on Mangos, Monkeys and Maggie (Uganda), 21/Jul/2009 18:40, 34 days ago
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BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5360986606778893618" /RHINO SANCTUARYIt seems like no time since the last entry but it is already two hectic weeks. The first week end we travelled to Kampala to meet other volunteers and renew old acquaintances. This was my first time to travel by bus to the city. We left at 2.00 and were at the hotel by 6.30. The bus journey was fine and it was great to find so many of my patients traveling on the same bus. Lots of people greeting“the doctor” made me realise how many people I must have seen in the last 21 months. It is one of the things I will miss the greetings, hand shakes and warm wishes from every one. People regularly greet you by saying “well done” even before you have done any thing. It is particularly welcomeas most of the time you are unable to do any thing useful but people are just grateful for attention.Kampala is a different experience from living in Masindi. Parts of the city are full of muzungos, mainly working for NGOs or out here to save Uganda. There are so many missionaries mainly from the USA that you wonder what they are achieving. They are all building churches or orphanages but many seem very naive about the real problems here.. You would think with all the good will that things would change but it is hard to see progress. Sitting in restaurants or coffee shops you hear people discussing HIV, empowerment, sustainability, income generation etc. It is almost as though we volunteers are the new colonialists and instead of slaves, ivory or diamonds it is orphans, poverty and HIV that we trade in. There are so many people making a career out of all this may hem that you sometimes wonder if we are perpetuating the situation for our own ends.But at least you can get a nice meal and a good capuccino in Kampala.One of the things I was able to do was visit Hadija a little girl we had sent to the Hope ward at IHK. It was so nice to go on a clean ward and find caring nurses who knew the patients. She had been properly clerked and was being investigated. We still do not know what is wrong with here but at least she has a chance of being sorted out.The trip back by bus was more of a problem. When we arrived at the bus park one of the touts from another bus company recognised me, an old patient and tried to get us on his bus. We made the Link bus and joined it. We had been told to be there by 1.00 but the bus finally left at 3.30. We had two and a half hours of entertainment watching all the people arriving and departing and all the vendors trying to sell a huge variety of goods on the buses. It certainly is an experience but some experiences you do not need to repeat!Last week I had an opportunity to visit Kigumba a small town north of Masindi. Hugh who works for the Salvation Army runs a project in the town. The project supports vulnerable children some of whom sleep rough others who head up households. The project provides meals three times a week and Hugh wanted the kids checked over to make sure they were ok. Pam, Maggie and I went and examined 42 kids. It was a good day and good to find they were all quite healthy in spite of there problems.New visitors gives us an excuse to do tourist things again. Reg and family have arrived so the rhino sanctuary was first trip. One of the rhinos has had a calf but unfortunately it was not on view. Next week end we are returning to Nile Safari our favourite chill out hotel.KIGUMBA SOME OF THE CHILDREN OF THE KIGUMBA PROJECT.ADMISSIONFraud and corruption are common place in Uganda and it is important that we report on dishonesty and fraud. Finally under intense pressure Maggie has admitted that the picture of us on the blog has been artificially enhanced! She can not resist using her skill on photoshop so she covered my embarassing bald patch and touched up her roots. I find it hard to hold up my head in company but that is not the reason that the GMC have deregistered me that is another story.