Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Marilyn Monroe

I live in fear of pit latrines.  You know the kind.  Out in the back of the clinic.  You pass the man peeing on the wall and balance over the hole with one hand gripping the wooden door closed.  As you pee, the flies in the hole circle up like a backwards tornado and your skirt has a smelly Marilyn Monroe moment.

But it takes some imagination to complain.  Living in Kampala (with money), is breezy.  We work hard, late into the night most nights because people are dying and that sits on our back.  But I have a masseuse that can get rid of most of these knots and a cleaning woman who makes my bed so tight I wriggle a little with happiness when I go to sleep.  And when I'm sick of the city life, I'm usually about to go into the field.

I love being out in rural Uganda working.  It often takes me over an hour to get from clinic to clinic in the same district.  So I take my van with my favorite driver, Leston, and we bounce up the mountains.  I like watching the proud teenage boys building their first grass huts away from their family's--a sign of first independence.  And the women with their bright yellow bananas on their heads and their naked babies on their backs.

For lunch, Leston and I stop to east some rice, beans and goat in a red broth.  Or our other favorite thing to do is slow down near a bus stop and have men run to our cars with just roasted chicken on a stick and charred corn.  My hotels are simple but I have my favorites.  Generally ones that have good hot water and know me well enough to stop a few Coke Zeros in their fridge.

My work has officially kicked off and I trained my 90 doctors for the last time on Friday.  This week I go into the field to supervise them.  Along the way I'm stopping to go to my friend's traditional Ugandan wedding!

I leave to go back to the US next week for 10 days to pack up my house, say hello and goodbye to family and friends and officially move to Uganda.  I don't miss much about being back home and I'm so excited to move here for a few years a least.  But I am looking forward to seeing family and friends, eating good pizza, drinking good red wine, and reveling in the sanctity of a clean toilet.