Sunday, July 21, 2013
Reflections for the Near Future
The days are going by so quickly now. With only a week and a half left from the time we leave Ishaka, I feel like there is so much more that I could do. I have met some pretty great people here. I have made some lifelong friendships with the students at Kampala International University (KIU). Some have already gone back home to Kenya for their summer break. The best of these friends told me that he will never forget my face, and I am sure that I will always remember his as well. Also, I have had a lot of support from people in the Ishaka Town Mosque, which is a five-minute walk from the hospital. Since this is the holy month of Ramadan, this trip has been even more of an experience. I have sat in a circle with children, teens, and adults around a large plate of rice that we all shared after we break our fast. They are all very supportive and have taken me in as one of their own. I hope to see many of these people again someday.
I must give a special thanks to the housekeeper we have named Mareen. She is one of sweetest women that I have met in Ishaka and has a really big heart. She helps us out so much. She has had some problems in her life, like all of us, but she is different because she always keeps a positive attitude. I am always happy to see her, but sometimes she can talk you to death. We all really love to have her, and she will definitely be someone who is missed when we depart.
Meeting the four medical students from Loma Linda (Sunny, Drew, Sarah, and Hannah) has also been a great experience. They are a fun bunch of people and a means for John, Susie, and I to stay sane by giving us a chance to conversing with different people. They are all energetic and playful. They taught me this pretty fun Korean number game that they turned into Swahili for the locals called Janga I’ll have to bring it to the U.S. when I get back.
Meeting my co-workers (Kakunta, Ms. Kakunta, Isaac Newton, Susan, and Emmi) has been a great time. I’m going to miss all the times that John and I go back and forth in Ruyankore to insult one another while Isaac and Susan laugh. They have taught us all the abuse that we know in the local language. I also will miss the jokes and light-heartedness that Emmi brings whenever he shows up at the office. Mr. Kakunta also tells us a few jokes occasionally, and being in his presence is always a learning experience.
Finally, John and Susie have been great people to live it. I have enjoyed the time that I have spent getting to know them and having them as research partners. They have done a lot for me. They even held a birthday dinner and bought me a surprise birthday cake. I couldn’t imagine the people that I would meet and the experience that I would have prior to applying to MHIRT. This has been an experience of a lifetime, and I hope to see all of these faces again and come back to Ishaka someday.