I tried to run easier this time but running easier meant walking. So I walked some. My travels to Kenya were only about 20 miles or so but the hills here are much worse. And the footing is terrible. Mostly dry cracked clay that forms little nubs and obstacles with every step. Ugandan children wearing tires strapped to their feet are taunting me and laughing as I can barely gasp for air. I am pretty sure Coach George would be proud anyway.
I finished my run and downed two fresh-as-they-get hardboiled eggs and was surprised to feel slightly chipper. I spent some time organizing some of the outreach props and completed my lesson plans for this week’s teachings to the Community Health Educators. Essentially a teacher of the teachers. Funny though, I’m not a teacher. I wore a dress to try to at least look the part.
In Africa time, we started on time. 3:05 for a 2:00 meeting. The CHEs are an interesting bunch. Anthony is apparently the Outreach Coordinator but has the leadership skills of a lemming. Very sweet though. He likes to teach using the “the sky is blue, the sky is what? Blue” method. It’s hilarious. “If you eat food that is spoiled, you get dehyde what? Dehydration. If you have syphilis, you get corrosion of your private what? Private parts.
The next day...(internets here are pretty moody, also why I can't get my fonts to match)
I woke up this morning feeling tired and weak. I thought for a second I might be getting sick but realized I have been sleeping only a couple hours a night since we arrived. Plus I’ve been running the equivalent of a killer hill workout everyday. Yesterday we hiked back up to the top of the nearby peak and brought with us Dr. Lisa, her husband Doug, and her sister Carissa. We made it up and over the top to a dense rainforest-like terrain. There were three men preparing to carry firewood all the way down. They took off down the mountain carrying their shoes and the firewood and we never caught up to them.
The first item on the agenda was an introduction with the Secondary Program with some of the students on holiday while Uganda takes the month of January off of school. They range in age from about 14 to 18 but most are guestimates and no one really knows their birthday and therefore how old they are. Jake brought out the video camera and taught them all the critical pieces to operate it and informed them that they would be helping the clinic by filming a video by the end of next week. Ugandans love to be in front of the camera and I think this is going to be a perfect project for them. Tomorrow will be story-boarding.
My responsibilities for the afternoon were to teach the Community Health Educators again. The topics I was responsible for were Nutrition and Mental Illness. I felt much more engaged today and I think I got through to most of them on several important points. I chose to put a great emphasis on Alcohol Abuse and I think there were a few light bulbs. Patrick taught today and never said anything particularly profound but the crowd seems to really like him. Jake and I gave him some beef jerky at lunch and I think he might be more addicted to that than his Marwat. (the moonshine stuff, that is)
Next stop, Jinja and the source of the Nile.