One week into this adventure and I have already learned so much! This week I had a blast getting to know the visiting team from Albany Med and my internship mentor, Dr. Kathy. There were lots of shared laughs and memorable moments. This weekend I have enjoyed spending time getting to know the Ugandan Engeye staff.
Saturday I landed at the airport in Entebbe. There was an incredible view of Lake Victoria, as we were landing it seemed as though we would land in the lake! Kathy and Milton picked me up at the airport and we drove to Kampala to spend the night at a friend’s house. Kampala is a huge, sprawling city that is bustling with life.
Sunday afternoon we drove from Kampala to Maska and then to Ddgeye village, home of the Engeye Health Clinic. Along the way we picked up Sylvia (who works at Engeye) and Maria. Maria is about five and at first I’m pretty sure she was afraid of me, but now we’ve become friends!
The week was full of many introductions, meeting the Engeye staff and the visiting team members. A strong sense of community, comradery and adventure was there from the beginning. Adjusting to life in a new place is always difficult at first, the combination of missing home and being immersed in a new normal can be tough. It’s a strange mix with those things pulling at my heart, and at the same time, experiencing the excitement of being on a grand adventure.
Starting a new chapter is always interesting. By now, I’ve adjusted to the latrine (camping style pit instead of a toilet) and the cold spicket that serves as a water source for bathing. Honestly, after a few days it really doesn’t phase you any more. I do like the food. It gets a little repetitive to have the same main dishes at every meal, but it’s not bad. Mama Jackie cooks meals most days, and I’m hoping to learn how to make some of the Ugandan traditional foods that we’ve been eating!
It’s hot and humid here most of the time. It also has been raining at some point or another every day. It is also incredibly beautiful. Vibrant greens, beautiful sunsets and incredibly spectacular stars at night. Life here is very much an indoor/outdoor experience. We eat outside and there is a standalone sink for washing up outside of the latrine that has an amazing view of the adjacent valley and hill.
The house I’m staying in has two rooms, one is an entry way/kitchen room with a few plastic lawn chairs and cooking utensils I will be becoming very familiar with. The second room is the bedroom with a bunk bed, a big shelf for storage and a tiled bathing area. I’m settling in and finding ways to make it feel more like home.
I’ll post more stories from
the week later on!