Maternity Centre

Another night, another thunderstorm. It appears that the rainy season in Uganda has certainly arrived. In the two days I’ve been here, there’s been a brief period each day with thunder, lightning and pelting rain. It’s actually quite a nice reprieve from the heat, and so far the storms have cleared within an hour or so. One of the midwives at the maternity centre was mentioning that they didn’t get any rain yesterday in her town, one over from Kasana, so it appears the storms are often quite localized as well. So far I haven’t been caught outside during one, though it’s only a matter of time…

After sleeping through most of the morning’s noise (daily announcements over a loudspeaker, synthesizer-like church bells somewhere nearby, and children crying on the other side of our building), Vanessa and I walked to the Shanti site in Nsaasi Village. There’s enough twists and turns that it’ll be another few days before I’ll be able to do it on my own, but it’s a nice way to get in some exercise. The other option for getting to and from the site is to call one of the boda boda (motorcycle taxi) drivers, which is what we did for the trip home. Luckily, the route back to our volunteer house doesn’t require being on any major roads, so as boda boda rides go, it was pretty tame. And at only 1000 Ugandan shillings (UGS), (about the equivalent of 50 cents Canadian), it’s a pretty cheap way to get around.

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Today was buying day at the maternity centre. Every week, the women in the beading group bring all the jewelry they’ve made, and Shanti Uganda chooses necklaces, bracelets and earrings from each of them to sell in Canada. The jewelry is all made with paper beads that the women create by hand from recycled posters. The Shanti Uganda website has information on where the jewelry is available in Canada, or if you don’t mind waiting a few months to receive it, I can certainly keep an eye out at future buying days for particular colours or styles.

Tomorrow the midwives will be doing evaluations, and later in the afternoon Kristen, Vanessa and I will be taking a matatu (mini-bus) to Kampala. Kristen has to make the trip to pick up her passport, so we’re going to stay overnight in a hostel and do some clothes and grocery shopping. There’s apparently a resort in the city where a lot of area aid workers go to unwind a little. It costs $500 (US!) a night to stay there, but you can pay 20 000 UGS ($10 Cdn) to use the pool, sauna, etc for the day. We’ll do that Saturday, and perhaps catch a movie at the cineplex, and then make our way back to Kasana.

I may not be posting much over the next few days, but I’ll try to make up for it by taking lots of photos of Kampala while we’re gone.

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  • Heather

    The photos are such a great addition to your posts Jaime. It helps us imagine and picture your days. We’re also really enjoying our skype conversations. It really does boggle my mind that we’re able to stay in touch despite geography and time zones. The next few weeks will bring new excitement and experiences as you move forward with your projects with the teens, and all.

  • Dawson Truax

    Hello Jamie,
    We had no idea you were doing this until I read your dad’s blog this morning. Good for you! Guess we haven’t talked over the fence for a while. What a wonderful thing to be doing. Looking forward to reading your future postings.

    Dawson

  • Darryl

    Thanks for posting. It’s going to be wonderful to follow your adventures.

  • Hi,
    Your dad posted a note about your blog on facebook. I must say Uganda is much more adventurous than Newfoundland. I just moved there this summer to work as a Radiation Therapist. Hope you have a good time exploring a new world.

    Theo