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.
Although I woke up today intending to do a lot of work on the Pharmaceutical Care Curriculum, I ended up doing what most Ugandans do on the weekends, and that is to socialize with friends and go out and about on the town. I started off with the latter because I had to go out to run some errands. My very reliable and special hire driver [that is what a taxi is called here] and friend, Haji, picked me up about 9:45am and took me to the Marasa Reservations center where I could pay by credit card for the Safari Lodging for my upcoming trip to Murchison Falls National Park with my husband, who will arrive just one week from today. Then we went to the Orange Internet store to purchase more airtime for the phone and data plan for my wifi router. I also was able to stop by the grocery store and pick up a few items, along with some stew beef for dinner- more on that later. I had to purchase some Ibuprofen but it turns out you can’t buy this in a grocery store here, you need to get it at a Pharmacy or Drug Shop. When I entered the Pharmacy I quickly noticed it wasn’t on the shelves so I had to ask the pharmacy attendants for it. Unlike in the USA where we would buy a whole bottle or package of medication, here you buy only a partial amount from a box. It is sold by the strip of individually wrapped tablets. So I purchased two strips of 10 tablets each for about the equivalence of $4.20. The tablets were double the strength of the Ibuprofen sold without a prescription in the USA- here they were 400mg.
Shortly after I arrived home with my shopping bags, some new friends came for a visit. Kiran and Russ are anthopologists and are in Africa on a year-long sabbatical as Fulbright Scholars, like my housemate, Monty. They were originally posted to Sierra Leone but shortly before they were to travel in August, the US State Department cancelled that trip because of the Ebola outbreak. Luckily they were able to find another post here in Kampala, for at least 4 months. Later this year, they may be able to go to Sierra Leone, if the epidemic gets under control. Anyway, we all walked to a little Indian Restaurant on campus and had a nice long lunch. It really took a long time to get our food, but the conversation was wonderful and when the food arrived it was hot, freshly cooked, and delicious! After lunch I left to walk back up the hill to EdgeHouse while Monty took Kiran and Russ on a walking expedition through downtown. My plan was now to get to work, but alas, I didn’t do that. Instead I took a short, but needed rest and then decided I would cook up some beef stew for dinner.
This was the first meal I cooked for Monty and me and it really turned out well. I sautéed the beef cubes in oil and added fresh garlic, onions, green peppers, carrots, and tomatoes. Once nice and brown, I added boiling water and let it stew for about 2-3 hours. I had found some Knorr beef soup powder at the grocery store so I also added a little of that for flavoring along with salt and pepper. When the stew was done and the meat was very tender, I cooked some macaroni noodles and served them with the beef stew on top. I was kind of surprised at how tasty it was.
So, it turned out to be a really great day. Tomorrow Monty is taking me on an adventure to go to a community church and gathering in a rural area out