Owen‘s time in Uganda ended yesterday as it began – with the Rugundas. He enjoyed cook Francis‘ rice, beans, chicken and then took a nap. Kwame and Roberta were with us for lunch, bringing the good news that they are expecting a baby! We talk and laugh, and I realize how much I will miss them all.
I hear stories of the rampant dishonesty of “our people”–stories of Ugandans living abroad sending money to relatives here to build a house. The folks in Uganda send pictures to those in Europe, but upon arrival back home, the latter find that the house never existed and the money was used by the relatives instead. And more stories… including men stealing sand and cement by putting it in their pants and taking nails by hiding them in their hair. It is too much! But helpful to me in an odd sort of way.
Jocelyn’s farm is thriving and now comprises trees and cows in addition to fish (catfish and tilapia). It is a model farm, with people being brought in by USAID for workshops and now a partnership with Albany University in Alabama, who have a fish farm specialty. She has built accommodation and is turning the place into a model for what I would like to do with health informatics!
They insisted their driver and escort take us to the airport, so we were well cared for all day. When Owen was having some difficulty with the barrage of security and luggage and taking off and putting on his belt, the agent at the door, who remembers me from my previous visits to the airport, says I can go help him, even though no one else is allowed in. Small but much appreciated kindness.
As soon as I get Owen sorted, I go downstairs to “Arrivals” to meet Melanie Modlin and Paula Kitendaugh, who have come from NLM. It is so great to see them, and we chatter and laugh about news from home. Soon we are on our way back to the Rugundas where we have a short visit (the hour is late), switch vehicles, and are dropped at the University. They get settled in the Guest House, and I walk back to my flat, which is practically stripped by now. I’m glad they are here and look forward to our quick trip on Wednesday to trek gorillas at Bwindi on the Uganda-Congo border.