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.
Hoima celebrated 50 years of Uganda Independence on Oct 30th (the actual Independence Day is Oct. 9th). The parade consisted of multiple groups from the police and security forces to hospital staff to women’s groups to school.
After that I went into town for some shopping. On the way home I experienced my first real Uganda storm drenching. Ummm, we have definitely started the rainy season. I have written a poem to describe it.
Darkening to black
Sprinkles at first
Patterns in the dirt
The wind comes
I duck under a tree
Large leafy branches
Provide no shelter
Water swirls around me
80 yards home
Go for it!
Whips the hat from my head
Shopping bags hold
Pools of water
Like a second skin
Running from my purse
Kaleidoscope on my pants
Rivers of mud
Suck at my sandals
Refreshing, cleansing rain
Can I skip my shower tonight?
The nursing school had a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new skills lab. The lab has space for 10 beds, with running water, and 2 latrines. You can see by the pictures that we got our curtains of which they were very proud. We borrowed beds from the hospital to show off the space. Apparently by demonstrating to the Ministry of Education that your school is self-sufficient, well supplied, and doing everything it can to improve on itself, the school can receive additional help from the government. The Ministry has promised money to add an additional 30 computers to the school and to help supply lab equipment. In addition they are looking at funding for addition items such as classroom and living space. More trivia about the school: 1) Received accreditation August 19, 2011; 2) It is the 5th nursing school of this level in all of Uganda; 3) It has 3 full time staff – Principal, assistant principal, and head tutor and 15 adjunct faculty for 372 students; 4) This month 38 students will be graduating and 150 more starting; 5) They have 50 acres of farm land outside of the city and a small garden in the school which they harvest for the school and the market; 6) 60% of the new class of students will be funded by grants and 40% private. They had a nice celebration consisting of speeches and dancing from various regions around Uganda (see video).
Some of the projects I hope to accomplish while I am here:
- Obtain a grant to build a rain-water harvesting supply tank for the school. To them water is their first priority.
- Work with students to educate at primary schools for Maleria prevention, handwashing, water sanitation. I hope to start this in Jan/Feb.
- Look into obtaining hand sanitizers for the students when the hospital is out of water. They will need good education on how, why, and when to use them.
- BasingStok (NGO out of England) is giving me a glow light with the lotion as a teaching aid for handwashing. Principal is excited to have us use this to support good handwashing in the nursing students, school children, and for community education.
Another thing I want to check out is an orphanage for albino children. I met the director coming out of the hospital. He was asking me for suntan lotion for the children. More on that in the future….