22 February 2008


James is one of the little guys with Kwashiorkor at the Clinic.  He has been improving I think (swelling weight has gone down and weight has started going up again without the swelling accompanying the weight gain).  But each day when I see him, he sits on his bed and it looks like he's doing everything he can to blink...that it takes all the energy he has in his tiny little body to close his eyes and open them again...the blink of his eyes each time is noticeable, when any of the rest of us blink it goes pretty much unnoticed, but each of his is deliberate; this little one is hanging on for dear life in a way I have never seen before.

19 February 2008

Over the mountains and through the woods...

So this weekend was my first trip by ground "over the mountains."  The mountains referred to are the Rwenzori's and they're traversed by pretty much off roading for about 3 hours...I mean, you're driving on a "road" but the quality of the road pretty much is the equivalent of off roading in the States...we left early saturday morning and stopped at what is evidently a usual breakfast point for WHM travelers, we had bacon (cold of course), cinnamon rolls, coffee, tea, fruit...delicious...Pat's vehicle was making a really loud clanging noise but despite me hanging out the window and trying to see what was making such a racket, and Michael Masso switching cars to see if he could figure it out while driving it, and Pat and Michael climbing under the car (while it was parked) to see if they could see anything, we still had no idea what it was (but it was so loud we couldn't believe it wasn't obvious).  We didn't see any exciting wildlife on the trip but made it safely to Fort Portal, for which we all thanked God.

For me there were several memorable experiences throughout the 3 days we spent away....

1. I stayed in the cleanest, nicest, most quiet hostel I've ever stayed in anywhere in the world, all for a grand total of the equivalent of $3/night/person (7,000 Ugandan Shillings).  I slept like a baby (as usual).
2. In talking with the hostel owner and her two house guests with Pat for maybe 10 minutes, my "bubble" was totally burst...the bubble of "I've only been here in Africa for not even 3 weeks and am really enjoying it"...they were 3 older, embittered, seemingly burnt out missionaries who succeeded in totally depressing me in the matter of 10 minutes we spoke with them.  I told other teammates and Pat as I processed this experience outloud, that it totally depressed me but then also made me soooooooo very thankful for my World Harvest teammates, and Pat especially.  My whole team, everybody has their moments of course, but everyone seems to have a reasonably healthy perspective, I'm so thankful for that, and I think these folks helped me see it more clearly.  I'm having trouble putting words to it, but I was so discouraged and simultaneously encouraged it was really strange...another paradox I suppose.
3. In the stories that the Bart's and other teammates told of their 10 years here in Bundi, I was totally amazed...these folks have been through some crazy tough stuff and God has held them through it all, He has given them each other and the testimony they each gave to how God used the gifts/talents of the others at just the right times when they had come to the end of themselves was so encouraging.  And can I just say when I heard of two missionaries breastfeeding their own kids and deciding to take on a little Ugandan baby who had lost her mother and breastfeeding her too to keep her alive, AMAZING...these women are something else!
4. On the trip back (after a brilliant mechanic in Fort decided the clanging noise was a "bushing" on the shock absorber that was missing and causing something else to be loose and clanging around....I don't really know) we saw baboons sauntering across the road, and these other white and black furry monkeys with long tails that I can't remember the names of jumping incredible distances from tree to tree, and a whole flock of hornbill birds in a tree we drove under...just for me the girls in the car said :)  Sooo cool!  And Les, I found myself talking to them, just like you do "hey, look at you!"

15 February 2008

just a few things...

I'm going to Fort Portal for the weekend, most of which will be good bye festivities for the Bartkovich's, the couple that came here 10 years ago and started Christ School (secondary boarding school here), since then they've had 4 kids and are now going back to the States. The Pierces (David and Annelise) who have been here for the last year and a half or so I think are taking over the work of running Christ School, David will be headmaster replacing Kevin Bartkovich. There will also be shopping/resupplying done while we are there, as Fort Portal has more in terms of stores and a substantial town center than we have here in Nyahuka.

