7/4/11 – 7/8/11
Happy 4th of July! We decided to just work because it isn’t that exciting to celebrate the holiday here and it isn’t worth going to the embassy across town. At least I don’t think so. I do like America though, mainly because as precarious as the situation seems in America, it is always less so than it is here in Uganda. There have been several days of protest here in the city, and I’m hoping things hold together long enough for us to conclude our trip. I’m not really concerned about running into trouble outside of the city because most of the issues revolve around the strength of the US dollar versus the strength of the Ugandan shilling and inflation of fuel prices. Since people in the village don’t really rely on fossil fuels, it doesn’t really concern them the way it does in the city.
I’m afraid that I don’t have that much to write about because we are scrambling to get as much done as possible this week. We finally got all the data entered at student number 3335. That’s a lot! Now we have the luxury of deciding on how to limit the data collection for the post test that will occur in December. We had our first focus group on Wednesday, and it went incredibly well. We had a lot of good discussion from the students about their concerns surrounding HIV/AIDS, prevention, and management. The group was mostly girls, so we ended up getting several questions about mother to child transmission. It is hard to keep the adults from jumping in and giving their two cents! Meagan did a school observation, and the students all wrote letters for us. A lot of them are really cute and filled with pictures, but some are really sad and pleas for help. We were thinking that we would leave a letter for them if anyone would like to add anything. I think it would be nice for them to know that people are thinking about them.
Lastly we put down a deposit on our trip to the West. Look out Bwindi Impenetrable Forrest, Mgahinga National Forrest, and Lake Bunyonyi! We are supposed to do a nature walk in Bwindi that has several species of butterflies and birds indigenous specifically to the Albertine Rift Valley. Then we will hike to the top of a dead volcano in Mgahinga that stands at the border point between Rwanda and the Congo. Lastly, we will stay in a geodome on an island in Lake Bunyonyi that you get to by dugout canoe. I’m not sure what a geodome is exactly, but it sounds fun. I’m so excited to celebrate the conclusion of our project (for now) with Meagan and Nicole.
I’ll probably make one more post before we leave town on Thursday. We have one more focus group, descriptive statistics for the remaining tests, a couple school observations, and then a meeting with the Foundation to give our initial recommendations. We also have to start catching up with our friends and saying goodbye. I’m not looking forward to it.