7 Aug 2022
I spent a lovely afternoon with an old friend, Vicky Nyombi, and her family at her house in one of the villages outside the heart of Kampala. I’ve known Vicky since 2012 and she was one of the first pharmacists to participate in the Pharmaceutical Care 8-Week Experiential Training with me in the US back in 2013. She is currently working at Mulago National Referral Hospital. Like many people in Uganda, the house she and her husband, Nelson, built sits behind a large stone fence and to enter the enclave you go through a big metal gate. Once you get behind the gate, it is like you are in the countryside. The sounds of the city are left behind and you can relax.
Natasha, Vicky’s mother, and I enjoyed a nice conversation on the lawn in their comfy chairs. Natasha is Russian and is a Pediatric physician specializing in neonatology- the smallest babies. She has lived and worked in Uganda for many years. I also was able to meet Vicky’s youngest sister this visit, Katharine. She is a house attorney for a public company offering micro finance loans to groups of people at lower interest rates than they would get through a normal bank. Vicky served a feast of both roasted pork and chicken, salad, French garlic bread, tomatoes and avocado, and Irish potatoes. A funny thing about how they refer to potatoes here. The white round potato that we just call “white potato or just potato” in the states, they refer to as Irish potatoes and even more commonly, they just simply call them “Irish”. For example, if you wanted to order a side with your meal and they were offering a choice of items, they would say, “Do you want chips (fries), rice, matoke, cassava, or Irish”. The only other potato I’ve heard of hear is sweet potato. But, their sweet potatoes are not really very sweet and they are not orange.