From Cows to Wheelbarrows. You Know, the Usual.

Caitie Goddard in Uganda:

From Cows to Wheelbarrows. You Know, the Usual.

I woke up today ready to head out on more home visits only to realize that at least around here, Friday seems to be an extension of the weekend! It turned out great for me since I then decided I needed a slight workout and headed to the spring to fill up 2 jerrycans. I waited only about 15 minutes today as there were less people and when I came back up, Chris, the engineer (or artist which he reminds me) had finally woken up from what he refers to as his “creative time” and agreed to go to the spring with me to do round 2. However, first we stopped at the site of the work-in-progress volunteer house he has been tasked to build. Once finished, this will really help out KACCAD because they will no longer have to pay rent on their property as they own the land.

Arriving, our goal was to film a little bit of Chris’ progress for a piece he is doing to show other engineers at his alma mater, Bath University. Not surprisingly, we had one bull-horned cow strolling through the rooms and a cow-herder telling us something in Luganda which we could only politely nod and respond with, Oliotya saabo (roughly translates to “how is the day sir) a few times. After finally getting a few clips of the house, we headed to the spring the route we believed was the back way. The back way turned into a pleasant 45 minute walk through villagers’ backyards filled with goats, chickens, children and animal poop and unidentified plants I am hoping are not going to give me rashes. With enough water now to last the day, I decided the rest of my morning would be spent doing something productive. I organized my supplies that I will be using at the orphanage and then gathered and completed all 50 forms for the children regarding their HIV results.

After lunch, Brooke, Rachel and I headed to the orphanage to spend the afternoon with the kids. When we got there, it was pretty cool to see some of them literally jump up and run to give us hugs. Even though it was Rachel’s first time there, they all welcomed her as well. I asked Sam what they needed help with and the task of the day was grading their exams. It was not difficult but really time consuming even with both of us and it was nice to know we were able to do something for the guys that would allow them to relax a little more this weekend.

While we were busy with that, super nurse Brooke had found one of the little girls, Rebecca laying down with what she correctly believed was an extremely high fever. Even with my limited knowledge, I could tell her temperature was lamplight warm. (Don’t act like you don’t know-the temperature you get after you put the thermometer under the lamp to skip school!) Brooke decided to take her to the clinic and later that night, came back to tell us Rebecca had reached 40.5 Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit!!) As this was a local clinic, the level of care is usually not the same as what one might expect in the U.S or any developed country. They gave her a shot of quinine and a Vitamin B supplement which seems to be given for any type of ailment here. Brooke is going to follow up at 7 tomorrow morning to get her another shot and some more medicine.

Sitting here typing on my Macbook, charging my ipod and about to get into a bed I don’t have to share with 3 or 4 other people, I can’t help but think about how being born in one place verse another can so drastically affect everything in your life. Not only your physical comforts but your health and education. However, as depressing as that can be to think about when I am here looking at poverty and destitution every day, Uganda has given me insight on how I truly control my happiness and attitude. It’s amazing how being here allows me to appreciate things that I have always taken for granted like being able to use to toilet without friendly visitors (flies) all around you or a shower where water comes out when you turn a handle and you can even ADJUST the temperature! When a kid who has been wearing the same outfit for 4 days interrupts his game of wheelbarrow racing (not the one you’re thinking but where they cram 4 kids IN a wheelbarrow and race it around) to greet you with a hug it seems so obvious that material things while nice, cannot make a person joyful. I hope when I got back to a world where drama means LC leaves "The Hills" or starving means I didn't eat breakfast, I can remember some of the things people who most would say have nothing were able to teach me.

www.volunteer.org.nz