Disclaimer: The views expressed on this website are entirely my own and do not reflect any position of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps.
Well, God was probably laughing yesterday evening as I was trying to figure out how to stop the water from rushing out of my broken kitchen faucet. Be careful what you wish for! They don’t have an easy place to turn off the water to the house like we do in the States. I was trying to figure out how to climb the ladder to my water tank while preventing the water in my kitchen from spraying all over. I was able to get a couple of people here from the school who turned off my water. The living room and kitchen were flooded so I used that water to clean my floor – LOL. I find it is important to make a bad situation positive or I would be home by now. Another 50,000 shillings later, I will have all new plumbing to my sink today. Hopefully this will take care of my kitchen plumbing for 18 more months (of course, nothing is guaranteed – the faucet was only 4 months old!)
Had a friend visiting from the States. We were able to visit the palace and see the throne room. Did not get to see the king, but he resides there. Omukama means King in Runyoro. The king is Omukama Solomon Iguru Gafabusa and he is King of Bunyoro (this area) and the Banyoro (people of this area). Musevini is the President of Uganda but they have kings of all the old kingdoms. When the king is in, they pound a drum and the people of Hoima can come to see him. They may ask for blessings, tell him their complaints and problems, or simply share their lives. The throne room was very cool with spears, animal skins, and drums. When the king enters the throne room, he jumps over an ivory tusk which symbolizes riches. When he takes the throne they pound the drums 9 times and the chair (throne) has 9 legs. The number 9 seems to symbolize generosity and unity. The spears represent the different eras of metal (bronze, steel, iron) and there were bows and arrows in beaded quivers. The crowns are made from beads and a type of thin arrow and the design represents fertility.
Next we went on safari. I’ve included some pictures of Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth. They tell it all.
I spent the afternoon today with the orphans and a couple of the albinos. If you remember they have 31 orphans and 11 albinos (one died from cancer) in their program. We were handing out school composition books (they need one for each class and some of them take 9-12 classes), pencils, and pens which were donated to the organization. I gave them a bottle of sunscreen which was given to one of the albinos and 3 others donated clothes. A friend also donated 2 crates of soda which is a luxury to the children.
Well, I’ve been back at the hospital for a couple of weeks now and the new scheduling is going well. I can already see benefits in the ways that they are beginning to use critical thinking and positive recall of skills taught.
I have spent the week in Surgery and we have seen similar conditions that we see in the States, but many are much worse because the patient waits too long to seek treatment. One boy had a granuloma of his thumb which turned into cancer; now his hand is the size of a small football. One man was in an accident and did not get treatment; he now has an infected gaping wound about four inches across and down to muscle. Another wound with maggots. We have at least 4 persons with burns. It is actually very hard work and very sad. Probably my biggest concern is infection in this unit. I am trying to impress better sterile technique in the students.
I am meeting with the Orphan group on Saturday to see if we can write for a small grant to help them get HIV testing for all the orphans and albinos. I struggle with this group because they have such big hearts but such small resources. It is hard to figure out how to help them make their organization sustainable. I have suggested that they start a savings plan and put aside an agreed amount every week to work for land purchase. Then when they can demonstrate to larger organizations what they are working to achieve, perhaps they will receive a grant for the balance of the land or for the building. Today I spoke with a man who has about 200 orphans in his program in Kampala. His first year was hard too but now they have sponsors for many of his children. However, even that doesn’t always work and they have to go back to the caregivers and request for money. Please help us pray for insights, suggestions, and resources.
I wonder…. is it a sign that if a stork lands in a tree inside the hospital grounds that a baby will be born? If so, then we will have 3 births today – we did!!