Bittersweet was the theme of Week 9 because this was our final week in Mbale with the District Health Office. It was quite the week with a lot going on. I had an opportunity to go to a municipality slaughterhouse to learn about meat. I was a little nervous since I’m not crazy about eating meat, but I decided to go. It was definitely informative and there seemed to be a process by which meat was inspected. While I don’t eat much meat myself, I was glad to learn about the process of screening meat for diseases prior to sending it out for public consumption. One of the inspectors took the time to give us a tour, explain the entire process, and answer all of our questions. I was humbled, yet again, by how willing people have been to give us their time.
Afterwards, we went to a sewage lagoon, which is a local sewage collection and processing center. We learned that there were three chambers through which the sewage passes and is processed. These chambers form into pools of liquid; the further down the sewage travels, the cleaner it is. We were told all the processing was natural meaning it consisted of physical and bacterial processing, without any use of chemicals. What surprised me was that, although the government has determined nobody can legally settle within 200 meters of the processing center, there was farming taking place immediately after the processing chambers. Furthermore, the produce from the farming often gets sold in the local market. Lastly, I learned that the 3rd (cleanest) pool had fish in it!
The week concluded with a memorable send-off by the DHO with kind feedback and the best cake I have ever had.