Saturday, January 26, 2019

Home Sweet Home

From Our Cottage

Front Yard and Lake Victoria

Happy Kids at St. Francis

Being Measured for Malnutrition

Waiting at Health Centrr

Ugly Bird Next Door

Blog 1 Jinja, Uganda

Hello to all far and near!

January 27, 2019

Jinja, Uganda

Here we are sitting on our lovely patio on the shores of Lake Victoria in Jinja Uganda.

We left Seattle on January 17th for a 3 month volunteer assignment with friends we made in 2004 at Reach Out in Kampala Uganda.  We will work with Dr. Margarethe at Rays of Hope Hospice Jinja and with Joseph Natale at St. Francis Medical Center.  We are exited to be volunteering again and anxious to start work.

It took us a long time to get here, leaving on the 17th and not arriving until the night of the 19th.  We stopped over night in Nairobi and delivered the suitcase to Sunday which we had brought for her when we attended her graduation in October but it never made it.  We found it at our front door when we got home from that trip so we tried and the second time it worked. It was a long trip but now 5 days later we are over the jet lag and have worked a couple of days.

Jinja is a lovely town on the shores of Lake Victoria and at the mount of the Nile. Jinja has only one Main  Street.  Guess the name?  Main Street  hahahaha. 

 We are living in a small secure compound in a lovely little cottage, with an unobstructed view of the lake and best of all the breezes from the lake. We also have a view of the many fish farms on the lake owned by the Chinese and necessary because the lake has been polluted and most of the fish have died. It is pretty warm here, in the high 80’s bright sun and not much rain.  Everything is blooming so the view is great. The town is small but has all we need, there are places to shop and eat. There is a beautiful new bridge as you enter the town designed by the Japanese and built by the Chinese.  It seems like everything new is being built by the Chinese here in Africa.  The Africans have no money and the Chinese are happy to lend and build so they will own most of Africa in the future.

We have rented a car get around since Jinja does not have any taxis or buses.  The only way to get around is in your own car or on the back of a small motorcycle, and although Peter would be happy to do that, I am not.  Peter is a great driver but most of the other people on the roads are either inexperienced or don’t pay attention to rules of the road.  So Hinda has clenched fists and teeth most of the time.

We have hired a cleaning person who comes twice a week, cleans and does all the laundry by hand and costs about $10 for the week.  We wish we could bring her home.

On Friday we drove to Kampala to attend the 15th anniversary of the beginning to deliver ARV’s to people at Reach Out.  It was a wonderful celebration made even more special because we had been there 15 years ago and witnessed the beginning of being able to help people with HIV/Aids become healthy and live long lives.   People who remembered us kept running over saying “Peter and Hinda, we have missed you”. Lots of hugs and tears for them and for us.  There were many recovered patients who we had met 15 years ago, who now have children, grandchildren and are living productive lives.  Although it was a great event and we were so happy to be there the trip back to Jinja was awful, traffic is a lot worse that Seattle traffic and it took hours.

On Saturday’s there is a farmers market, this particular market is mostly for expats and there are things you can’t get in the main markets.  Today we went and guess what, we found bagels! We bought them and they are really good.

We’ll soon have more to talk about after we have more experiences in the field to talk about.  We will be going to remote places to work with the teams who are providing palliative care to people with cancer and HIV Aids – the poorest of the poor.

Uganda is much less developed in nearly every way as compared to Kenya.  We’ll talk about the political situation some other time, but it is not good.

Anyway, so log for now.

Love Peter and Hinda

Ps  I still have my Lugandan name:  Katende and because he is an elder with a Lugandan name some people actually have bowed down to shake his hand as is done in the Bugandan culture. No wonder likes Africa (Hahaha)