This blog post was penned by Abigail Dalke (a high school senior):
“After 22 hours of traveling – filled with airplane food, a variety of movies we didn’t really need to watch and uncompromising bumps in the road, we made it safely to our home for the next two weeks! A much needed slumber in a bed, complimented by a Portland-esc rain storm with some added thunder and lightning, gave us the energy we needed to conquer our first day in Kamwenge.
Our first stop was to the Kamwenge Secondary Vocational School (KSVS). There we found a new dining hall, a three story stem cell learning facility in it’s beginning stages of construction, and a very welcoming community.
Once we got the lay of the land, we dropped off our supplies for the school and the clinic, including books, crayons, medical supplies, and an autoclave (a large sterilization device for medical utensils), and then we took our respective posts. Kathryn, Midge and my mom, Kathleen, worked in the clinic and began seeing patients right away; some visits were uneventful, some announced pregnancy, some addressed abdominal pain caused by the horns of a cow. On the other side of the school, Spencer, Chris and I were tasked with distilling water to power the autoclave which we found to be a very slow and tedious process.
After our orientation in the school and clinic, we made our way back to the inspiration center (our home with a view of the rolling green hills speckled with long-horned cows, five foot tall ant hills, and palm-like trees of Uganda. We had a yummy lunch of rice, beans, chapati (a Ugandan tortilla like bread), mango, chicken and the best, juiciest pineapple I’ve ever had, followed by watching the semi-final district playoff game of the high school students from KSVS.
At least 500 people lined the perimeter of the soccer, or futbol, field. Some people were even tasked with patrolling the sidelines to make sure people didn’t encroach on the game. After socializing and boiling under the sun, the KVWS girls and boys team won the district game and will hopefully play in the regional competition in the next few weeks.
Overall, a long exciting few days and thankfully the only trouble we’ve had is some swollen feet from the long travels and minor miscommunications. However, we are looking forward to helping out in the community and meeting new people over the next two weeks! We will keep you updated whenever we can!”