of the day and evening. The good news, though, is the nice cool weather at night which makes sleeping very comfortable. When it doesn’t cool down, I sleep all night with a fan, which fortunately is provided for me by my wonderful accommodations.  I hope, though, that this type of rain goes away soon and it gets back to the “normal” rainy season for Kampala, Uganda so the walking situation becomes less difficult and my laundry can dry.  You actually only need a short time of Uganda sunshine to dry your clothes on a line, but recently that has been lacking. So for now, it will continue to hang all over the bathroom.

 

Drenching Rain Over Mulago Hospital- August 2014

Drenching Rain Over Mulago Hospital- August 2014

Addendum:  Late morning and early afternoon on Saturday did bring some nice, warming sunshine and my clothes were able to mostly dry until they had to be pulled down for yet another storm. Fortunately, I’m sure they will dry by morning as they are just damp now and are hanging all over my room on a new rope that my housemate put up for me.

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Working with Pharmacy Interns at Mulago Hospital

This in not an official U.S. Department of State (DOS) blog and the views and information presented are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the DOS.

Caregivers of the patients spread laundry all over lawn at the hospital to dry

A kaleidoscope of laundry spread all over lawn at the hospital to dry by caregivers of the patients

On Thursday I arrived at the Mulago National Referral Hospital around 9:15am.  I was going to have the opportunity to work with 3 Pharmacy Interns to help them learn more about how to use their pharmaceutical care knowledge and skills to help patients. While waiting to meet up with them, I took in the sights and sounds of the hospital.  One of the things that is very different about hospitals in Uganda and Tanzania, and I think in most of Africa, is that each patient must bring a caregiver to the hospital.  This person may be a daughter, mother, friend, etc, but is responsible for providing much of the hands-on care of the patient. The Nurses are few and so they provide higher level care to the patient like obtaining blood for lab tests, dressing changes, and giving Injectable medications.  Bathing the patient, washing and changing bedding, and giving all oral medications is the job of the caregiver.  Many times the caregivers need to bring young children with them so even if the number of patients in the hospital are 2000, there is always at least double that, and usually many more, people hanging around on the wards, hallways, and courtyards.

A Selfie with Alan, soon to be Pharmacist, overlooking Mulago Hospital courtyard.

I also ran into a recently graduated Intern, Alan, whom I’ve know for 2 years now.  It is students like him that really motivate me to continue this work, although, he says that I have motivated him. Alan always strives to use his knowledge to help patients and advance medical care.  In fact, although he has just graduated from his final training program before becoming a licensed pharmacist in Uganda, he has already re-enrolled in another training program – the Masters of Science in Clinical Pharmacology.  He had expressed an interest in taking a MSc in Clinical Pharmacy, but this program isn’t available from Makerere University — yet. It is going to be the next step in my quest, along with the help of my partners, to help Uganda advance pharmacy practice to improve patient care for all Ugandans but will probably not start until Fall 2016, or perhaps Fall 2015, at the earliest.  But, since a MSc in Clinical Pharmacology is available now, Alan will pursue that.  It is different as it is focused on the way drugs work in the body and research to find new treatment regimens whereas the MSc in Clinical Pharmacy will train Pharmacists to provide more direct patient care to work alongside other Healthcare Providers.

KarenBeth with Peter- standing at left, Patrick-standing at right, David- seated

Working on the Case Presentation: KarenBeth with Peter- standing at left, Patrick-standing at right, David- seated

When I met up with Peter, Patrick, and David, the Pharmacy Interns, they were preparing to present a Patient Case to the rest of the Pharmacy Interns and supervisors at the weekly Continuing Medical Education (CME) conference. This is where the Interns demonstrate their abilities to contribute to the care of the patient and talk about what they learned from the experience.  Since this was the first group of Interns to present in their Intern class, it was a learning experience for all.  I think by the end, though, they all had a much better understanding of how the skills of a pharmacist are different and complement the abilities of the other members of the healthcare team, Physicians, Nurses, Therapists, etc., so that together, working as a team, we can determine the best treatment for the patient and positively benefit their health and quality of life.

