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.
After a great weekend, I got back to work on Monday at the pharmacy school developing the new curriculum and helping the Professor to finalize a grant proposal. This is something that just fell into our laps last Thursday. As I was meeting with one of the faculty as part of my Needs Assessment, he happened to mention that he had a request for proposal (RFP) come into his email recently for a grant through the Carnegie organization to bring an American or Canadian to Uganda to help with curriculum development. Wow, that sounded like a perfect way to grow this project. What I’m working on now is a single course but this will need to be built upon in the future. The kicker was that the grant was specifically designed to bring native-born African experts who are currently practicing in the USA or Canada back to Africa to help one of a few countries and Uganda was one of those countries. Well, I obviously don’t qualify as I’m born and bred in America but I asked the faculty member to forward the RFP to me anyway. Thank goodness he did this right away without delay. Once I opened the RFP and read it, and it was as I have explained, I realized with the power of a thunderbolt of lightening that my long-time partner in this endeavor to advance pharmacy practice in Uganda, Darowan Akajagbor, fit the criteria perfectly! Darowan is Nigerian but came to the USA for her pharmacy training and now is a faculty member at D’Youville College, School of Pharmacy in Buffalo, NY. She found me through the Professor, Richard Odoi, at Makerere University when she had arranged to volunteer through HVO (Healthcare Volunteers Overseas) and they had put her in contact with him. Anyway, Richard got the two of us together and we’ve been collaborating ever since. Darowan has brought 2 groups of students to Uganda for an Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience in Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 and is coming again this May. She was also my partner in bringing Vicky and Patrick to the USA last November and December to complete the advanced Pharmaceutical Care experiential training course. So, Richard and I realized this RFP could be the next thing to help this project with sustainability and we quickly got to work writing it together. We needed to beat a really short deadline, which was yesterday, and at the time we realized this opportunity, the date was only 4 days in the future. Well, we checked to see that Darowan was interested and once affirmed, we were able to get it submitted on time yesterday. Yea! Now we just wait…..
I’m I’m going to change topics now and share some pictures of Vicky and Patrick in the snow back in November 2013. Vicky was born in Russia, grew up mostly in Uganda and went back to Russia for her pharmacy training. And yes, the education was conducted totally in Russian. Having a Russian mom, she did learn what she calls “baby Russian” but once getting to Russia for her pharmacy training, she realized that she’d have to quickly learn more so that she could speak as an adult would. Anyway, she is no stranger to the cold and snow, although that was several years in the past.
Patrick, on the other hand, had never felt temperatures lower than probably about 60 F (15 C). This past fall in New York and Pennsylvania we had temps down into the teens – 15F would have been -9.4 C. We also had plenty of the “white stuff”- snow, which was also new to Patrick. But, after the initial shock of the cold, I have to say Patrick seemed to acclimate quite well. We had arranged for a couple of heavy coats for him, but he didn’t seem to need them that much- he did always wear his knit cap, though.