Monday, June 21, 2010

Jagala Chapatti

After a couple weeks of horrible internet connections, I am finally able to post again! Last week after we got back from a weekend trip to Jinja, we had a great week at work. We re-did posters at the clinic, went to Hillside High for health club, and went on 2 full-day microfinance/OVC home visits with david.
Health club is always very interesting and eye opening. The club discusses a variety of topics, including cross-generational sex, abortion, poverty, and STD prevention. It's hard to participate in many of the discussions because the culture here is so different and the health concerns are very different. For example, in Uganda abortion is considered a sin against god, as one club member put it. When they asked for our opinion on the topic, we had to explain that in America abortion is a very controversial topic and talked about the different views that people have back home. While I love learning about the different views in Uganda, some of the teaching tactics are pretty frustrating. STDs and HIV are a fairly large problem here, so the fact that most schools only teach about abstinence and not safe sex is clearly not the most effective approach.
On Thursday, Regina and I went with David on more home visits. It was so interesting to see how Kyetume's microfinance program has helped so many people, families and businesses obtain the resources they need to get their businesses off the ground. We met several brick makers, a woman who tailors, and several families that mainly focus on farming. It's awesome to see how far small amounts of money can go for these people. For example, the woman who tailors used her grant money from Kyetume to buy her very own sewing machine and plans to use to machine to teach other women how to start their own tailoring businesses. The sewing machine itself is only about $125 USD but will help improve the lives of dozens of people.We're learning more and more Lugandan, so it's fun to try and hold basic conversations with people we meet.
After work on thursday, we headed to Fort Portal, a small town at the base of the Rwenzori mountains, for the weekend with several of the other interns. We watched the world cup (go USA!) and spent all day saturday biking, hiking and sight-seeing. Even though the bikes were pretty pathetic, it was an amazing day. The view that we saw from the top of a huge hill was breathtaking and may have been my favorite moment of my time in Uganda thus far.
This week we've got several school visits planned (yay!) and more health clubs, clinical work, and home visits. This weekend is our SAFARI, which I have been waiting for since the moment I saw Lion King as a 4 year old.

I have a post from last week that I wasn't able to upload, so I'll add that later.

1 comment:

Casey B said...

Julia et all,

I am a past AGRADU volunteer, and I want you all to know how proud you ladies are making those of us who came before you. Hearing about your experiences brings back so many amazing memories. And the work you are doing is so exciting! The safari will definitely be awesome, though my favorite part was definitely white water rafting down the Nile, as well as the Ugandan friends that I made there, some of whom I still keep in touch with. Have fun and do EVERYTHING that you can, because there is not an experience you want to miss out on in Uganda. Anyhow, know that we are proud and so excited for all of you! Keep up the great work!