Last blog entry from Uganda... Very weird!
We have said goodbye to Masindi and everybody we know there and have taken the link bus for the very last time. It's very strange to be doing every thing for 'the very last time'.
These last couple of weeks in Masindi have been very nice and actually quite busy as well. We have been working at TASO and spending a lot of time with the three new volunteers that have arrived to Masindi. The work at TASO has been very interesting. We were both in the lab and the pharmacy. In the lab we had to put test requests and results in the database on the computer and in the pharmacy we counted, packed and sorted out drugs. Two days a week the TASO team goes for outreach, they kind of move the whole center to a small village in the district to help those who doesn't have the opportunity to come all the way to Masindi Town. Last wednesday we were with them on outreach in a small village called Biiso, about an hours (Crazy) drive from Masindi. It was a great, although a bit fritghening experience. I got to help the lab-technicians, while thea helped the pharmacy. My job consisted in registrering all the persons who came for a free HIV-test and the persons who were already patients and came for their check up tests. I wrote down name, age and sex in a big book. There was so much confusion, because there wer so many people and Africans are not always good at standing in line, so everybody was pushing... When the tests had been done I had to read the result and note in my big book wether they were POS (i wrote with a red marker) og NEG (with a black one). My god my hands were shaking, I was so scared of reading the tests wrong or writing down the wrong results. I didn't even have time to bee afraid of all the infected blood that was all over the place. It was grest to get so close to the work that TASO do and the people they work for, but maybe it got a bit too close when you got to see all the sick sick patients or the very young people waiting in line to find out whether they were sick or not. While we were doing the testing others from TASO were counselling patients (patients get both pre-test counselling in groups individual post-test counselling even if they are negative!), handing out medicine and giving lessons about everything that has to do with HIV/Aids.
This weekend we had our last goodbyes with the children and teachers of Masindi Jr. and the town in general. We gave most of our stuff (mosquito nets, clothes, towels and so on) to a childrens home, where the new volunteer, Sofie, is working. We have visited 'Family Spirit' a couple of times and seen that it is a place where the children are actually cared for even though the place is extremely poor! So we spent most of our morning on sunday hanging around and playing with Sofie and the children of 'Family Spirit'. Then we went hom and said goodbye to Prossy who sent us off carrying our bags. A local custom, if you don't carry your visitors bags as they are leaving you will get more visitors and 'one can only handle a certain amount of visitors' as she told us. We had one last soda at a bar in Masindi and then took the bus for the last time.
Now we are in Kampala, almost the whole team. We don't have any special plans, I think we'll just hang around in town. Do the last bit of shopping and so on before we head on home on Friday.
See you soon.