The peds ward has been crazy the last couple of days and I was shocked to find all of the kids still alive this morning (some looked really bad yesterday - worse than I've ever seen kids look...it was kind of like a mini ICU/ER actually, pretty scary, but praise God they're all still alive).

12 February 2008

New meaning to "public health nurse"

If only you all could have seen the scene at about 6:20pm or so this evening as I rode up to my house on my bike in the rain, soaking wet, wearing a dress with capris underneath (with a t shirt on top) and a rain jacket, sunburned face and arms, mud splattered all over my face, and the back of my black dress and my great timbuk2 bag and my rain jacket well splattered with mud kickback from my bike tires, my glasses covered in rain and mud...this is what public health nursing REALLY looks like in Africa!

I had gone with Stephanie (a long distance runner and Nutritionist) out to one of the extension nutrition sites in a village called Busunga; up and down some hills (pretty much you walk your bike up AND down the hills here...or at least I do), through a river where there used to be a bridge but there is no longer - I just need to give kudos to my chako's that performed beautifully through this whole adventure - when there used to be a bridge and is no longer, you just walk through the river with your bike to the other side to continue on the road on the other side (river wasn't deep enough this time to have to carry the bike across but we'll see about next time...).  We did weights, I sent a kid to the clinic for evaluation by Jennifer, so we'll see her tomorrow (a few months over 3 years old and only 7.5 kg!  and some developmental delay on top of it I think...was 8.5 kg over a year ago which means the kid has lost a kilo in a year instead of gaining a kilo!), and gave out food after the project volunteers and health center staff did teaching.  

Then, Stephanie asked if we could visit one of the moms that lives near the health center to ask her to show us how she prepares the food she gives her child (kind of a quality control measure and the opportunity for education), so Babika the nurse, gave us a woman who lived "near" and we were on our way with our bikes and Eusta for translation help.  We walked and walked and walked some more, Stephanie and I both said to each other "near is evidently a very relative term!", turned off the road and onto a footpath, past a couple of compounds and finally arrived at this woman's home.  It's right about now that my not having had enough water to drink that day caught up with me and I got a splitting headache (shhh, don't tell my mom!)...So we sat and watched her gather wood, build the fire, peel the matoke, add the soybeans and g-nut paste in, etc, then we needed to get going...so we were off on our bikes and then it started to rain - and now we're another mile or so past the health center, we have to get back to the health center and then continue on home....up and down the hills, through the river, etc...needless to say I was a mess when I got home...too bad no one was home to take a picture...sad state of affairs indeed, but I was proud of myself.  I held my own on my bike keeping up with Steph (how is it that I always find myself friends with extreme athletes?!  it's almost uncanny, and a lot intimidating!), and all in all it was a great trip!

Sitting around this woman's fire, with all of her sisters around and all of their kids and they just sit and stare at you, I looked down to see what time it was and one kid noticed I was looking at my watch, and then started staring at my watch like she was wondering what in the world it did...and some of the little 6-7 year old boys were kicking around a ball and they all had HUGE holes in the back of their shorts/pants so their hinies were hanging out, but they could care less, they were having a great time....funny thing is that from the front you could never tell their shorts were shabby in the least, not until they turned around and you saw their butt cheeks!  To see what these folks do with so little is simply incredible...it sounds so cliche, doesn't it?  I know, but it really is true.

Riding our bikes, kids just yell "muzungu!!!!!" (white person) as you ride by.  Their other line is "how ah YOU?"(each word emphatically enunciated)...Scott Will said the kids come out of the womb knowing how to say "how ah you?"

10 February 2008

a few more stories...

