Sunday, April 26, 2015

Ah, You are Lost...

As our Ugandan counterparts and friends like to say when they haven't heard from us in awhile.

Last time….

The plan was to have a feast on Easter with this lovely bird. As luck would have it for the bird, we ate lunch at Matt’s counterpart’s home with his family and had more than enough to fill us for the day. So the new plan was to have some yummy hot wings, something we haven’t had while being here. Well as luck would have it again for the bird, while Ashley was at a week-long training, Matt grew fond of the creature. 

Then this happened.

And this was built today...

And since Matt’s supervisor decided to keep his rooster for a little while longer, most likely because of Matt’s idea to start a poultry farm…we are hoping for some chicks soon.

So what else has been going on?

The week after Easter Ashley participated in a youth technical training part of an initiative of Peace Corps Uganda to encourage youth and adult partnerships. In a country where more than half the population is considered a youth, it’s a pretty good concept. Anyways, this training took place in Mbarra, if you look at a map Kibaale to Mbarra looks really close, maybe 5.5 to 6 hours (Google Maps estimates around that long). Ha! This is Uganda, there is no such thing as getting somewhere that fast. Ashley was expected to be there by 1pm for registration and orientation activities….key word “expected”.

Travel: The trip started with a 4:30 am pick-up from the only taxi that heads out towards the capital you can actually count on. By 4:45 the 2 youth that attended as part of Ashley’s team had been picked up from their homes and by 5 am we were on the road. 6:55 am arrived to the tarmac road and waited 1 ½ hours in the rain for connecting transport and stood up on bus for 20 minutes until seats were available. 11:30 am arrived in Fort Portal, met up with others traveling and got lunch. By 12:30ish we were waiting for our transport and headed back on the road again, got to see a elephant, some monkeys and buffalo while driving thru Queen Elizabeth National Park ,which the kids enjoyed a lot and arrived in Mbarra around 5:30 pm. The expected 1pm arrival time…not possible. 

The highlight of the trip was hearing the excitement in the kids’ voices as they pointed out the Rwenzori mountains, large tea plantations, lakes and the Kazinga Channel, all things they have learned about in school and from books but never seen in real life. 
It’s amazing to think of something like seeing a mountain or large body of water being a highlight of a trip until you stop to think, most of the kids we were travelling with had never left their village and if they had the furthest away had only been about a hour away to a nearby “large” town. 

We have also been helping to Stomp Out Malaria! in Uganda. During the month of April the focus is on creating more awareness about Malaria, which is the #1 killer of young children in Uganda. We have been doing a lot of projects towards this goal including setting up bed nets at the health center, teaching how to repair bed nets,  discussing malaria prevention to HIV patients, teaching the health education students while playing some fun Malaria themed games, going out into the community to discuss prevention and treatment and Matt even had a spot on a radio show to discuss the facts and myths about malaria and the importance of preventative measures and treatment. 

Some Malaria Activity Pictures

Matt Teaching Malaria Prevention and How to Repair Bed Bets to Health Ed Students 

Ashley playing Malaria Themed Freeze-Tag with Students. The thing taped on the shirt is a mosquito and there is doctor somewhere who un-freezes (treats) people who have been "stung" and now have malaria.

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