Participants at the Noon CME give their attention to the speakers in the lecture room at Mulago Hospital

 

 

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First Full Run of the Pharmaceutical Care Skills Lab

This is the Mission of Hospice Africa Uganda

This is the Mission of Hospice Africa Uganda

Today my voice just about gave out after running the first Pharmaceutical Care Skills Lab (PCSL) twice in a row.  The lab session is 3 hours long and most of the time, students are actively working in groups to role-play patient care scenarios and then solve them using drug information resources.  The lecture time is kept to a minimum, if at all. But, since this is the first week of classes, the students needed to have some baseline knowledge and skills before trying to interview patients so I had to give a 1-hr lecture on Basic Patient Interviewing Skills as well as a 1-hr lecture on the disease content that would be the background of the scenario for the role-play.  I chose to use the topic of Palliative Care and Pain Management as the content for this session first of all because I wanted to teach something that the students don’t already learn in their current curriculum but also because I learned about the wonderful work of Dr. Anne Merriman who started Hospice Africa Uganda 20 years ago and the work of Dr. Mhoira Leng who is head of Palliative Care at Mulago National Hospital and how they are improving the quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses and pain.  (See the past posts of March 6 and March 9, 2014 for more information.)  Anyway, the lab sessions seemed to go well. I was really pleased with the efforts and interactions of the students with me and each other. They also had such excellent questions.  Since I got really busy with teaching today, I totally forgot to take any pictures soinstead I’m using some from my last trip to spice up this page. Morphine Preparation at Hospice Africa Uganda

On Thursday I will be working with the Pharmacy Interns at Mulago Hospital.  Three of them are going to be presenting a Case about a patient with HIV and teaching the other Interns about how to care for a patient with HIV. I have been asked to help precept them through this experience so tonight I am prepping by reading up on HIV treatment.  Although I teach Infectious Diseases in the curriculum, I am not responsible for the HIV content and my current practice site in the USA is working in a community hospital with a family medicine team so we are not responsible for managing the Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV patients.  Thus, I’ll end this blog so I can study up a bit. 

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A Day Full of Meetings

This in not an official U.S. Department of State (DOS) blog and the views and information presented are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the DOS.

This is only my second full day in Uganda at the University and I’m already as busy as if I’d been here for weeks. I guess that is my way, though. I like to jump right in and get to work. Today began with a meeting at Mulago Hospital to discuss the new plans to have the pharmacy students experience precepted learning activities as they work on the wards alongside the Interns as I mentioned in my last post. As expected, although everyone’s goal is basically unified, the path to get there still needs more negotiation and creative planning. After this meeting, I went back to the pharmacy school to review the meeting with those who couldn’t attend. Putting our heads together, I think we may have come up with a suitable alternative. I will have to work on this a bit and sketch the plans out on paper. So stay tuned for more news later this week. After this 2nd meeting, I sat in on another meeting where the faculty of the pharmacy school were planning their approach to put in a proposal to assess the Village Health Team (VHT) program. This was implemented in 2001 by the Ministry of Health to improve access to healthcare and education at the village level.

In Uganda, there are basically 6 levels of healthcare. The VHT consists of villagers who go through a specific training program so they can be the first point access to healthcare when there is illness as well as to promote preventative care, like vaccinations, peri-partum care (care of mothers-to-be before, during, and after birth), and well-baby check ups. As far as I know the VHT go to the villages and to homes primarily rather than having the community members come to them. The second level of care is the Health Center 2 (HC2). This is a facility that is staffed by a Nurse and some Nursing Aids or Assistants. They provide exams for well and sick patients and provide medications but there are no laboratory facilities. The HC3 is staffed by a Nurse at an advanced training level or a Clinical Officer, which is similar to a Physicians Assistant in the USA and these facilities have a laboratory for basic tests. The HC4 is officially a hospital and has at least one full physician on staff. They perform surgery and have a full lab along with x-ray and some other diagnostic testing equipment. When patients need more advanced care they can be referred to a HC5, which is basically just called a Referral Hospital. The final level of care is a much bigger Referral Hospital like the Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala, the primary experiential training site for the health programs at Makerere University. This hospital has 2000 beds but the average patient census is well over that- I’ve read up to 3000!

Back to the meeting about the research proposal: An NGO working for the Ministry of Health, Pathfinder, put out a request for proposals (RFP) to assess the status of the VHT program, especially the status of the level of training of the current VHT staff and the school of pharmacy faculty are planning to apply. The final meeting of the day was at Pathfinder’s facility. They were having a Q&A session for those who wanted to apply to discuss any ambiguities in the RFP and to make sure all organizations had the same information about the RFP. Since I have never been involved with this type of proposal to an NGO I wanted to attend to observe the process. It was an ordinary meeting but I did find it interesting. The thing that impressed me the most was that whichever group gets the bid, the final report should be completed within 90 days. This seems pretty fast since the group will have to interview and conduct research all over Uganda, even to the far reaches, analyze the results and write the report all in 3 months time. It helped me to understand that those organizations doing this type of work must have gotten very proficient over time and with experience.

My final hour was spent working in the nice office they has given me to use during my time here. I have a wonderful officemate, Lucy, who works with the groups that do research in the school of health sciences and she was one of the meeting attendees. She is in the pictures attached with the pink jacket. Gloria, another researcher, is in the photo with Lucy in the blue shirt.