Nyahuka market experience: Saturday is market day and so I walked down with Pat and then I went on alone to do my shopping for veggies and flour and such. I really enjoyed it, except there's definitely a science to doing it right...I thought I was pretty much ahead of the game for buying the pineapple and cabbages first so that they went in the bottom of the basket I had to carry it all home in, so as not to crush tomatoes or avocado's if I had bought them first and they were at the bottom...well, so I get all of the things I had on my list and then wanted to go look at Kitenge's (fabric you can do lots of different things with but teammates use to wrap around their waists on top of pants since pants are not so modest here (long skirts only)...well, of course I couldn't make up my mind as the woman whose fabrics I was looking at said "hello my daughter, you like this one?" I explained to her that I was not very good at making decisions and that I would be back another Saturday. Well, by this time my basket was super heavy and digging into my shoulder...note to self: look for kitenge's and do other shopping/looking/decision making FIRST before buying cabbages and pineapples so as not to have to carry them around while doing the rest! Then I stop by Iddi's (evidently there are other Iddi's in Uganda other than the infamous Amin) to get flour and candy (he he he) and I saw coke! "And I'd like one coke please" I said..."Do you have a bottle?" the woman behind the counter said..."um, no, do I need to have a bottle to get a coke?" I asked, "yes" she said and smiled as the others in the shop chuckled..."Okay, thank you, webale" I said and left with my flour and candy, but very disappointed in being so close to my first Coke in Uganda and to have to walk away empty handed...So I walked home with my purchases and asked George, who works in Pat's house, "where do I get a bottle to buy a coke with?" after explaining my goof up in the market, he laughed also and graciously explained that we have some here at home (empty bottles you take with you to exchange with full ones). So, next market day I know what to do.

"I'm 28 and have no babies." - Naomi is a 13 year old girl who was friends with the woman that used to live here and left in December, so she has started to stop by my door and wants to be my friend. (When someone wants to be your "friend" here, it usually means they want you to give them things...ie. school fees, clothes, food, charge their cell phone, etc). Well, she speaks some English and so we chat for a little while every few days. Friday I think it was, she stopped by and after explaining to me that the large tree outside of our house was a mango tree, and after I tried asking her unsuccessfully when mango season was (she said it starts in April but I don't know how long it lasts, we couldn't really connect on that point), I asked her how old she was, and the other two kids with her, she asked me how old I was. I told her I was 28. She repeated it, and said incredulously, "but you have no babies?" "Yes" I said, "I am 28 and have no babies." She said, "my mother is also 28, and she has had 6 babies." I shrugged my shoulders and grinned. Wow, it struck me, her mother and I have had COMPLETELY different life experiences on sooooooo many levels...it's unbelieveable!

09 February 2008

More random pictures...

From the top...Pat painting her mural in the Peds ward at the Health Center, a woman of MANY talents (and my housemate :)!

M., a little 3 year old with AIDS, whose mom has died and his grandmother, who you see holding him is his caregiver and loves him dearly. He was admitted about 3 days before this with severe malaria, and not conscious, on death's doorstep. So, seeing him here with his eyes open is a huge answer to prayer, and the next day his was even fiesty with Jennifer when she was listening to his lungs and heart with her stethescope, and fiesty is good...when kids are well enough to be fiesty it's a good sign (especially when they've moved to that point from being unconscious).

Next are 3 of the nurses that we work with most often. Standing is Joy, and sitting is Yofes and Olupah. They speak english and are great to work with. Yofes has been the IV king, when the others have been unable to get venous access, veins blowing time after time, he comes and saves the day :) Olupah started the same week I did, she came from another health center a little ways away.

Then there's I., a little 7 year old (I think) with Kwashiorkor (and a piece of candy from Jennifer in her mouth!) who has started smiling and playing and talking since I've been here (when I saw her the first few times, she was just sitting and staring really). I like her a lot and was thrilled this week when I got a smile out of her!

The market in Bundibugyo Town last week when I went with Scott Myhre to the hospital there.

The hardware store in B Town, a shot I took in honor of my dad and my brother, I didn't go in but my guess is that the two of them could have spent hours in there talking to the shop keepers...I can just hear the conversation now...about screws and pipe fittings and lumber and such...

