The second week took a slightly different turn. This week we continued construction at the sanitary pads site, in addition to meeting with local groups to discuss business planning and health education. Monday was spent at the construction site, moving bricks, and mixing more cement. The walls are going up faster than we could have expected, and the outline of doors and windows are starting to appear.
Tuesday was the first time teaching health and sanitation. With no advance expectations about the turn out of the event, we arrived and were warmly welcomed by the staff at the Adigo Health Center, and had a huge crowd of community members gathered outside for our presentations. We covered three different topics – nutrition, prenatal and child health, and HIV/AIDS. With nutrition we highlighted different foods that can be consumed to ensure a healthy and balanced diet, as well as the importance of washing and properly preparing your food. The next topic focused on what the pregnant women and their spouses should expect during pregnancy. In addition, we discussed certain practices to ensure a healthy pregnancy, and the importance of regular doctors visits. The final presentation, on HIV/AIDS, introduced what the disease is, how it is spread, and the preventative measures that can be taken. The community members were extremely receptive to the information that we were presenting, and many asked questions, not only about what we had presented, but also on what they want to learn in the future. They expressed interest in learning about Hepatitis B, and although we didn’t have a poster created for that topic, we plan on researching and developing a presentation that we can deliver on a return visit to the site.
At the end of the day on Tuesday, we all piled into the van and traveled to a nearby town called Lira. Even though we arrived after dark, it was a beautiful starry night in a great city. We were all amazed by how clear the sky was, even at the city center. We were able to buy unique fabrics, and even met with a local tailor who is creating traditional clothing for us.
On Wednesday we traveled to one of the piggery sites, and participated in the process of making pig feed. Everything is done manually, from crushing the sunflower chips, to mixing in the sardines and pig formula. Once we had finally mixed a month’s worth of pig feed, we took a small amount, and added water, transforming it into slop. We fed the pigs, and then grabbed our own lunch under some trees. The afternoon consisted of traveling to Adigo, and talking with a group of community members who benefited from receiving goats in past years. We discussed business strategies and different techniques that could be used to better their business. The following day was a national holiday, Heroes Day, and we passed the entire day by playing with the local children in the yard of the guest house. They are full of energy, and had all of us exhausted by the end of the day.
The last day of the work week, we returned to the construction site. The walls have been completed, and our task was to move broken bricks into the building, to be crushed and used as another layer beneath the floor. During a project discussion, we figured that we could potentially finish between 90-100% of the construction before our time here ends. We can certainly see the rapid changes on the site, and cannot wait for the work that will fill the following weeks.
We were all up, bright and early Saturday morning. After packing into the van, we had a five-hour car ride to Sipi Falls, located in eastern Uganda. Alongside a few GHNU members, and our tour guide, we participated in a three-hour hike around the mountain. We saw three gorgeous waterfalls, and were able to take in the bright green landscape along the way. The winding trails were nestled around onion gardens, avocado and banana trees, coffee plants, aloe vera, an innumerable amount of beautiful flowers, and flowing springs. Sunday we spent the day making food for ourselves, for the first time on this trip! Although the menu consisted of only chicken, chapatti, cookies, and mac-n-cheese, we were proud of ourselves, and it was a good way to end the week.
~~A new team from San Diego is coming to live and work with us this coming week. Stay tuned! ~~