Nikko, Jeff, Benjamin, and Stacy outside of the Uganda Cancer Center
Today, Wednesday, was our first day to work in the hospital and Uganda Cancer Center (UCC) wards and we all had a great experience. Stacy worked in the UCC pharmacy and learned a lot about how the medications are dispensed. She was impressed to learn that the pharmacy technicians have 3 years of training to be able to hold this position as compared to sometimes no training at all for the technicians in the USA. One funny story she told us when we had lunch at the canteen is that she was surprised by their question asking her if soon to be married grooms have to pay money or provide gifts to the brides family in order to be wed (bride price). She wasn’t aware that this is still a common practice in Uganda. In the USA the only thing that would be similar to that traditions is that a long time ago a bride might have brought a “dowry” to her husband which is money and gifts that she or her parents have accumulated for her wedding but this isn’t usually done these days.
This picture shows a “Jam”. What we, in the USA, would usually call a “traffic jam”, the Ugandans have shortened to just “jam”. For example, they might say they were late because of the “jam” or I got caught in a “jam”. Also note the boda-boda. These are motorcycle taxis and many people use them because they are very inexpensive and they get places more quickly- primarily because they weave in and out of traffic and go where cars can’t go, like on curbs and sidewalks sometimes. The drivers are supposed to wear helmets themselves and provide one for their passenger but this is seldom done. But, the Ugandan government has recently been increasing their efforts of making people aware of the law about helmets and has a new campaign to convince people that the increased safety is worth it. Boda-Boda accidents cause the majority of death and injuries from road accidents. The new initiative is called the Global Helmet Vaccine Initiative. What a clever name and way to put it into perspective- wearing helmets is to boda-boda accident deaths/injuries as vaccines are to illnesses like tetanus and influenza.
This final picture is at dinner our first night in Kampala. The restaurant is Mediteraneo, a very fine Italian restaurant. The food is excellent- I highly recommend the beef filet and mushroom sauce, and the ambiance is elegant. From the moment you enter you are greeted and attended to like royalty. We will definitely eat there again!