Monday, September 15, 2014

This is [definitely] Africa.

I love the internet like, so much you guys. Uganda, however, does not seem to share the same sentiment with it as I do. It has been a bit of a struggle to get consistent internet around here…or water….or power. So I apologize for the delayed update. If I’m being honest with you though, you could cut me a little break. I am in Africa.

But you guys…Kabale, Uganda is amazing. We have become acclimated to this small little town incredibly fast in the 48 hours that we have been here, and Shelby, Lauren, and I have all immediately felt at home. It is a pretty small town tucked away in the rolling hills of southwest Uganda, very close to both Congo and Rwanda. We are about 6,000ft+ above sea level, so it’s super different than I thought it was going to be. It’s REALLY cold at night (you can see your breath and I love it) and because of the elevation all of us have been out of breath after any sort of physical activity…like walking to the bathroom, sitting up in bed, brushing my teeth…things like that. Totally kidding its not that bad. But it’s definitely a struggle. I won’t bore you with a bunch of minute details that you can’t really relate to, but I just wanted to update y’all and share some pictures of what we’ve been up to.

So we got to Rwanda Friday night after dark and stayed at the hostel with a couple of the folks that work here. In the morning we woke up to the smell of open fires, diesel gas fumes, and hearing cars honking and motor bikes zooming around. There was no question after looking out over Kigali that morning- we were definitely in Africa. We spent the morning at the genocide memorial (in the early to mid-90’s about 1,000,000 people were killed in a tribal conflict that devastated the entire country….20 years later Kigali has become the cleanest city in East Africa and they have really turned the country around). It was incredible and sobering. If you have ever seen the movie Hotel Rwanda, that movie is based on what happened here.

We crossed the border that afternoon into Uganda after a beautiful drive through Rwanda, and began to get acclimated to our home for the next month. Here’re a few pictures of the apartments where we live and eat and hammock---pretty amazing view. Not mad that we brought the eno’s.

This is what the drive form Rwanda to Uganda looked like for 3 hours.

Customs crossing into Uganda.

 Our apartments (on Dr. Jeffery's property, who is the founder of KIHEFO Clinic)

Front yard

Lol. Am I right?

Alana learning how to do laundry from Patricia, our Uganda mama.

Home sweet home.

 Since we got here we have just explored the town, tried to turn our time around, and gotten to know the staff, doctors, nurses, the other student living with us (Alana- she is pre-PA and lives in San Francisco and we were all best friends in like 6 minutes). We took a 3-mile drive to Lake Bunyonyi (2nd deepest lake in Africa)- in a couple weeks we are going to camp on one of those islands for like $20. It’s incredible.
Lake Bunyonyi

 Today we had orientation with the coordinators, getting to know the clinic and status of healthcare, malnutrition, HIV, maternal and infant mortality, marriage and family systems, and the do’s and don’ts while we’re here. Like any new country, there is so much to learn and so much to get used to. It is very hard to truly get a good understanding of such a different culture in such a short amount of time, but we are staying open, humble, and teachable in this new setting. It looks like we are going to get a ton of hands on experience.
Orientation with Trina and Barnabas, the program coordinators

Touring the clinics we will be working in for the next month


Women here do the hard labor and bread winning, cooking, cleaning, and child raising. 

Anyway. I'm tired and that's enough for now. We love it here, we are safe, there is no Ebola, and we start in the clinic tomorrow! This is going to be an incredible learning experience, from delivering babies, to stitching up motorbike accidents, to treating malaria, typhoid, and parasites. We are so excited, and the people here are so welcoming and glad we are here! Stay tuned. More to come.

Love you guys,


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