On Thursday afternoon I left the office and headed to the Iron Donkey so I could use the Internet. When I walked in, this little guy greeted me.
His name is Fred and he was rescued by a Mzungu couple living in Gulu. They were keeping him for a few days until the UWA (Ugandan Wildlife Authority) could come and take him back to the wild. Surprisingly, this was not their first monkey and they treated him just like a dog. They said he slept in the bed with them (not weird at all) and always came back when he was called.
On Thursday night Rhoda and I went to an aerobics class taught by our Ugandan friend Robina, who is honestly one of the most unique people I have ever met. She studied in Cuba for 5 years and then returned to Gulu where she has been working ever since. She is extremely athletic and has played on multiple Ugandan athletic teams. With that being said, Rhoda and I were a little skeptical about what we were getting ourselves into but nonetheless we went anyway. When we walked in we were directed to a patch of grass, next to a chicken coup. We were then joined by 5 middle aged, overweight Ugandan women who told us that Robina’s class was the hardest thing they’ve ever done. The next hour or so was honestly the most entertaining, comical and laugh worthy hour of my life. To say this was an aerobics class is a big stretch. It was more like adult Gymboree. Everyone was flailing they’re limbs all over the place and 2 of the women rolled over proclaiming they were going to die when she asked us to do 8 sit ups. Best $1.25 I ever spent.
On Thursday night a group of us headed to BJ’s for the weekly pub quiz. Unfortunately, I have no comical questions to report. To be honest, the questions this week were actually really difficult and our team struggled a bit. We ended up placing 4th but most of us ended up leaving before the results were announced since we had to get up early for work.
On Friday I went to the office to work with the nurses on their computer skills. Before my time in Uganda I most definitely took my technology and computer training for granted, not realizing that not everyone has grown up typing on a laptop since age 15. My goal is for them to be typing with more than one finger by the time I leave, but that’s definitely up in the air. They have however, mastered excel and are able to create weekly reports for Twalib which I am really happy about.
On Friday my medical school application was officially verified, which meant I received multiple emails to complete secondary applications minutes later. Unfortunately, I spent all of Friday night and all of Saturday working on applicant bios and essays. The good news is I was able to submit a few, however I still have a long way to go. I am leaving for Kampala on Saturday so I am hoping to to finish a few more by the time I leave.
On Saturday afternoon I took a break from essay writing to play volleyball with a group of people I met at the Iron Donkey earlier in the day. I found myself channeling my soccer goalie days which meant I spent a lot of time diving for the ball. Minus the bruises on my arm and the bloody knee cap, I would say it was a success. I honestly had an amazing time and it was a great way to meet some new volunteers. Luckily most of them will be staying until December so I am glad that I am beginning to make new friends. They are planning on playing every Wednesday night so I am hoping that I can leave work in time to be able to make it.
On Sunday morning I headed to a local hotel to attend the Northern Ugandan Village Health Outreach Project (NUV HOP) Conference which was put on by my friend Job, a medical student at Gulu university. This outreach will be occurring this week and is being led by a team of Belgian and Ugandan medical students. Although I will not be taking part in their outreach, Job asked me if I would attend and I simply couldn’t say no. Even though some of the information was specific to their project, I felt like a lot of the information carries over to my projects as well, including lectures on cultural sensitivity. Overall it was an informative day and well lets face it, it was better than writing essays.
Tomorrow I will be heading to the hospital bright and early to help the nurses prepare for the week. Hope everyone had a great weekend!