10 April 2017: A Blog Post By Tristram
When was the last time you tried something new? Was it something out of your daily routine of getting up, eating breakfast, driving the same route to work, coming home, eating dinner, going to bed, and doing it all over again? New experiences can be daunting and challenging. As I think back over of the course of my life, most of my personal growth has come out of new experiences. I remember playing basketball for the first time. Learning a new skill set didn’t come easy, but it taught me a sense of dedication and commitment. Moving away to college was an adjustment, but I learned how to be independent and take care of myself. The last year of pharmacy school has been filled with new experiences. From meeting nationally-recognized pharmacists to watching my sister get married, it’s only fitting to continue the trend by visiting a new place like Uganda! My time here after one week has been nothing short of the best. We have spent time in three different locations: Mbarara, Entebbe, and Kampala. So far, the most rewarding experience has been the relationships that I’ve built. In Mbarara, I was on rounding service with a med. peds. physician from Massachusetts General Hospital. It was fascinating to work with a highly qualified professional. She asked me thought-provoking questions on rounds and pushed me to be the clinical pharmacist on the team. One of the most satisfying aspects of clinical work is being with a physician who values a clinical pharmacist and understands their purpose. More relationships sprouted from my time at the Ugandan Pharmaceutical Student Association (UPSA) symposium in Entebbe. There I met and spoke with two pharmacy students. The one in the black shoes, Benedict, is a student at KIU (Kampala International University). The other, in the brown shoes, is from the University of Rwanda, and he happens to also be a fellow CPFI (Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International) member! The symposium also featured student pharmacists from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The last relationship I’ll touch on is one from Sunday at the Watoto church. After church, I met a younger couple (Emma and Joshua). They are from the United States and are here in Uganda operating an organization that offers a home for special needs children. Wow, what an incredible opportunity to serve a group of people who desperately need our help! I obtained Emma and Josh’s contact information. Ironically, Dr. Bohan had already met Emma the previous day during our visit to the 1,000 Cups of Coffee shop (small world!) After a week’s worth of relationship building, I look forward to what this week holds as we meet new people at Nakasero Hospital in Kampala.