February 15th, 2019 by ashleylutrick
Posted in Uncategorized|
I cannot believe I have been here for three weeks already. It’s even harder to believe I only have one week left. The last 10 days or so has gone so incredibly fast. I have seen some quite interesting cases at The Surgery over the days, including a case of suspected pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia in an untreated HIV positive patient and a case large bowel volvulus likely secondary to parasitic infection. I’ve been able to get my hands working with various procedures, which I have found extremely helpful in keeping up my skills. And although I can’t provide details, I even had a patient who works for one of the most iconic musicians of all time (at least in my mind). My patients have come from all over the world. It has taught me a lot about medicine in general, but also about culture.
Last weekend we took a little adventure to Jinja, about 2 hours east of Kampala. Jinja was much different than Kampala, being much smaller, with less people and beautiful nature. Our first day there, we rafted the Nile River, which was one of the most amazing experiences. I have to admit, there were areas that ramped up the adrenaline and I did feel what I can only describe as fear. Despite the anxiety, it was so worth it.
Our lodge while in Jinja was directly on the Nile, with a view that pictures just don’t do justice to. The camp was full of monkeys, and I mean full! From what I could tell there were 2-3 different species of monkeys, and approximately 30 spread all over camp.
Day two we started with a two-hour ATV tour of various villages in the Jinja area. As we drove through, you would see children running from their mud huts to the dirt pathway waving frantically and yelling, “Hello, Muzungu!” Muzungu translates to “white man,” though they seem to use it for any person who is not native to Uganda. They would reach out their fists for a “pound” with the largest smiles on their faces. Our tour also went along the Nile, where we saw various groups of fishermen, women washing their clothing, and children splashing along the riverbank.
The ATV ride left us covered and dirt. And what’s the best way to wash off dirt? Jump in the river of course! But what’s better than that? Rope swinging into the river. So that’s exactly what we did, and it was exhilarating. After rafting and swimming in the Nile, I most certainly have Bilharzia (discussed in a previous post). Good new is treatment is easy. 😉
Before heading back to Kampala, we shopped at the local craft stores where we saw some amazing art, craft and clothing made by the locals. Part of me wishes I wasn’t traveling after my time here in Uganda so I could take back paintings – they really are gorgeous and capture Uganda perfectly in so many ways. I guess that just means I’ll have to come back someday.