Monday, July 6, 2015

Top 5 things that have happened in the last two weeks

1. My team and I got to leave Ishaka for a weekend and went to a really nice resort by Queen Elizabeth Park.  We got to live in a little bit of luxury and enjoy some fine dining, laps around the pool and a tour of some really nice hotels nearby. 

 My beautiful room at Twin Lakes Hotel.

 View of Queen National Park from far away from our hotel.

Relaxing by the pool area at King Fisher Hotel with a great view of the Park in the background.

2. I went on my very first Safari last weekend at Queen Elizabeth Park and it was amazing. I was able to see an elephant, hippos, water buffalo, crocodile, many types of birds and so much more. Our safari experience also had an afternoon with a boat ride around Lake Edward, which is located in both Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We were able to see different animals that live by this lake and learn about their history and characteristic. It was an amazing experience and I am really happy that I had the opportunity to experience these things.  

The Uganda team on our Safari ride for the day

View by Lake Edward. Apparently hippos and water buffaloes get along so they are often found together.

 Elephants on their way to get some water and bathe. It was really amazing to see how all the older elephants watch out for the baby one. They were guiding the baby by their trunks the whole time. Quite a fascinating view.

3. We have already conducted over 16 in-depth structured interviews with the local community along with numerous unstructured interviews and observations. We are making a lot of progress in our research. It is really exciting to learn surprising things through these interviews and let that guide our next steps.

4. I have FINALLY found the most amazing baked good in Uganda this weekend. It is really hard to find good deserts; at least of the kind they have in the U.S, so my sweet tooth had really been suffering. Good thing the supermarket that had this delight is at Mbarara (an hour away) or I might have indulged in this every morning.

5. I am completing this MHIRT opportunity as my practicum requirement for my Masters of Public Health (MPH) program. As such, I have had a mid-practicum meeting this week with Julia who services as my preceptor and my Faculty Adviser at UNC-Chapel Hill. I have really enjoyed those meetings and my passion for the research that I am doing has gotten reignited and reenergized. It is really great to have supportive and knowledgeable people guiding me through this process that can otherwise be somewhat difficult to navigate.

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