Uganda is a small country located in East Africa, near Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Sudan lying on the equator. This country has a tragic past with turmoil and strife. Today Uganda is a safe country but still suffers greatly from the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic.
I will be leaving MPLS on Jan 12 in the afternoon. We have about a 9 hour flight to Amsterdam with a layover there, then another 8 hour flight from there to Kampala. We will be arriving in Kampala Jan 13th around 10:00 pm. I will be staying at a hospital near Kampala called Mildmay Health Center. We will be spending satuday unpacking supplies and setting up clinic. (About a month ago we had a packing party and packed about 15 boxes full of dental supplies, toys, games, bibles, clothes and ALOT of shoes and shipped them over there.) Sunday we will finish getting settled in and finish setting up anything that is left. Monday the 16th we will start clinic.
While we are there, we will be providing free dental treatment to orphaned children infected with the HIV/AIDS virus. We will not just provide dental treatment but we also pour out our love and support for the children and their caregivers by caring for them and sharing with them a message of hope through games, crafts, Bible stories and gifts. In past years our group has seen between 500-600 patients in the two weeks we are there. We see not only just the children at the hospital, but they also bus children in from surrounding cities. A van that would normally hold 15-17 kids, get 30 or more kids packed in and not one of them complain. From the stories I have heard, most children do not complain and our just grateful to be able to see a dentist. I was shocked by how many shoes were collected to ship over to give out to the patients. There were a few pairs of cute little Ugg boots that I was laughing about sending there and Dr. Paul assured me that some little girl would love them and wear them every where she went even if they made her feet hot and sweaty. It is hard to believe something as simple as a pair of shoes bring such joy to these kids.
We will work long days providing the best treatment we can to as many children as we possible. I will have the weekend off which i will be taking a very long bus ride to Murchison Falls National Park for a Safari weekend. I will leave early Saturday Jan 21st for this. We will be visting a rhino sanctuary and in the afternoon we will visit the top of the falls for a amazing view of the Nile. The National Park is cut into half by the Nile where it has to squeeze itself through the legendary Murchison Falls, an impossibly narrow 7 m gap in a cleft rock creating a powerful explosion of white water rapids. The falls are believe to be the most powerful natural flow of water any where on Earth. We will be staying the night at Paraa Safari Lodge. The next morning we will go on a game drive followed by lunch and then an afternoon boat cruise safari down the Nile. We will stay one more night at the lodge, wake up early monday morning for another game drive and arrive back at Kampala.
We will return to work in the Clinic on Tuesday and wednesday. Thursday is a National holiday in Kampala, so maybe do some shopping, relaxing, and sight seeing around the area. Friday we will finish our last day of clinic, pack everything up and leave Kampala around 11:30 pm. I will be arriving back in MPLS on saturday Jan 28th in the afternoon.