We landed in Uganda (after several flights) at around midnight and one of Dr. Brodine’s friends was there waiting and ready to meet us – at midnight! The ride to the Mulago Guest House at Makerere University was a bit of a blur after the 20+ hours of flying but we made it there and that was “home” for most of the first week. We started the days a little later as we adjusted to the time changes but when we were out and about, it was a great time. We met other colleagues of Dr. Brodine who provided valuable background on Uganda and at the same time showed us some basics such as where to get a local SIM card. The week really started to take off when we went to a cultural center where we watched local dances from the various regions of Uganda; each one told a different story about the communities in their respective areas. The week ended with a party, complete with wonderful company, lots of local dishes, and of course dancing.
My first impression of Uganda was made by someone waiting for us at the airport at midnight to take us to the house which was about an hour away – people can be so kind and helpful. Another observation that stood out to me was that a lot of people seemed to know each other. We sometimes use the phrase “small world” back in the US when we see someone unexpectedly but here in Uganda, the phrase seemed to take life. One of the colleagues, who we started to call “man of the people” seemed to run into someone he knew everywhere we went. Lastly, I was humbled by the lengths the host and friends went to at the party, to make us feel welcomed.
Looking forward to the District Health Office in Mbale!