Friday, April 11, 2008

Walking to Work Along Railroad Tracks Near Our House

Eric, Hinda and Mercy Waiting to Eat Tilapia


Nansubuga's 16 Year Old Daughter with Coffee for Chewing that She Will Sell and Nansubuga's House, Shop, and Twins

Email 8 from Kampala, Uganda

Email 8
Kampala, Uganda
April 11, 2008

Dear All,

We can’t believe it; we have been in Kampala for two and a half months and will be leaving to come home 30 days from today.. Time is going by very quickly and we are as busy as ever.

Everyday we perform as troubleshooters, editors, teachers, consultants, friends, counselors, writers, and jacks of all trades. Peter has some special skills that are very useful one is being the KCCC official photographer and the other is being a drummer at morning prayers. He is really having lots of fun drumming and we all get into the beat of the African music to help start the day. It is a very good practice.

Because the staff here knows we like the music so much, last Tuesday evening some of them performed for us and we were able to record the session. We now have it on a CD and will be able to enjoy it after we get home. All of it is religious music but with the African beat and drums it is wonderful, and the singing is very beautiful. We hope to play it for you when we are back in the US.

For those of you who read our email 7, you know we had a very adventurous weekend and then on the following Monday, Hinda discovered she had malaria. She has a much better understanding of what malaria is all about now. Certainly it is easy to see why so many people die from it: a million a year (1 person every 30 seconds), and many of those are here in Africa. If it is not diagnosed quickly and medication prescribed, that is when people die. She was very sick for a week. Luckily, she was diagnosed quickly and the physicians here at the KCCC clinic are very good and knowledgeable about treatment options. The medication she was given was the latest and best available, although it is not approved in the USA, it really worked. Malaria takes all of your strength and requires you to just rest and drink lots of fruit juices. After a week and a half she finally tested negative for the malaria parasites and began to feel better. People here were very concerned about her and kept praying for her, making her fresh fruit juice and asking Peter how she was. It is nice to be in such a caring environment surrounded by people who have nothing but are willing to do anything you need whenever you need it.

Peter put together a slide show for KCCC and it is great: it has photos, narration and music, (he recorded the morning singing and drumming. People were so impressed that everyone wants to know how to make one, so now he is giving classes on making slide shows and putting them on DVD’s. We are bringing one home so any of you who are interested can certainly see it. And, if we can get a fast enough connection, we will put it on our You Tube Page before we leave here, or if not, when we get home.

Our friend, Adam, is still in the hospital. Every time we go to see him we need to bring him food and give him money. Everyone we speak with agrees that the government of Uganda should do more about the way healthcare is provided to the people of this country. The hospital is something out of the 1930’s and in order to get care you must pay for everything: you need an xray, ok, but you must pay 10,000 shillings to the person who takes the xray. Of course no one knows where the money goes - and right into his pocket is a very good possibility in view of the fact that the hospital and care is free. Turns out Adam has to be in the hospital for another 3 weeks so we will be helping to provide for him. He doesn’t have any money and no one to help him.

At every turn there are people who need help. There are too many to help them all so we just do what we can. A typical day will include at least one or two people who are in such trouble that it is hard to turn away. Like the elderly man who came to see the man who we share an office with: his 4 children had died of AIDS and related illnesses, his wife was in the hospital dying of AIDS, he has AIDS, he had not eaten for a week. Godfrey, the man who shares the office had no money and all he could give the old man was part of the Coke that Peter had just bought for him. Or, the women who works as a community volunteer here at KCCC whose 24 year old son was stabbed on his way home from watching a soccer match, and because he had to wait for over two hours to get treated at the hospital he bled to death. Or, the 14 year old boy who was finally found after being missing for a month. He had run away because his stepmother was very hard on him and he was afraid to be with her when his father was not home (she probably beat him) (his mother died of AIDS when he was very young). He had been living on the streets and looked and smelled very bad. KCCC will try to intervene with the parents and make sure he is safe.

Enough bad stuff, we are also having fun. Yesterday, some of our friends took us to a “pork joint”. It was great. We were six people, ate a huge amount of fresh grilled pork, laughed and talked. All for about $15. A few days ago we went to the beach with some friends and had fresh grilled tilapia. Cost was about the same as the pork. All of this food is served without utensils so they give you water and soap to wash with first, then you eat with your hands and then they give you more water and soap to wash with again. Hinda is having a hard time getting used to eating this way and keeps a good supply of Kleenex in her bag, but Peter is enjoying every minute.

So, enough for now. We will be going on a 7 day trip at the end of this month and we will write after we return. Then one more week, and we will be homeward bound.

For our Jewish family and friends, Chag Sameach !! – Happy Passover !!

Love and hugs,
Katende Peter ne Nabuuso Hinda, a Woman of Substance.