Sunday, July 3, 2011
We (my student and I) just arrived at the Entebbe Airport Guest House where we will stay tonight before our 9am flight to London in the morning. This guest house is really cute and has free wireless Internet- yea!! I can’t believe my time in Africa has come to an end. It has been the most wonderful trip and I have learned soooo much! There are many experiences I still want to share with you so this won’t be the end of my posts. I will be taking a small hiatus during my holiday in London with husband for the next week. Then, I will be back and plan to create and post some of the VoiceThread slide shows that I had hoped to do during the trip. Both the lack of Internet access and my extremely busy schedule interfered with that plan. But before I close, I do want to share a few things with you.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
First of all, on Saturday I met with the Makerere Professor for 3 hours in the morning and we had such a great conversation about how this trip went, the research, and our plans for future collaboration. We both seem to be on the same page and he is as excited as I am to continue forward. We will both be keeping our eyes out for grant opportunities to help fund the next trip to Uganda which I am planning for Fall 2012. That time I will bring more pharmacy students and hope to be able to secure enough funds to train a couple of Makerere Pharmacy students to continue the research in Masindi when I’m not in the country. Short term trips to Uganda will be helpful and a great way to provide memorable learning and serving experiences for pharmacy students, but my true goal for the research is to find a way to monitor & improve health outcomes over time and develop a process that can be continued by the health clinics themselves. In this way they can gather their own data and make improvements so they can better care for their patients. The afternoon was spent with the faculty member that I met my first day at Makerere. She took us to the big mall in Kampala and then to a really cute craft bazaar where there were lots of beautiful handmade gifts. The mall was amazingly like an American Mall. It even had a food court. As we walked into the food court, Pamela suggested we find a table and I figured that we would sit down and one of us would save the table, as in the US, and the others go get in line for food. But as soon as we sat, 5 different servers swarmed the table and handed us menus. We were actually able to order from menus right at our table and have the food brought to us. She said that this was done so there is fair competition and I really think it is a neat idea. This way, you can peruse all of the offerings at the different places and then make a decision instead of being influenced by the long line at one place or another. Also, you can easily order from 2 or more menus to mix & match your meals and everything is delivered hot with no long waiting lines. Also, the food was great. I had Indian garlic butter naan (naan is flat bread) and a chinese spring roll and steamed dumplings.
Friday, July 1, 2011
This morning we left Masindi for Kampala. The road was clear of traffic and our driver made extremely good time- only 2 hours to the outskirts of Kampala. But then, the traffic got really bad and it took another 1.5 hours to get to my friend’s house. After dropping off our luggage, the driver took us to Bwaise, a section of Kampala, to meet my friend from Selinsgrove, PA who is doing mission work at the Bwaise Pentecostal Church. Her home church, a methodist church in Selinsgrove, has been working with this church in Kampala for about 10 or so years, I think. Their website is Unite For Ugandaand one of their projects is arranging child sponsorship. I believe there are still 200 some children in need of sponsorship so please see their website if you feel a calling to this service. Since Lori was going to be in Uganda during my trip, I really wanted to get to Bwaise to see her and the church. I was able to meet a lot of the children and talk with the staff. Joe and I were even invited to a traditional Ugandan meal at the one of the leader’s homes. It was delicious. One of the experiences that seems to be universal everywhere I’ve been in Africa is the warm welcome to visitors. In Tanzania wherever you go they say “Caribou” (means “welcome” in Swahili) to invite you into their home or to their store, and in Uganda, they simply say “welcome” and they really mean it. At Bwaise Church, the children really wanted to have their pictures taken and they really loved Joe. This also seems universal- both the pictures and liking my student, Joe. After you take their pictures they want to see the camera and just laugh and laugh at their pictures as they point to each other in the photo. It really makes me wish I had a polaroid and could print the picture immediately for them to keep.
I can’t believe that you’ve been gone for a month. When you get home I would love to sit with you for hours and hear more about your experiences. You experience with the kids getting their pictures taken reminds me of when I was in India. Maybe you could get some pictures printed and send them over. Have a great time in London!