I hear what sounds like thousands of birds tweeting and I find myself drawn to them. I walk towards the sound and can’t believe the cacophony! I ask the hospital administrator if these are birds and he says, “yes, they are bahds”, in his beautiful Ugandan accent. I ask him what sort of birds they are and he says he doesn’t really know their name, but that these birds are thought to sometimes pass on ebola or rabies to people.
Completely confused, I ask if birds can actually share rabies and ebola and he says, “of course, as they are mammals”. Now, I find myself thinking – “a mammal gives birth to live babies, a mammal feeds its young milk, etc, etc. Yes, birds are not mammals”. Um…what in the world is this doctor saying? And that is when I realize he is saying BATS, not BIRDS! At this point, I am standing under massive trees, full of bats…thousands and thousands of bats. Not sweet, little tweeting birds, but tens of thousands of flying rodents.
Word to the wise – if you ever visit Katakwi Hospital, don’t be fooled into thinking that the tweeting sound are birds. But, do prepare yourself for finding a clean, well-run hospital with high dreams and hopes. You’ll find equipment and supplies being well-used, where doctors are excited to have what they need to run a hospital, and where patients are receiving better care than they used to receive before AFCA showed up. You’ll also see the cutest little room, with rows of chairs we sent, all facing a whiteboard that has obviously been used recently. This room, which so makes me smile, is where midwives, nurses and doctors receive continued training. How cool is that?
So much good happening in this country, with so much more than we can do. I need your help to keep going, though. Please share what I am seeing during this visit with others – if no one hears of AFCA’s work, we will not be able to do the good things we do. Please share with others – with people who have an interest in helping others and with those who want to support a 4-star organization, knowing that their donations are used with integrity and care, for the common good of the children in our programs. Together, we can do more, but only if others know.