The scene at the Bundibugyo air strip upon my arrival almost 2 weeks ago...holy cow, time goes fast.

Then the scene from the inside of our little 10 seater MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) plane that took us from Entebbe to Bundibugyo. Laura is the pilot up front looking at the flight plans.

Then loading of our luggage from the Masso's vehicle into the plane. Laura, the pilot, was also the "ticket counter" person, the baggage person, the flight attendent in addition to being the pilot, literally a one woman show, amazing!

The air strip at Kijansi between Entebbe and Kampala.

08 February 2008

Pictures! My humble abode.

So, here is my home for the next 2 years. I really like it, it feels homey to me and I'm really thankful for that. I'm glad that the uploading of pictures has worked. Yesterday was Luke Myhre's 15th birthday so a bunch of folks went hiking today, but I'm a tad under the weather and evidently it was going to be a lengthy all day hike and I didn't think I wanted to be blowing my nose and sniffling the whole way, so as a result I'm here at home and the internet connection is faster because they're all gone and therefore not online :)

So, let's see. The top two pictures are my room, note the mosquito net tucked in around the mattress (even when I'm not in it so that little critters don't try to make my bed their home). And note the clothes pilled up on a chair in my room, going to Africa doesn't even change my habits of how I keep my room :)

The next picture is the illustrious latrine. You lift up the purplish thing and set it aside and then go in the hole it is currently covering. Note Pat's lovely tiling job on the floor (evidently a project she worked on and almost completed just a day or two before I arrived), I really like it, adds pizzaz to the experience :) Then is the picture of the latrine or "cho" from the outside, and then the view from my back door of the pathway up to the latrine in the background. You can't really tell but there's all kinds of flowers and flowering bushes and such along the way, so it really is quite nice.

Then you kind of have to switch modes and the next picture is actually the front door and the "mud room" where I keep my bike and shoes and so forth.

Then the last 3 pictures are all different parts of one big room which is the living room, dining room, kitchen and office, I like that it's all open. And you may not be able to tell, but this room has sky lights in it, so that there's natural light during the day so you don't have to use any lights. There are actually light switches and lights that opperate on the solar power battery system, I just use them sparingly.

All in all, it's a really nice house that has quickly become my home and I'm really thankful for it.

Sick Kiddos - 8East this one's for you :)

So, everyday I spend the morning at the Health Center, doing rounds with Scott Will and Jennifer, seeing all of the sick kids in the Pediatric Ward, deciding what treatment they need, dispensing medicine and doing short procedures like IV's and LP's (spinal taps for those of you not in the medical field).

Now, those of you reading from 8East, this is a whole different world here...all of the kids are in one room, there's no having to worry about who gets the private rooms and arguing with parents about what kids should/shouldn't be in rooms with what other kids, there's no calling/faxing down to the kitchen for special food requests between meals...there are no meals provided here, the mom/caregiver (often the mom's have died) has to bring food with her and prepare it or people bring them food, it sits out on their bedside tables between meals and overnight...there's no storing breastmilk in neat/tidy little bottles with a marked name/date/time on each - the mom's ALL breastfeed and there's no etiquette about how/where to do it or who happens to be around/looking, you just pull your shirt up/down and the kid latches on, grandmothers/aunts relactate to breastfeed their grandkids/nieces/nephews, there's no taking of vital signs even unless the kid is close to death...it's not like they have BP meds to give anyways if the kid is hyper/hypotensive (I haven't even seen a BP cuff acutally)...there's no thermometers, so a kid is noted to have fever if the mom says the kid feels hot, there's no isolation gowns, no NG tubes for even the worst of malnourished children, no IV beeps to chase all day/night, no CR monitors or pulse ox's going off constantly for every twitch/movement a kid makes, but that because there are no IV pumps or monitors of any kind...oh and the kicker, they inject meds directly into the IV fluid bottle (the bottles are plastic) and just leave the needle in the bottle so that they don't have to use another needle when the kid gets another med, just reattach the syringle to one of the three needles sticking out of the bottle and voila...I'll have to take a picture, I almost fell over...but really, for what they have/know they do a phenomenal job of keeping whoever they can alive, it's incredible...everyone and their mother is anemic, like Hgb = 3.0 and so forth, and then they're okay to go home if their Hgb is > 5 for a day or two post transfusion (they transfuse whole blood - not PRBC's, like it's nobody's business - evidently because of malnutrition and chronic malaria and lots of other immune system compromises everybody's just anemic at baseline...) When you send the kid to the lab to get a test done (the mom walks/carries them over) you most of the time have to send a pair of gloves with them for the lab person to use because they don't have any in the lab...and there's no fighting with the OR about times and who's next and were they NPO for long enough, etc...you're lucky if the person working in the OR is there that day, and you just send the person over to that building to wait until they come or until it's their turn to get the procedure they need done...oh geez, I wish you guys from 8East were here to laugh about how high strung we are in the States about stuff...there's kids getting treated for TB like in every other bed and well, if they're coughing, look the other way :)