As titled, I believe you can agree this was a “day full of meetings” but unlike some people, I was actually revved up at the end of the day. I guess this is my extrovert traits shining through, but really, I was excited because there is progress being made towards advancing pharmacy practice in Uganda through the new pharmaceutical care curriculum and I’m a part of it. I also love to see how engaged the faculty are in this process and their commitment to improving health though community empowerment, like the VHT program.

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And Pharmacy Classes Begin

4th Year Pharmacy Students gather to find out what topics they have to study for this week's Problem-Based Learning (PBL) tutorial; Mr. Kalidi Rajab, BPharm, MPS is speaking

4th Year Pharmacy Students gather to find out what topics they have to study for this week’s Problem-Based Learning (PBL) tutorial; Mr. Kalidi Rajab, BPharm, MPS is speaking

It’s exciting to be back on campus at Makerere University School of Pharmacy amidst the hustle and bustle of the beginning of a new school year. And seeing smiles on familiar faces is incredibly welcoming. I have always been warmly welcomed to Uganda, both initially, and on every return trip, but when those welcomes are from the many friends I’ve made here, it really has begun to feel like a place am supposed to be, a second home. The day started when I was picked up at the Edgehouse (the name of the Visiting Scholar Villa where I live) by Professor Odoi and brought down to the pharmacy school. The class schedule that we had set out for the new Pharmaceutical Care Skills Lab had the first session starting at 9am on Mondays for the 4th year pharmacy school class. Since this was the first day of classes, I wasn’t too surprised that this didn’t take place, nor did the session for the 3rd year class, originally scheduled for 2pm on Mondays. Instead, it was agreed that the both of the classes would be gathered for a review of the syllabus at 2pm in a large lecture hall. The image included here only includes half of the students because the 3rd years had already left when I took this picture. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise that I was able to take this time to go over the syllabus in great detail since this course is quite different from anything they’ve had before and there were lots of questions.

The Pharmacy Student have a club called the Makerere University Pharmacy Student Association which, among other activities, runs an international pharmacy student conference every spring.

The Pharmacy Students have a club called the Makerere University Pharmacy Student Association which, among other activities, runs an international pharmacy student conference every spring.

The Pharmaceutical Care Skills Lab (PSCL) is a practical, patient care lab, rather than bench or scientific laboratory. It is a 3 hour time block when students are gathered to learn and practice pharmaceutical care skills using role-play to enact patient care scenarios. According to ASHP (American Society of Health System Pharmacy), Pharmaceutical Care is the “direct, responsible provision of medication related care for the purpose of achieving definite outcomes that improve a patient’s quality of life.” Currently, the Bachelors of Pharmacy curriculum at Makerere is mostly basic science-based didactic teaching. Of course the usual pharmacology (how drugs work in the body) and therapeutics (how drugs are used to treat diseases) are taught but students don’t formally learn and practice the skills needed to help improve the health of actual patients like how to communicate with other healthcare providers and how to educate patients and how to utilize drug information resources to identify and make recommendations about drug therapy problems that could interfere with the patient’s best health outcome.

The PCSL course we have developed will also include an experiential component where the Pharmacy Students will be going to Mulago National Referral Hospital on a weekly basis to put into use, under the supervision of the Pharmacy Interns and Pharmacists, the PC skills they are learning in class. They will also focus on meeting and getting to know patients with the diseases they are studying in class so they get a better idea of how the illnesses and drug therapies are impacting, both negatively and positively, the patient’s life.

This morning we have a meeting between faculty and Pharmacists at Mulago Hospital to figure out how the experiential component will work. We are all in agreement that this is a good idea and will be very helpful to the student’s growth as they learn to be pharmacists, but the logistics are going to be tricky. We will most definitely have to figure out a compromise that doesn’t adversely affect the learning program of the Pharmacy Interns (these are recently graduated pharmacy students who are in a year of internship prior to becoming fully licensed pharmacists) or the goals we have set forward for the Pharmacy Students. One thing I’ve learned through my 26 years as a Pharmacist and 11 years as a Pharmacy Professor is that flexibility is going to be key as we start new programs. We will have to adjust as we go so that all needs are met. One way to help this process along is to try to see the situation from the others’ point of view. We will need to keep our eyes focused on the larger purpose of this new PCSL, which is to be part of the solution to advance Pharmacy Practice so that the lives and health of the patients in Uganda are changed for the better.

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Back in Uganda, Again!!

This in not an official U.S. Department of State (DOS) blog and the views and information presented are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the DOS.

