Thursday all 3 of us along with Charles, Steven, and Kenny went to see the commissioning ceremony of one of the new wells that was put in place. There was a welcoming ceremony with dancing and an introduction. Eileen spoke on behalf of GlobeMed (with the help of a translator) and Charles spoke on behalf of Kitovu. There was a ceremonial ribbon (string with flowers) cutting to official open the new well to be used. There was supposed to be a lot more people in attendance, but we found out that a community member had died so there was a lot of people attending the funeral. We were presented with more gifts including an array of fruits and vegetables and sugar cane. We chewed (you don’t swallow it) the sugar cane and it was very sweet. That night we unfortunately got very sick which was not very enjoyable. We think we got sick while eating out the in village with an SHG group the previous day. We drank some pineapple juice which we later found out was diluted with water that may not have been boiled. We were given the next two days off from work as we recovered.
On Saturday Betty invited us over to show us how to prepare a Ugandan lunch. We picked up 2kgs of pork for 10,000shillings ($4). The pork here is pretty much a big slab of meat hanging from a hook which smaller portions are cut from. Betty lives in a rented, 1 bedroom apartment. There is a bedroom with a TV and a bed and then a small living room area. Outside there is a separate little kitchen area with a bathroom. She showed us her picture book with pictures from when she was younger. When we asked Betty how many siblings she had she told us the number from her mother, but when we asked how many total (from her father too) she told us that she had many brothers and sisters that she did not know. Betty cooked pork in a pot with some seasoning, tomatoes, cabbage, and rice. She also made juice from a tangerine-like fruit, passion fruit, and sugar. Betty was about to add her water into the juice to dilute it, but just recovering from a sickness possibly due to the same cause, Eileen was quick to recommend we add bottled water instead. The lunch was delicious and when we were done Betty walked us back into town and we went back to the hotel for the night.
Monday was Martyr’s day, so we didn’t have work, but instead Tammy (our friend who we met while here) invited us to go with her to see the orphanage she works with and help her hand out jerrycans in the village. When we arrived we were quickly swarmed by all of the children there who loved taking pictures and videos with us. I also managed to (slightly) successfully teach a group of kids the Macarena! After hanging out with the kids for some time, we went off to hand out the jerrycans Tammy had just bought to the people in the village. We also helped give a water sanitation talk and demonstrated how to clean the water filters. We also stumbled across a girl who was paralyzed from the waist down. She was walking normally a month prior, when all of a sudden she could no longer walk or use her legs. The disheartening thing was that the people thought it was witchcraft that caused this and that she should not see a doctor or go to the hospital because she might die there. They relied solely on prayer to help her recover. While prayer can never hurt, it is amazing to think how some people may still blame witchcraft as a reason for a medical issue and refuse medical help. We held hands and were lead in prayer for the girl, but we left after she was not healed. We then visited the water source for the village which was down an extremely steep hill about 20-25ft down from the main road. We were having a difficult time getting down the slope ourselves, so it is hard to imagine how someone would manage to climb up the hill with a filled jerrycan with them. After visiting the well we went on our way into town to eat a lunch and then took a boda ride to the hotel.
Also on Monday (in the morning) we moved from Maria Flo to a place called “Banda House” or something like that. It consists of about 6 huts and includes a swimming pool, Danish breakfast every morning and A DASCHUND!! The atmosphere is very different here as the people staying here are all white as opposed to Maria Flo where we were the only white guests. There was no drastic reason for our move, but this place seemed nicer and Maria Flo had a lot of noise at night making it hard to sleep. We felt slightly sad about leaving because all of the employees there were very nice to us.
That is all for now, more to come!