Sunday, November 23, 2008

I saw a warthog!

This morning Irene and I left at 530am to take a bus from Kigali to Kampala. The bus, running on African time, left around 630am... We then stopped at the Ugandan border to get our passports stamped, bit of a stampede and my toes started itching after I'd wandered around the area in flip flops. Knowing that when jiggers (fleas) infest a person the area feels itchy, I obsessed and spent 20 min checking every so often to find it again. Of course since there was the thought of jigger there the itchyness didn't go away till Irene also checked my toes and found them jigger free :)

We're now in Kamapala, I'm typing on a keyboard so stiff that it feels like a really old typewriter that you had to pound. I think my fingers will be stiff tomorrow :p

We were picked up at the bus station by a Friend of WYA. He took us to his clinic, he's worked there for the past 7 years. It's in a slum and serves the people of the community. Many are Somalian refugees and there is a mosque across the street. He said 90% of the slum is Muslim, and apparently Somali's tend to be strict as I saw for the first time two little girls of about 5 and 7 wearing hijabs.

They are incredibly friendly. Almost everyone here speaks English, and I recognise my name by now - muzungu. So as they're calling out to me I'll wave or say hi. Many of the kids are excited to practice their english and will say "hi, how are you, I'm fine" and leave so pleased with themselves. The adults will wait till I smile and then they'll grin back. The little babies I think are terrified of this strange-looking creature.

At the clinic there is only one fulltime doctor and 3 other part time doctors as well as nurses and other staff. So many young people are HIV infected, and if they can be offered treatment and counselling then that is a great help to them. As we've wandered through the slums the doctor is a bit of a celebrity.

Gotta run now, but as I mentioned in the title - I saw a warthog today! A few minutes across the border and he was splashing around in a little stream, he looked just like pumba :) We also saw hundreds of goats. Cows being herded (in herds!) horns and all. And the insides hanging gracefully at every market we passed.

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