April 16, 2016
Our last day in Kampala was bittersweet and for me, this is always the case. We had such good experiences and thoroughly enjoyed working with all of the pharmacy students, interns, and pharmacists and any other people we came across. A very common question I receive is “why” do I keep coming back to Uganda. The reason is first and foremost – the people who are so welcoming and appreciative of anything we teach them- and then second of all, I keep coming back and bringing American pharmacy students because I think we have gifts to share. I could do the same thing back in the USA – work in underserved areas, and sometimes I do- but lots of USA pharmacists are doing that. Not so many are willing to share their abilities with those in developing countries and since I can, I do. And finally, we really gain so much more than we can give.
Our last Friday in Kampala started with a presentation to the Clinical staff at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI). The students and I (but most of the work was done by the students) had done a small chart review to look at medication safety issues in patients with HIV but who also have Renal Disease (kidney disease). The information was well-received and I believe they now have the baseline data they need to initiate a pharmacist review of those patients to help assure the patients are on the right drug doses and drugs.
Then the students set off with our trusted and friendly driver, Haji, for a road trip to the Equator. There is not a whole lot to see once you get to the Equator, but it is cool just to go there and straddle the Northern and Southern Hemisphere at the same time. There are a lot of craft shops, though, and a really cool water experiment.
The guide dumps water into a cylinder and when you are on one side of the equator, it swirls down the drain one way and then the opposite way on the other side. When you are right on the equator, it goes straight down without swirling at all.
In the evening we went to the Ndere Troupe Show, a cultural music and dance show, which is super lively. The night got even better when 2 of the Pharmacy Interns that the students had been working with showed up- Kevin and Daniel. It was their first time to Ndere and Kevin said he was learning a lot about his own culture. It was fun to talk to them about the dances and find out that many of them they had learned in primary school. We are all so glad they joined us. It really made for a fantastic night. We got back pretty late and then had to pack to go to Masindi.
In the morning we were all dragging and most slept a good part of the drive to Masindi. Arrival in Masindi was great- the hotel we stay at, The New Court View, is wonderful. Each room is a building of its own that is meant to look like a hut. It is a very peaceful environment with lots of great landscaping with beautiful plants. The food here is also very, very yummy! It was nice to see all the people who work here and who remember me. It felt like I was coming home. The first impressions of the students are that they really like it. Tomorrow we jump right into our work with a massive Blood Pressure Screening at 2 churches in Masindi. So our time in Kampala is over, but we will be having many wonderful experiences ahead here in Masinidi. Stay tuned….