But there's also the heart strings getting pulled...you know even at work at home, there are some kids who just pull on your heart strings from the moment you lay eyes on them, and it's different kids for different people...the kids I thought were just the cutest or the ones I felt the most empathetic for, Pam would totally disagree, and she had her favorites that I just couldn't get along with or whatever...today my heart strings got pulled. There was a little boy who is way below the growth curve...he's a 1 1/2 yo and his OFC was in the 50 percentile for a 4.5 mo...he's tiny (big belly but sticks for arms and legs and you can see his whole ribcage/spine in one glance). And his mom said he didn't cry for 4 days after he was born (obviously some kind of complications at birth, but that's all we know)...and he just looks neuro, you know what I mean? Not a syndrome-y face at all, just the cutest thing you've ever seen, but the way he moves his extremities is slow and kind of nonpurposeful, and he does sit up by himself but tripods when he does it, and I don't know, his mom is really young and pregnant again, and he just got me, hook line and sinker...one of those you just wanna pick up and never let go of...

06 February 2008

WHAT is going on???

Okay, so real quickly before my hour runs out, there is something SERIOUSLY awry out at MTI (the Colorado missionary training center where I spent 3 weeks in Nov./Dec.)...Satan is having a hay day and it's not cool AT ALL!  This past Sunday 6 MTI attendees (pre-field missionaries) I think were in a car going from MTI to hear Philip Yancey speak and the car was in an accident and 3 died, and 3 are in critical condition as last I heard today from WHM's executive director.  I think 2 of the 6 people in the car were WHM apprentices on their way to Spain for two years.  One of the 2 died, her name was Jessica Pety.  The other as far as I know is still alive (Lauda).  This is the very next SPLICE pre field training session following my group back in Nov/Dec and it was during my session that we had the drama of the Denver and Co Springs shootings, requiring the center to be in lock down, etc.

This is weighing really heavy on my heart and the heart of all of my teammates here and other WHM people (including my friends the DiGloria's who are the WHM folks that did MTI at the same time I did).   I was just there...Jessica's family, Lauda, the WHM Spain team, my friend Sarah here who went to Assessment and Orientation with Jessica and had kept in touch with her, the families of the other 2 people that died, the families of the 3 people who are hanging on to life, the MTI staff, all of the teams of all 6 people involved, the other MTI attendees...I mean the impact is never ending, this was prime territory for Satan to wreak havoc on the missionary community internationally....and he has succeeded, but ultimately our Father in Heaven wins, even when it doesn't seem that's possible...Father, I believe, please help my unbelief.  Please pray.

05 February 2008

little "friends"

Well, it's been a week now, and I need to stop and say a few words about...bugs.  I had my first real encounter with the C.U.S's last week when I went up to the cho at night with my flashlight.  A C.U.S for those of you who are wondering, is a Cockroach of Unusual Size.  I won't go into any detail here for those of you who are of weak constitutions when it comes to such things.  Let's just say I now understand one reason for the bucket in the bathing room which I go to the bathroom in at night instead of going up to the cho (most of the time).  Way more information than you wanted to know, I'm sure, but hey, I'm a nurse and this is just how we talk about life.  

