Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Internet is Back!

It's been too long since I've updated on this... the internet here is so spotty, and it has been a busy couple of weeks.
After spending a few days in Kampala, which was wonderful & busy, Regina, Emily and I moved into our little apartment in Bukasa, a small village about 40 minutes from Kampala. On the first night we arrived, we were greeted by dozens of little kids, all of which wanted to play with the brand new Mzungus in town. That night we got settled in, played some football (their kind, not ours) with the kids and went to bed early. The first week at work was awesome. Everyone was so welcoming and wanted us to feel as comfortable here as possible. We got adjusted the first day and met everyone who works at Kyetume, then I spent a few days at a domestic violence conference with Henry. I learned that 80% of women in Uganda are subjected to violence on a regular basis and 79% say that they think this violence is acceptable because it is so deeply rooted in the country's culture and history. Even though the statistics were pretty discouraging, it was very exciting to hear so many people speak out against domestic violence and commit themselves to a violence free life.
After a relaxing weekend, we came back to work yesterday, and Regina and I went on home visits to help with HIV counseling. It was probably my favorite day in Uganda thus far. The two patients we visited were in such high spirits and were so excited to have us visit them at their homes. One of the men said that he has to ride a bike about 3 hours to get to the clinic we work at to pick up his medicines every month. It's frustrating that there is no sort of system in place to help people access their medicines more easily, but every one seems to recognize the problem, so hopefully change will come soon.
I'm loving Uganda, but it is taking time to adjust to the lifestyle here. The pace of life is pretty slow and relaxed, which is a big change from how busy my life is at school and home. I've been trying to learn as much of the language as possible, and I'm making progress even though people still laugh at me on a regular basis. One of my favorite things about this place is the strong sense of community and family. Every one helps each other out, something that is not too prevalent in the United States.
Well, I have work to do now, but I will try to update again soon.
Until then, tunaalabagana!

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