The Other Blogger

Hello. For those of you that don’t know me, I am Jon. I am the other DMU student on the trip to Uganda. For those of you that already know me, hello again! I, unlike Katie, am mainly working with adults during my brief glimpse of Africa. My first week was spent in the Emergency Room (or casualty as they call it). During my first day working, I realized that medicine here would be much different than medicine in the U.S.. Most of the physicians here are pretty sharp, however they are so limited by lack of resources that it makes ordinary problems become difficult to treat. As one of the ER physicians here said, what we learn in school is completely different that what we can do in the real world (or at least real world Africa), you have to become creative. I now refer to him as the cowboy because he is a bit wild with his approach to medicine.

Living at the University, in Edge House, is definitely liveable but it lacks many of the things that am used to at home. The main thing that I miss is a shower…currently I shower with a bucket. If I were in MN at home, I could probably go a day or two without showering… not here. By the time I finish my half hour walk to the hospital, I am covered in sweat. But then again… so is everyone else here, so at least I can fit in that way.

Speaking of fitting in… I don’t. Most of the international students get the phrase Mzungu thrown at them wherever we walk… which distinguishes us as outsiders. It is not meant to be a hurtful word but just a word for the people that are different. It is similar to Gringo in latin america but it encompasses more than just people from the states.

Well… I am off to eat some matoke (plantain mush), posho (maize flour mush), and rice/beans. Despite the enormous amount of carbs I consume, I am shedding the weight because of all the walking and sweating we do.

Keep us in your prayers,

Weeraba (bye)

Jon

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6 Responses to “The Other Blogger”

  1. Erin Caudill Says:

    Jon, so glad to hear from you! We are enjoying all you tell us so keep the information coming our way when you are able. I especially liked your description of what you are eating, thanks! Keep taking care of our Katie! And, yes, you are in our prayers all the time.

  2. Arlene Hiatt Says:

    Jon, it’s good to “meet” you and hear about your experiences. Despite the limitations of resources, I’m sure you are a blessing and encouragement to the doctors and people you are working with.

    My husband, Ken and I, have been on 3 mission trips to Kenya. Although we never had to shower using a bucket, our shower in the Tana River area (rural area north of Mombasa) was a single stream of cold water, which felt good after a hot, dusty day. Our meals in the Tana River area were very similar to what you are eating … lentils, cooked cabbage, veggie stew (potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage) served over either rice or ugali (maize flower).

    You and Katie continue in our prayers. I look forward to reading more about your experiences! Please tell Katie hello.

    Blessings,
    Arlene Hiatt
    Lincoln City Church

  3. Rebecca Says:

    Hey brother!
    Wow, sounds like you are having quite the experience. Keep publishing these blogs so we can keep updated. I am so proud of you and I tell everyone that I meet that my little bro is in Uganda practicing medicine. We will definitely keep you in our prayers. Oh, I just taught my first graduate level class in Milwaukee. It was great!
    Love you!!!!
    Your sis,
    Boo-bye

  4. david Says:

    jon!

    be safe! watch out for montezuma’s revenge!

    (rebecca already said the serious stuff)
    david.

  5. Robb Brooks Says:

    I feel for you Jon at having to eat plantains but at least when I was in Costarica we saw it in banana shape. I’d imagine plantain mush is something like asprin oatmeal. I’m quite curious as to how posho tastes just because maize is eaten as a staple in so many places though I would imagine that it is quite bland.

    You said that “most” of the foreigners get labeled as “Mzungu.” Why isn’t everyone?

  6. boringstoriesfromafrica Says:

    yeah… when i was in CR the banana shape was nice… mushy food just isn’t the same.
    Oh… and Mzungu is for most foreigners because people that are from India get a different name and I believe other asians as well…. so basically white people get called Mzungu.

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