My first *close* encounter with the C.U.S.'s was last night right here in my kitchen.  I had found a tub full of tupperware and was carrying it in to show Pat in the doorway between our apt's and was talking about how they must have been under the counter because...."aaaahhh....aaaahhhh.....aaaaaahhhh" I screamed a few times as several C.U.S's scrambled out of the tupperware I was holding, and promptly dropped the tupperware onto the ground and did a little jig in my sandals...you know the kind, the "aaahh, I can't believe that just happened" jig.  Okay so maybe I am a dancer, just of a different variety than most.  I was laughing, Pat was laughing...she said later "wow, that was a good laugh, thanks, I needed that!"  

This close encounter was at about 9pm after returning from the Myhre's where I'd eaten dinner.  I was putting away the dishes here in my own place so that I'd have room to dry the dirty ones in the sink I needed to wash, then of course couldn't bring myself to wash the C.U.S infested tupperware in cold water like I wash everything else, so I had to boil some water on the stove for that.  Then I went to turn on the oven to bake bread and guess what scurries out!?!?!  you guessed it...more C.U.S's.  I did a little more squealing and Pat came to my rescue (we had to light the pilot light after all, and I was all concerned from past experience with a dear baby sitter-friend-now supporter Miss Meg, that Pat was going to burn her face and hair by doing that after I'd had the oven on, but it was fine in the end because after all the pilot light wasn't on so the gas wasn't filling the oven like the incident in Pgh. a couple decades ago).  It turns out there was FOOD left in the oven from the person who'd lived here previously and had to leave earlier than expected due to Ebola (but really, I think there was time for getting the food out of the oven for goodness sakes!!).  So, the oven got lit, then bread got in the oven, the water boiled, the tupperware and sink full of dishes got washed...and before it was all done it had been an hour!!!  The saying around here is that living takes longer in Africa...evidently!

Then there's the cold showers...yikes...breath taking experiences each and every night before bed.  But by the time I get to washing my hair I'm pretty okay...it's like swimming, when you first jump in it sometimes takes your breath away because it's so cold, but after you swim around a minute or two you get used to it.  Now, if you've ever lived with me for longer than a day, you know that I love a LONG HOT shower, which I have not abandoned appreciation for by the way, I'm already looking forward to our couple of days in Fort Portal in a few weeks where I think they might have hot water?!  We'll see.

03 February 2008

P.resbyterian C.hurch in A.frica and Bike Riding

Well, what I'm calling the "PCA" (it's not really called that) here is just a little different from the PCA at home, but evidently still on the conservative and less charasmatic end of the church personality spectrum.  Today is Sunday, so there was church this am.  Some congregational and choir singing (the choir dances with each song too!), sermon (preached in english and translated into Lubwisi - the rest of the service is all in Lubwisi), offertory, what seemed like sharing time, prayer, scripture reading, announcements....a lot like Grace and Peace as far as parts of the service included, but still quite different.  The singing included some arm waving and sometimes some noises that you make when you put your hand over your mouth and take it away in quick repitition (while singing).  I had a group of girls sitting around me that pretty much spent the whole service touching and looking at me while talking amongst themselves (I wish I knew what they were saying...or maybe I don't...).  It struck me that this service was much like a congregational conversation...can't really explain that much more, but there you have it for what it's worth.  The funniest thing was that during the last song (what seemed like a doxology of sorts) the woman dressed in the snazziest outfit (what you think of when you think of African women dressing up for church) who seemed to be the choir director, just layed out on one of the benches and went to sleep or something...all the festivities wore her out I guess....I just had visions of Kathleen Thro just kinda passing out on the choir chairs up there during the communion songs...made me chuckle inside.  Oh and I should add that the begining of church this morning marks the time I've been closest to being pretty emotional since I got here - sitting amongst Ugandans and seeing and hearing their testimony to the Faithfulness of our God was something else...

