Saturday, June 7, 2014

Welcome! Agandi?

It has officially been one week that Daryl and I have been in Uganda! We arrived here last Friday half past 10 o'clock at night at the Entebbe airport and then stayed at Entebbe Backpackers before walking up the next morning and getting a ride through a friend to Ishaka, where we would spend the rest of our time here for the summer. On the way, however, we stopped at the capital, Kampala, where we were able to see how busy and congested the city was. It was a big difference compared to our final destination of Ishaka, where there is bountiful land and small shops and stores that line the roads before Ishaka Adventist Hospital grounds. This place is where we will be staying at the Medical Director's house on top of a major hill, where anyone can see the rest of the small town of Ishaka. Even though a week has not been long enough I feel as if I have gotten a taste of the food, customs, and language here. Everything in Uganda is slowed down to a much relaxed pace compared to the fast scheduled atmosphere of America. When someone here in Uganda says they will arrive at, for example, 2 o'clock that person really means he or she will arrive between one hour to two hours later. As well there are so many different names for different types of food. For example there are many types of banana, which have different tastes and uses. There is matooke, which is one of the staple foods here and is eaten almost at every meal. But there is also gonja, which is a regular ripe banana, and also "sweet bananas", which are mini bananas that are super sweet. Lastly for the languages spoken here there is a hierarchy that can be used depending on where a person is at. English is at the top for international use, Swahili is then next, then Luganda (which is a uniting national language), and lastly the local dialects, which in Ishaka is runyankole. However most people here speak their native dialect. We are also just getting started with the research that will be done here and have only been able to go to one site or village for sensitization with the Ishaka Health Plan, which is the group we are working with, but I am looking forward to this coming week!
This is a view from on top of the hill of where we are staying at and we can view the town of Ishaka below.

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