Uganda 2022 Day 9
After breakfast and worship, we (or really the Ugandan team) packed up our vehicles. We some of the team helped Mama Esther wash and dry dishes so we could park that up too. While waiting. A couple Ugandan boys came into the hotel parking lot and struck up a conversation with Benjamin, Spencer, and David. One of the guys gave each of them a trail mix pack. We finally were able to load into the vehicles. The two vans had the trunks full and stuff tied to the roof and the bus had a full trunk and our bags/totes filled about 4 rows floor to ceiling. I rode in the bus. We only had three rows in the back available to sit. Two rows of 4 (with jump seat) and a row of three with a jump seat. The front also has a jump seat. With this space we still had one more person squished in the row with three seats and one person standing on the steps. The people in the back row had an important job. Anytime we went over a bump, which was quite often, they had to hold the luggage in place. There were a couple on top that kept trying to fall on them. Jen was sitting in the front passenger seat and would yell “bump” or “big bump” every time one was coming so they could stand up and hold the bags and boxes in place. Every time we were coming up really fast to an animal in the road or Richard swerved toward a dog, Jen would yell at/scold him. The drive to Usuk was an hour or a little more. That was a long time for Doctor Andrew to stand.
The greeting when we arrived this time was by more excited adults than kids. The did their cheer and followed our bus to where we stopped to unload ourselves and our medical supplies. They circled us, cheered and clapped. I have never felt more like a celebrity than I have this trip. One lady came to each of us and shook our hands for a long time while doing a bouncing dance. At least that’s the best way to describe it. Then we unloaded our totes. Hector started by pulling the ones that were in the back, but had to pull our suitcases off the top. Then he went inside the bus to unload from there. He also had suitcases, all our cooking supplies (including a stovetop), and dishware to unload as he pulled out totes. Richard had Hector hand him all the totes and kitchen supplies through the window of the bus. The two vans arrived by this point and we unloaded our bags into the house we were staying at.
Once everything was unloaded, we started prepping for clinic. I attempted to help the pharmacy set up without getting in their way. My job for the day was to be a runner. Chloe had me grab some supplies out of the pharmacy for her table. I made sure everyone had gloves, masks, and ziplock bags to put their prescription papers. These are the ones they could fill with supplies in their box at the table instead of sending them to the pharmacy. Throughout the day these were emptied from their bags with the doctors and in the pharmacy and counted. This showed us how many people we saw during the day. Today I counted most of the slips. I ended up spending the day helping the pharmacy. I would grab the prescription paper and make sure they did not need to be malaria tested. If they belonged there, I would have them sit, but if they needed malaria tested, I would have them enter in the back of the building. Moses was doing the testing in the same small room as the pharmacy, but there was a back door people could enter through which made for much less traffic inside. We had the main room with the pharmacy in the front and the lab in the back. The back room was where we had the non pharmacy totes and did glasses. The front room was where we had Justice the midwife and another midwife. I ended up staying and helping at the pharmacy because Jocelyn kept being pulled to do glasses. I would grab the prescription slips from people as they came and asked them to sit while they waited their turn. If they didn’t need meds, but needed tested for Malaria, I would send them to the back door. The doctors were decently good at sending them to the back, but I did have to seen quite a few back there. Once we had our first prescription for malaria medication is when we realized we were missing a box of medication. It was the only box that had the malaria medication and it had some of another medication in it. I was pretty sure they packed it in the van before we left the Karamoja pharmacy, but the guys said they did not take anything out of the bus. Ssepuuya worked hard on figuring it out. The box had been taken out at the hotel. It was an hour plus away. During the day we had to search the prescription slips at least three times because people said they had been waiting a long time and their slips were not on our table. I also had a lady come up to me that said she had a complaint. Her complaint was that her and her friends were not given the team “freedom fighters” T-shirt. I asked if she was helping out team and she said she was a cook. I said, “for us or for them?” and pointed to the buildings where we were. She said for us, but it was not for us. I told her she would have to talk to Mama Joanne and another team member came out and said she actually needed to talk to Pastor John. They stood there and stared at me, I assume expecting me to cave, but I just started working again because I did not have time to keep repeating myself. We saw 389 people today.
When clinic was over we headed back to the house and had dinner. Joanne tried to figure out the sleeping arrangements. She came out to the living room and asked which if the guys wanted to sleep with Ross. Then she made a face because of how it sounded. Hector immediately volunteered. He said they could keep each other warm at night. I said, “because it’s not warm enough?” Joanne did figure out where all the guys were between the one room and living room. She gave up with the girls and let them decide. Lany asked if she could sleep outside and Joanne said that was fine. By sleeping outside, it was inside a screened area. There was one outside the room I stayed in. A couple of the Ugandans came in and sawed the door open because it was locked and they had no key. Lany and Algena took an air mattress out there and by 11p it was completely flat. At 3a they went to the living room and took the cushions off the couch because nobody was using them. Then they were able to sleep.
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