Today the air feels brisk and cool, thanks to a refreshing rain during the night. We wait and wait for Martin to come pick us up and finally, 48 minutes late, he and Rogers show up to take us to our last hospital stop in Uganda – Mpumudde Clinic. It is a small clinic with only 26 beds and is located about 2 hours from Kampala, near Jinja.
This small clinic received a container from AFCA two years ago and to date, no one else has donated a single additional item to them, other than the government giving them an anesthesia machine. As the supervising doctor introduces us to different staff, we see tired faces trying to be polite with sweet smiles directed towards us (after all, they are, as most hospitals in this country are, sorely understaffed and overworked). Then, he says, “these are the people who send us the supplies and equipment” and suddenly, the smiles change into welcoming hugs with HUGE smiles of gratitude. It is so very humbling to be a recipient of such appreciativeness, knowing that it isn’t I who does the work, but it is a team of volunteers, hikers, runners, nurses and builders who help make it all happen. We are in this together and it is beautiful to witness this gratitude with some of that team.
Mpumudde needs a lot of help.
But, mostly, they need an entire new ward to be built and this is not something AFCA is in the position to do, nor is it something we do as an organization. I am curious to find out if there is a group out there who does this sort of thing and who’d be willing to partner with this tiny clinic to give them the ability to provide more services to the 50,000 people who are in their catchment area.
We say good bye to the good doc and head back, once again, to Kampala. I am getting hungry at this point, so, as we’ve done for the past five days, I take out two granola bars and divide it between us all. We can handle eating a good breakfast and good dinner with bits of snacks in the middle. We no longer feel the need to eat lunch…strange! Today, though, Rogers is with us and he wonders about stopping for lunch. In no time, we are stuffed – fish from Lake Victoria, rice, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, and greens are all delicious washed down with a bottle of water. Ahhh! Good stuff.
Now, I am supposed to be packing for my way on towards Kenya. Someone is to pick us up at 4:45am tomorrow morning and Fred, Karina and I will head to Mombasa while Betsy heads back home in the afternoon.
To pack I go.