Thursday, July 08, 2010

Fourth of July!


Yesterday was a good day. It was the Fourth of July, our Independence Day. I had a great idea to celebrate by having an American BBQ to celebrate! Nina made a flag, we went grocery shopping for the goods the morning of and I spent most of the afternoon sitting in front of our small charcoal stove.

The meal: minced meat hamburgers (mixed with onion and egg) with all the toppings…including ketchup! Cassava chips dipped in ketchup and apple crisp. Yum! This Fourth of July was like most at home, it drizzled during the afternoon reminding me of Seattle. Unfortunately, fireworks were out of the question as we would have to go pretty far up on the political ladder to get approval! But, despite not having fireworks, I felt the most American I’ve felt all trip sitting in front of the stove. We shared our traditions with Mutesi and the family. All of them loved the burgers we made and we all ate the chips together. Mutesi had never tried an apple so I shared some raw and cooked with her and she saved some of the seeds to try to plant…I told her it probably wouldn’t work to grow them here and even if it did the apples wouldn’t taste good for a long time. I do miss Washington apples. We buy ours here in the Indian run supermarkets…who knows where they come from.

We also, had our Family Planning outreach yesterday. A nurse from the nearest health center came and spoke with women in a very candid and humorous way. Around 15 of the women who came walked away with birth control pills or had an injection. The nurse thought it was a successful turn out so we were all pretty excited. This week we have our HIV sensitization on Wednesday and then testing next Monday. In between we’re going rafting down the Nile….I’ll be honest, I’m a bit nervous.
On Saturday, we looked at fabrics in the market and I actually found a couple I liked and am having a couple of skirts made. I’m excited to see how they turn out! Hopefully I’ll be able to wear them here the last few weeks and blend in a little. I also had a freak illness on Saturday. I started to feel some severe abdominal cramping and was very uncomfortable. I sat down on the stairs while the other girls ran some errands and found myself about 5 minutes later running to the bathroom at a CafĂ© we are regulars at across the street. Something hadn’t sat well in my stomach and I thought I might be in trouble. I sat on the toilet…which I usually just squat over…but I thought I might vomit as well. I started to feel faint and put my head between my knees and next thing I know I wake up with my body lying back to one side…I FAINTED! Weird. (sorry mom, I’m sure you’re freaking out right now) I woke up in a cold sweat, disoriented, nauseous and alone. Right before I passed out I was trying to text the girls where I was (luckily I had just put airtime on my phone) and so when I came to I quickly called them for help. I wiped the sweat off my body and waited outside on the stairs. I could feel the color coming back into my face, but I was still queasy. They came not to long later and fortunately, we had been with some of the UVP staff while we were fabric shopping and they were able to take me back to the UVP office where I rested over the next couple of hours. I felt fine after an uncomfortable bathroom experience and a couple hours of sleep. I was obviously weak after, but felt fine and my symptoms haven’t reappeared. I must have eaten something weird…thankfully it all passed through in one go. I look back and think so many things worked out…even though I was disgustingly sick…God came through with providing airtime when I needed it, the UVP staff, and a real toilet to use at the UVP office (better than the latrine!).

Uganda Fourth of July

Click the picture above to see the whole album and captions!

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