I’ll try to keep up with posting, as to not lose any subtleties. This is hard for me. I’m anxious yet practicing silence in equal proportions…
I arrived in Mbale, Uganda after a blur of long flights, layovers and a lack of sleep. In my delirium, I conveniently figured out a way to jump in front of an incredibly long customs line, somewhat accidental, and moved on through in an hour, got a visa and made my way out to find my ride 6 hours northeast of Entebbe. Dr. Sabiti the chief medical doctor picked me up. He covers the entire Masaba region which has 14 districts (villages). Dr Sabiti is employed by the government as well as Kissito health care international. Kissito, an NGO forms PPP’s (Public Private Partnerships) with rural clinics to better sustain them and provide actual health care. These partnerships are essential for providing even the basics, and I mean basic, health care for Ugandans. More on this later.
Dr is a riot. We drove 140 mph the entire way back, over bumpy dirt roads, making our way home. Goats and small children line the side of the roads, but that’s no reason to slow down. Finally, I found a place where they drive like me. Throughly entertained by the constant street pandemonium, I grabbed a coke and decided, what’s another 8 hours of no sleep. Driving seems to be the only fast activity around here I’ve noticed so far. Everything else moves very, very, very, very, s l o w.
Mbale has an equatorial climate. Picture deep red soil contrasting lush foliage. Banana tress splatter the rolling hills and mountains. It’s a Basquiat painting come to life.
My first few days I got to do quite a bit of traveling. Every trip takes several hours as the dirt roads are bumpy. Driving through villages the entire way, speed is an issue. In our house there are six of us currently. Dr Sabiti, Tyler, Keisha, Carlos, Carolina and me. We all have different assignments at different locations etc. A few of us ventured up to Wanale. Wanale is an hour up the mountain. Wanale is an isolated village with no health access. Carlos and Carolina are implementing a malnutrition feeding program into the area as well as everything involved in opening a new clinic. I will be working with them in Wanale, as well as with Dr. Sabiti in the Mbale clinic. More later:)
Next we visited Bududa, another remote village where the landslide just happened. We spent hours in town getting medical supplies and water to drive up to them. You can walk into any pharmacy and buy any drugs you want, providing you have the money. We meet Red Cross in town and coordinated efforts. Everyone works together and joins forces to meet the end goal. So far I’ve noticed all the NGO’S, missionaries and workers pull resources. Everyone genuinely wants to know who you are working with and how they can team up with your organization to distribute supplies to the community.
Note= Give me some time to figure out this blog thing and balance work with pleasure…patience my friends, patience