Mar 19

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Not so many days left of our ‘boring stories’. You’re welcome. We leave Saturday for Kenya and likely won’t use the internet while we’re there. We’re told most of the animals don’t find the internet useful, so they haven’t set up internet cafes on the Masai Mara. We’ll tell you stories when we return though. :) Our safari is Monday to Thursday and hopefully we’ll see all the safari animals! A couple residents who are currently working at Mulago, went on a similar safari to what we’re going on and they saw lots of lions, a couple cheetas, and of course elephants, giraffes, and zebras. This news made us even more excited than we already were! Apart from the safari, a student here said there is an Animal Orphanage somewhere near Nairobi that’s really neat so we may try to see that and I’ve communicated by text with Jon Stern and will call him shortly to hopefully set up a time we can visit King’s Kids.

Apart from our trip to Nairobi, we are looking forward to finding out where we’ve matched for residency in just a few short hours! After we find out where we’ll be, we’re planning on going to a club called ‘Bubbles’ where they’re having a ‘quiz night’. It’s some sort of trivia game and we’ve been told it’s pretty fun. Guess we’ll soon find out!

And now news from Mulago. Yesterday, Jon and I went back to the skin clinic in hopes of learning more about leprosy. There is a leprosy clinic every Wednesday and we had tried to visit it a few weeks ago, but unfortunately the doctor never showed up. This week, however, two doctors were available and only one patient came to be seen! The patient may or may not have leprosy and the doctor advised him to come back in a few weeks to determine whether or not there has been any progression and for reevaluation. :( He did give us a nice lecture on leprosy, but unfortunately there weren’t any patients to illustrate the disease (don’t think we want people to have leprosy, but if they are going to have it, which they are, then we want to have the opportunity to see it!).

After the clinic, we went to the US Embassy to see about a multi-entry visa so we wouldn’t have to pay the entire $50 USD to get back into Uganda from Kenya. This trip was both a waste of time and a huge disappointment. We weren’t disappointed that we couldn’t get this multi-entry visa, so much as we were that the embassy was so disorganized! No one there could understand us, the hours you can actually get in are very few during the day, and if we actually needed the embassy for any reason, we have no idea how we’d actually get any help from them! The building itself seemed nice in as much of it as we saw, but what we saw only amounted to the security and a waiting room.

We next went to get our Uganda shillings changed back into US dollars so we could pay for our visas into Kenya and back to Uganda and got ourselves some Kenyan shillings as well.

Last night the power went out (has been happening more and more frequently the last couple weeks), so we couldn’t make ourselves anything to eat. We went to one of our favorite places, ‘I Feel Like Chicken Tonight’ and ordered an egg roll and samosa each. Once our order was ready, I picked up the bag and thought it sure was heavy for such small things. We thought maybe the egg rolls were giant ones…but it turns out they were a bit different from what we know as egg rolls. They were hard boiled eggs surrounded by mashed potatoes and then fried! Quite tasty even if it doesn’t sound like it. :)

Today we went back to the infectious disease ward and saw many similar patients to what we saw earlier in the week. There is one young man who is particularly sick and somehow got overlooked the last day and a half. He presented to the hospital at 10:45 pm on Tuesday night and was still able to talk until last night. Until this morning he had received no treatment and was semi-conscious and unable to respond except to pain. We did get some things done in a timely manner, but it is likely too late for him. I really still have a hard time understanding and accepting the lack of urgency.

A few of us students did have an interesting discussion last night concerning what we’ve seen here. We were talking about how there is so much need, but none of us knows where to even begin. There are so many different ways to approach the problems and so many barriers. So much of what we see that is frustrating is completely engrained in society and we wonder how much of it we, as outsiders, can or should change. Obviously we look at what is different and think the way we do it is better, but is it always? I know the country needs God, of that there is no argument. But what about the poverty and the health care? It seems to me, if people knew things could be different, they would want it to be that way, but why when so much foreign aid is invested do things not start to take off and improve? Or maybe things have dramatically improved and we just weren’t here to see the way things used to be? How right is it of us to push our ideals concerning the way organizations should be run, on other cultures? I often come back, in my own mind, to education being one of the most important tools, but I’m not sure how to do it. I’ve gotten a lot of food for thought, and just keep hoping and praying what I see and what I learn here will be put to good use in the future. It’s definitely nice having other students here to help digest the information with and it’s great to get different perspectives both on what their ideas are for solutions and what they’ve seen in the hospital.

Thanks for all of your continued prayers and comments. I think I can speak for both of us when I say we’ll be happy to be home and excited to see everyone again!

Katie

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3 Responses to “Mar 19”

  1. Erin Says:

    Katie, way to go, Omaha here you come! We will have endless conversations when you get home, no keeping me up past my bedtime, okay?
    Love,
    Mom

  2. Susan from Nebraska Says:

    There is an elephant nursery and a giraffe park that you can go see too. Jon knows all about those things. And if you are interested in going to church and are there for a Sunday they go to a really exciting one. I am glad you are at the end of your stay – two months is a long time to be away. By the way, I had Malaria and Falaria (a worm that some fly gets into your bloodstream and makes your muscles swell). I still can’t give blood because of my exposure to all those things. Maybe you could test my blood and see some really strange things!!! Also, I am sure you can use Jon’s internet while you are there to let us know how things are going! You need to print all these blogs off and put them into a book to keep for your memoirs!!! Maybe read them to your kids one day. Just heard you will be in Omaha for your next three years – Yeah!!!! Soon you soon. Hope I get to meet Jon one day!!!

  3. Arlene Hiatt Says:

    Hi, Katie, Sorry I am reading this so late (22nd) but wish you well on getting Omaha for the next 3 years! Also, you and Jon will love Jon Stern and family, Kings Kids Village, and Nairobi Lighthouse Church. Hope you will see the elephant orphanage… it’s fun and interesting. We have not been to the giraffe park.

    What you have been seeing and experiencing, even though overwhelming, definately gives food for thought. God has you there for a reason. You pose good questions in your blog. One thing for sure, people want to be involved in decisions made for concerning their lives and for their country. I remember Sharon Higgins sharing about a village in Kenya where an American church raised funds and built them a building to be used for a school. However, they didn’t use it but continued to meet under a tree. When asked why they did not use the new building they said, no one asked us if we wanted a new building or where we wanted it built. That has stuck with me… the need to include the people in the decisionmaking process.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. Enjoy the time in Nairobi.

    You continue in my prayers.
    Arlene

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