Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Good Week With One Exception

The week started on Monday with a graduation celebration for the Set 7 nursing students.  True to Ugandan fashion, it was scheduled at 1:30pm but did not actually start until 3:30pm.  I’m getting smarter about not arriving on time.  I waited for Sister Anne to go down to the dining hall (around 3:15pm) and took that as my cue that the celebration was about to begin.  I attended the graduation party for Set 6 last year, so I knew what to expect: several long speeches, dancing and singing by the other nursing students, a farewell song from the graduating class, and a BIG dinner with meat, beans, rice, enyasa, greens, cabbage, cake, and sodas.  This is one of the highlights of teaching at Kuluva.


Wednesday was my birthday – thank you to everyone who sent Facebook and text messages.  I also received a huge care package from my mom and it included birthday cards from the whole family!  Thanks to my wonderful family for sending birthday wishes and gifts.  (And good timing with the mail!  Mom, you have mastered the Ugandan postal service.  Ha ha.)  I had a relaxing day (after riding to town & back), took a hot bucket bath, ate some chocolates from the care package and made Indian food (that I picked up when I was in the States).   And miraculously, there was high-speed internet at my house that day, so I got some research done online (. . . for my Tanzania trip, not work).  :)  I watched a couple of movies and went to bed to the sound of light rain outside my window.  Awesome day, considering I live in an African village.

On Saturday, I went to a village called Adumi, which is on the west side of Arua.  (I’m 6 miles south of Arua.)   My friends Tom and Ilse live in Adumi and Ilse asked if we (PCVs) were interested in doing a lesson (on any topic) for her women’s group.  Of course I said yes!  I put together a basic nutrition session, modifying the materials I used at Eastern Camp GLOW.  The women only spoke Lugbara, so we needed a translator.  It was a challenge to keep the lesson at such a basic level for the women to understand.  But they were wonderful – very enthusiastic and appreciative of everything we had to teach.

I spent Friday night at Betty’s house (close to town) so that Ilse could pick us up first thing on Saturday morning.   I'm not sure what happened, but I either walked through poisonous plants or got severely attacked by insects on my feet.  I've counted over 30 bites/bumps just on my left foot.

I find it hard to believe that I didn't feel dozens of ants/mosquitoes/misc. African insects feasting on my feet and ankles - which makes me think it was a poisonous plant somewhere.  Either way, it sucks.  It’s been extremely painful to wear shoes or walk.  I spent all today keeping my feet up and applying a topical analgesic and antihistamine.  The itching and swelling went down, but flared up again when I walked down to the dukas to buy bread.  I think need to stay off my feet for another day or two for the rash/bumps to go away. 

So just FYI - this may be my last blog post for a few weeks.  I have plans to spend Thursday having a Thanksgiving dinner with other PCVs and then I’m going to Tanzania on Saturday!!!  I will post again as soon as I get back.


  1. Yikes! Your foot looks terrible! Since you live on the school of nursing compound, right next to the hospital, do you think you should have someone look at your foot? Maybe they could identify what the bites (or poisonous rash?) are. Hopefully it will look much better in a day or two. It's too bad you don't know what it is, so you can avoid it in the future!

    Your day trip to Adumi sounded interesting. I didn't know Ilse belonged to a women's group -- does that mean she has mastered Lugbara? I'm sure your lesson in nutrition, even at a basic level, was relevant and important, and the women appreciated your efforts.

    I knew you were looking forward to the Set 7 graduation celebration -- I enjoyed seeing some pictures. It looked like fun!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with your PC friends. And then you're off the Tanzania! Enjoy your travels and take lots of pictures. We miss you -- especially at the holidays! Love, Mom

  2. Hi Laura love! So glad your birthday was wonderful:) glad to here about all the exciting teaching and plans you have to travel. Now about that foot~I am with your mom on that one...if it isn't better soon, who could look at it??? It does look very painful and you are getting ready to travel kiddo.Well hope all things fall into place soon for your travels~be safe and have a wonderful time. Hugs and much love, Aunt Linda

  3. That's great that you had an awesome birthday!! Yeah, your foot doesn't look good at all....hope it gets better soon!! Have fun on your travels coming up and I look forward to reading your blog when you get back! Love, Amber