I have arrived safe and sound once again in Kampala, Uganda, but getting here is very tiring. Although this is my 5th trip, and I certainly knew what to expect, the exhausting nature of traveling gets me everytime. This trip began with a KLM flight from Washington-Dulles Airport in Virginia and 8 hours later I landed in Amsterdam. Schipol Airport is very clean and modern. There are stands to buy local cheeses and tulip bulbs and although I long to bring some cheese to Uganda, I’m just not sure I won’t be told to throw it away at the border. The next flight was to Nairobi, Kenya and it was delayed an hour. The 4.5hr layover this time turned out to be pretty hard since it was like being awake from 1:30am to 6am. Also, before boarding each flight, you have to go through a full security screening again, removing laptop and all, so I went through the obligatory screening number 2 just to find out there are no bathrooms while you wait. Needless to say I was very thankful for the availability of a toilet once I boarded the next flight. The flight to Nairobi was nice and smooth and by the time we landed I was starting to get excited for my arrival in Uganda which is now just one flight away. Nairobi airport is much larger than Entebbe and when walking off of the plane I was surprised at the lack of familiar “Africa” smells. Those of us in transit to another international flight were pointed in the direction of a set of stairs at one end of the airport. After climbing these I was able to see a monitor that listed my next flight as boarding at Gate 15. Following the signs down a long hallway past all of the Duty Free shops, I found that the hallway to gate 15 was blocked and airport staff directed me to gate 12 instead. But once arriving at gate 12, there was no one to help those gathered there for a few minutes and then we were told to go back down hall to gate 15. We were finally able to convince the gate attendant that Gate 15 was blocked and he finally put us through another security check (#3) and sent us down the stairs and outside to take a bus to the other terminal. Eventually the bus full of passengers stops and we are directed to Gate 19, which is the proper gate. A 4th security check ensues and we are led into a waiting room. At this point I’m really looking forward to the short wait for the next flight only to find out, after about 40min of waiting that the flight is delayed and won’t be here for another hour. I know this is all part of air travel and I’m happy that I have a seat, and can read a book on my ipad, but I’m feeling really bad for the driver from the University that is awaiting my arrival at Entebbe. I know he would have reached there well ahead of time so as not to be late and the flight was supposed to come in at 11:45pm, which is already super late at night. Now he will have to wait until at least 1am. Some of the other passengers were not so calm and many unpleasantries were shouted. One white gentlemen sitting near me kept saying under his breath but loud enough for many to hear that he should get his money back for his ticket and when a second announcement was made he shouted again. Don’t people know that this behavior isn’t going to make the plane come any more quickly? Let me get back to the “Duty Free Shops” for a minute. I guess if you buy duty free goods that aren’t liquids or subject to any travel prohibitions, you can buy them anytime and they could save you some money. But, if you are thinking of buying something like wine, you need to be sure to do this only before you last flight. After my first international trip to Uganda, my husband met me in London for a holiday and to get to London I took a direct flight from Entebbe airport. I was able to buy some wine at the Uganda airport and bring it into London with me. The next year, I didn’t have an extended stay in London and when I had to go back through security for my flight home, they made me throw away the wine- total bummer. Since then I have avoided any temptations to purchase items at the Duty Free Shops. Well, I eventually did arrive at Entebbe Airport at 1:10am and since I already had my Visa, I was able to get in the quick customs line. The wonderful “Africa smells” of campfires, and cooking beans filled the air and brought back memories. Unfortunately there was a mixup and the driver from Makerere that was supposed to pick me up wasn’t there. Fortunately, I was able to reach the manager of the Visiting Scholar House to confirm that I was expected and I found a really nice young driver at the airport to bring me there. I finally arrived at my lodging at about 2:45am and after settling in and taking a nice hot shower, I was comfortably in bed by 4am.

This is the Visiting Scholar House complex at Makerere University,  the House I stay in is on the right side, the door you see is my entrance.

This is the Visiting Scholar House complex at Makerere University, the House I stay in is on the right side, the door you see is my entrance.

Sunday was a really relaxing day. The Professor came to take me to a delicious lunch at a Cafe Java restaurant, which is a chain coffee shop in Kampala. I had Chicken Korma, an Indian chicken dish served with a brown rice mixed with vegetables and spices- really yummy. Then in the afternoon, I got to meet my housemate- a Bioengineering Professor from Duke University who also just recently came to Makerere University. He is on a Fulbright Scholarship for the entire school year and will be teaching a course in Bio Materials (this includes things like sutures, cardiac stents, knee replacements, etc). He invited me to dinner and prepared a simple but delicious rice mixture with eggplant and other veggies. What a wonderful way to start off my trip in Uganda. Well, I’m off to classes on the first day of the new semester. Wish me luck! More later…

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