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RN volunteer trip to Uganda


UGANDA | Thursday, 6 October 2016 | Views [204]



Today began as day four without coffee; I do not know my arse from my elbow at this point. The cow outside our dorm still sounds like a man dying.


We decided to go in to the city in Jinja so that Leah and I could get some Internet to contact family. One of the women, Josephine, who works at the orphanage, was our guide. She began by walking us down the street to pick up a taxi to take us to town. This taxi consisted of two bodaboda’s (crappy motorcycles) that had two passengers on each. Since the roads are red dirt with potholes and mud this was more like a motocross ride in to town. At one point we had to dismount the bikes so that we could walk across a bridge over the Nile River. This site was mixed with absolute beauty and watching men down on the shore with their bodabodas in the water rinsing them off. We got back on the bikes and made it safely in to town (calm down mom).


Once in town we were bombarded with sensory overload as sites and sounds and constant movement surrounded us. The city is made up of open-air vendors on the sidewalk trying to barter their goods and take advantage of us naïve muzungo’s. Thankfully we had Josephine with us to instruct us about what was a muzungo price and what was a local price. Josephine took us to a restaurant before allowing us to try our hands at bartering. This is the best part of my day! The restaurant had coffee! I was like a kid on Christmas! Felt like the best lunch I had ever had! (It’s definitely the little things in life that makes it so worthwhile). After this we were let lose to try and shop. There is a large amount of oil paintings being sold, trinkets, traditional garb and more modern clothing. We made our way to a market to pick up some fruits and vegetables. This was a large warehouse that was filled to the brim with hundreds of vendors trying to get you to buy their food. I am doing my best to play coy and take the prices down as low as I can get, with Morgan and Leah both assisting. We go to try and argue over the price of a pineapple when Morgan blurts out “I actually know nothing about pineapples!” This of course resulted in the seller keeping to her high price and not budging. It was comedic. We made it out of that madhouse and took another taxi home (This time it was a car mom, calm down). The public cab had 4 rows of seat each containing four people, it was packed, hot and smelly and of course started to downpour so that we had to shut the windows. At our stop we quickly ran out of the cab and under an overhang in the village and sat there watching the rain waiting for it to ease up so we could dash back to the center.


When we arrive at home we are greeted by the children running up to us and throwing their bodies at us seeking hugs and attention, the toddlers reaching up begging to be held. We say, “Hello, how are you?” and the children respond with smiles on their faces and in a sing-song voice reply, “I am fine, how are you?”


We then had dinner with Papa Isaac, who is the director of the center. He is a man who loves to laugh and was making fun of the three of us because we are “strong like men”, in his eyes. When he found out I drink coffee he states “only men here drink coffee… SHE IS A MAN!” and began laughing uncontrollably, his joy and laughter is infectious and you can’t help but laugh along. After dinner we went to spend time with the children.


We have noticed tonight that many of the children’s shoes are falling apart. One boy asked us if we had glue to fix his shoe. Our plan is to go into town again and buy as many shoes as we can to pass out to the children whose shoes are falling apart. It breaks our hearts that we cannot buy shoes for all of the children.


I am writing this to the night sounds of crickets, people socializing on the street and the masque blaring music through its intercom. It’s like a never-ending frat party outside our dorm. I’m going to do my laundry now, which is done by filling a bucket with soap and collected rain water and scrubbing your clothing, then hanging them to dry outside. You have to do this every night so as to keep up with the dirty clothing. The washer and dryer sounds like a luxury I will be sorely missing.


May you laugh today and everyday!


Gypsy RN

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