Oh and by the way, bike riding here is for sure a skill I have yet to acquire...there are so many variables I'm not used to...dirt roads (the slip and slide factor), the rocks (oh so bumpy), the unevenness of the dirt, the sometimes foot wide footpaths you ride on (requires dexterity I don't yet really have), the motorcycles coming zooming around corners and up/down the hills, the talking to people along the way (which was super fun to hear as Pat rode ahead of me, people calling after her and the little conversations that ensued as we rode by with lots of "ehhhh"s thrown in...evidently it's kind of an endearing "okay" or "yeah" that they use a lot), the steep hills combined with the dirt proved to be potentially deadly for me, but I held my own for the most part (only one near wipeout).  It reminded me of a period of time in which my brother and I were big into bike riding as kids (Jeff was hard core into BMX bikes for a while) and my parents used to take us to North Park in Pgh. to the BMX bike course to ride on Sunday afternoons...fun times...but I'm looking forward to getting better at the bike riding here.  A thank you shout out to my dear brother (the bike guru of the family) who I put on the "get me a bike" task and he did very well (although I am kinda wishing the shocks had materialized successfully, but oh well, Ugandans don't have shocks on their bikes either!).

02 February 2008

Oh well.

I've been trying for about the last 25 minutes to upload pictures and it's just not happening, I'll ask somebody else if it's possible...

A second night of really good sleep to be thankful for.

Yesterday was a really beautiful drive over to Bundibugyo town to the Hospital with Scott. Scott did Ultrasounds for an hour or two which were super fun to watch, in the past I've never been able to see what everybody thinks they see on U/S but after several in a row I could finally identify some of what I was looking at. He found fraternal twins on one woman who couldn't figure out why she was so big (evidently this area has one of the highest incidences of twins in the world), and confirmed a healthy fetal heart rate on a woman who the midwives were having a hard time finding a heartbeat on. Then there was the mom with her son who had stuck a coffee bean up his nose 2 days ago...needless to say it's not really ultrasound material, so Scott sent them to the Operating Theatre to get it out. The Hospital was quite nice. Scott also showed me the graves of the 4 healthcare workers who died of Ebola (including Jonah's). It was really really sobering. One Dr. (Jonah), one clinical officer (like a PA or NP), one eye assistant, and the head nurse.

We stopped by the market in town and I got veggies and a pineapple, and then we stopped by the bank and I got some money out of the ATM (yep, an ATM! Evidently it's new within the last year).

Another highlight of the ride was a waft of roasting vanilla beans along the road. The smells here are going to take some getting used to (quite possibly I may never get used to them). So when we were driving along and i got a waft of this warm sweet smell, all of a sudden Scott stops the truck and says, "did you smell that?!" and backs up and shows me the bean pods drying in the sun, and I inhaled as deeply as I could while it lasted.

I'm making progress on the email inbox, am down to about 1500, so soon I'll be able to spend less time managing things online that I can do offline and make better use of the time we have online.

Today I believe is market day (I've heard it's pretty intense because it's soooo packed) and then it seems that people spend the rest of the day answering the knocks at their doors. I've been given a period of 6 months or so that I'm not allowed to give any money out, which I'm really thankful for because it's a boundary that will allow me to get to know people first and the lay of the land and so forth. Evidently everything here is so relational (above and beyond most any other value) that it's very appropriate to have a boundary like this.

I can tell that I'm in a honeymoon period right now in regards to being here. I can tell that there are going to be really hard things and times, I just don't know when my countenance/attitude will change.

Let's see, let me close with another word I'm learning...It will be really helpful for me to learn as much Lubwisi as I can because (compared to the girls who are teaching the missionary kids) I'll have a significant amount of interaction with Ugandans, but I'm pretty slow, so we'll see how it goes. It's fun though. "webale" (way-ba-lay) = thank you.