Sunday, January 2, 2011

Kabalagala = Pancake City

Well, we made it!

Despite nearly missing our flight from Detriot to Amsterdam (you know those annoying people who don't switch time zones when they land and the flight attendant ends up announcing their names over the loudspeaker and that their flight is ready to leave without them.... we were those people), we made it to Uganda intact, with all of our luggage, and found Charles and Henry to pick us up!

Though I likely won't get pics in this post as I'm at an internet cafe with 14 min left and slow as snails internet, I wish I could show pictures! We are staying at Charles' sister Candy's house, which is gorgeous and has plenty of room for all of us. Her daughter Olivia, a St. Thomas student, has been our saving grace by guiding us around, translating, and making sure we don't get ripped off!

As a brief run-down of what we have done thus far, our activities have included:
- fresh tilapia from Lake Victoria, cooked right there, consumed over a working luch overlooking the lake
- tour of Hope Medical Clinics- Kasubi location
- New Year's Eve fireworks overlooking the lake
- Family clan gathering - they use an amazing extended family system here, which I'll try to describe later, but it was a fascinating afternoon
- boda-boda ride - mini-motorcycle ride weaving in and out of traffic, used like a taxi
- dance clubs in Kampala - and yes, I stood out just a bit on the dance floor, but it was a blast!
- 3AM Chicken Tonight stop- Uganda's version of late-night McDonald's
- Mass in downtown Kampala- an amazing number of people in attendance, streaming onto the street it was so full
- Lunch at Cassia restaurant with the most amazing view of the city.

This week we will be at the clinic locations M-Th, interviewing staff and patients to start looking at recommendations we can make. It is amazing how many cultural implications there are on the operations of the clinic. Great that we are here to experience it and hopefully provide lots of assistance.

The amazing division between the wealthy and poor here has been so fascinating - there is no middle class- and has probably been my biggest learning thus far. Overall I have been overwhelmed by the hospitality and welcoming nature of everyone we have met - othe than the taxi drivers and clubs who try to make Sean and I pay more because they know we are suckers. Good thing we have Olivia and her brother John to set them straight!

Happy New Year and hopefully I'll post pictures soon!

1 comment:

  1. amazing story to read. keep up with this great work.

    P.S. it is 10 F in Minneapolis right now.