Saturday, June 7, 2014

8,000 Miles from Home with No Cheese in Sight

Hello from Ishaka, Uganda! Alex and I have been here for one week now and are loving it. We have been working both in the Ishaka Health Plan office and in the field this week, but we have also had time to explore Ishaka and the neighboring towns in the meantime. Since we will be working closely with IHP this summer to conduct research regarding community-based health insurance, the staff have been showing us the ropes in Ishaka and have taught us so much already.
Ishaka Health Plan staff and field workers: Susan, Kyankwenge, Susie Acuff, Kakunta Daniel (IHP scheme manager), Daryl Stephens (me), Alex Boss, and Elisa. We have really enjoyed getting to know the staff this week and have learned so much from them about the language and the culture. We know they will really take care of us when Susie is gone!

The view from the guesthouse at the top of the hill- below is the Ishaka Health Plan office and more of the hospital campus. Unfortunately, this picture does not show how big this hill actually is- nor does it show the crazy owl that supposedly attacks people as they walk up at night. Still, gotta love the view!

As we were leaving the village of Nyakashebeya after a sensitization about the Health Plan, many of the children from the school (who had patiently been waiting outside of the gate for us) decided to chase after the car to say "bye" to their guests. Some of them made it pretty far, but I guess it's not everyday that you get to see a muzungu (white person) in the village.

We had a "day off" on Friday to explore some of the places we will be going for our retreat in a few weeks, and we just casually saw some elephants chilling by the side of the road. Life in rural Africa is pretty great when you get to see such amazing sights as this.

And finally, the view from our abode- known here as the Medical Director's house. Bushenyi and Ishaka are beautiful, and I am so grateful to wake up and see this every morning (it is really hard to not wake up with all of the goats, crows, roosters, and even a donkey making noise early in the morning, but then again, it's all part of the package!).

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