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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The end of the week in Kampala

So I apologize for not updating this at the end of our last week, but we had not had a great internet connection since wed morning there.  I will just summarize our last few days there.  Wednesday was our last full day of clinic and it was a busy one.  We saw 74 patients and also had a visit from the US Deputy Ambassador to Uganda.  Since days have now passed I cannot pick out a single child from the day that really touched my heart, because they all do.  We finished clinic around 5 that evening and some of our group headed to a Scottish Dinner.  The rest of us who stayed back decided to take the adventure of playing frogger with our own lives and cross the street to check out Bubbles (the carwash/restraunt bar across the street from "that would play music all hours of the night).  I say "frogger" as I heard one person reference and totally agree.  The streets there are crazy, and if you want to try and cross it really is like playing frogger; doding cars, motorbikes, and bicycles.  Pedestrians definately do not have the right away there.  We actually had one of the volunteers help us to cross the street, we had no idea how we were going to get back but that was just a minor detail.  It was a cozy little bar.  We all had a drink, relaxed and visited before heading back across the street for dinner.  We had been waiting for probablly at least 10 min for a good time to cross the street, when a giant fuel truck put on his flashers, stopped traffic and waved us across the street.  We had never seen or heard of any vehichle stopping for people to cross the street.  It was a miracle, we were very thankful. 
After dinner I headed back to our room to get a jump start on packing to come home.  I needed to try and fit all the gifts I bought, my clothes, 12 beers, and 3 bottles of wine back into my suitcases.  I got all the fragiles wrapped in bubble wrap and ready to go.

Thursday was a National holiday in Uganda, so we did not have clinic.  Alot of us headed into town to the market for some last minute gift shopping and then spent the afternoon at Speke.  Speke is a very nice hotel with a very big pool near lake Victoria.  I spent the afternoon relaxing at the pool and took a short walk down to see Lake Victoria.  It was a great day off.  3 people from our group decided to meet up with a group they had met the night before for some mountain biking.  I would have liked to done it if my back and neck weren't already sore.  There is always next year when I am even more recovered from my accident.  :)

Friday was our last day of clinic. We started the morning with a childrens choir group from Mildmay who came and performed 3 songs for us, plus a performance from a little Michael Jackson.  The group was quite amazing and definately brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my face.  Videos of the performance will be posted later.  We saw right around 30 patients that morning and ended around 12:30 or so.  That brought our patient total to 526.  After patients we had a quick lunch and headed back to clinic to pack everything up for next year.  At this point I was not ready to go, I could have stayed longer and wanted to spend more time with the children.  We got everything packed up in time for us to finish packing our own belongings and relax before dinner.  Mildmay served us a big Thank you appreciation dinner.  We also thank them, because if it weren't for Mildmay taking such great care of us while we were there, the team would not be able to return back every year.

We headed to the airport around 7 to wait for our 11pm flight to Amsterdam.  We all arrived home safely saturday afternoon around 1.  As we landed in Mpls I started to feel nauseated.  I made it home to take a nap, but became very ill in the late afternoon.  I was very healthy the whole trip, so it was bummer to get home and be so ill all afternoon and into the night.  However I was thankful that it happened when i was at home, in my own bed, and not while i was on a 17 hour flight.  I slept all day saturday and sunday and was thankfully able to return to work on monday.

A big thank you to all my friends and family who supported me on this trip and made it possible.  Thank you to everyone who continued to pray for myself and my team.  Thank you to the 2012 team who made me feel very welcomed on my first trip there, who was very supportive, and made this trip very enjoyable.  God willing, I definately hope to be able to return next year!

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