Lions, zebras, and leopards!

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Tuesday morning we arrived in Mwanza on the ferry. From there we grabbed a quick breakfast before heading off to the Serengeti for safari. It was a very nice sunny day for a game drive and we got lots of good pictures. We saw everything from antelope to zebras to giraffe. We also saw one of the Big Five, elephants! After a couple flat tires, we made our way to the campsite for the evening where we had a very good meal.

The next morning we got up early for a morning game drive in hopes of seeing some big cats. About an hour into the drive we spotted a male lion less then 50 meters from the road! We were all very excited about it and got some good pictures. I think a lot of us would have been content with seeing this but it only got better. About 10 minutes later we came upon a whole pride of lions! There were 5 or 6 females with about 10 cubs. We watched them play from a far for about a half hour before we went off-roading to get closer. Later on in the day we got lucky again, and spotted a leopard with two cubs hanging out in a tree. They were hard to see, but it was still very exciting because there are only about 40 leopards in the whole Serengeti! Throughout the day, we saw 4 out of the 5 Big Five animals. Our guide said this is very rare.

We are now back in Mwanza preparing for our flight this evening back home. There was a volcano that errupted in Ethiopia on Monday that has delayed some flights so there is a possibility that ours may be delayed. As of right now flights are going out and things are looking good.

Last day in Bukoba!

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Last day in Bukoba!

On Saturday, the group went back to Ntoma orphanage to assist with chores and play with the children. The matron of the orphanage said that they did not need any help with laundry or lawn care today, so instead we waited for the children to wake up from their midday nap to play with them. While we waited we went back to the beach in Ntoma. The beach there is very secluded and the views there are beautiful! Even though it was an overcast day, we all enjoyed our time their. After about an hour, we went back to the orphanage and heard the babies waking up! One by one, they brought the children out to play, and we each had one (or two!) babies to play with. They were adorable and all very happy, content babies. After the orphanage, we went back into town for dinner and then spent the evening at the beach in Bukoba at a bonfire. There were a lot of groups staying at or near William's beach, some from the Netherlands, others from Belgium, and some people from Uganda. It was a night of great conversations, and we also say a traditional drum and dance group perform. Half the group decided to rent a tent and a hut on the beach to spend the night in.

Sunday morning, the rest of the group met up with those who slept on the beach. Most of the town is closed on Sunday and we are nearly done with our garden project, so we spent the majority of the day relaxing on the beach. In the afternoon, a friend Zaharani brought us on an island tour. From the beach in Bukoba, you can see a large island in the distance. We've seen this island almost everyday we've been here, so it was nice to finally visit it on our last night here. Other than that, we just relaxed the rest of the night, enjoyed one more night at William's house, and started packing.

Today a group of us went to the hospital one last time, and the rest of us went back to the garden to plant the last of the mchicha and say goodbye to the orphanage. The garden is looking great, and some of the plants are sprouting already! The orphanage workers seemed very pleased with the project, and we are all glad to have helped them in this project. We also had enough funds left to purchase two more mattresses and we also gave them two footballs as a parting gift. They told us we are more than welcome back in the future trips, so we hope to visit again and help with other projects and needs that they have! The rest of the day will be filled with last minute food fixes, shopping, packing, and enjoying Bukoba! Our time here has gone (too) fast, but I know that we have enjoyed every minute of it!

Stay tuned for an update after our trip through the Serengeti!

-Becca M

FEAST!

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Friday, June 10th:
Today was similar to the past few in that we split up into two groups. One to go to the garden and keep planting, and the other to go to the hospital. The garden group completed about five more plots. Meanwhile, the hospital group got to sit in on surgeries. We saw about 5 different operations, which ended with a C-section. Each operation was a success and the baby and mother from the C-section are healthy!
In the afternoon we returned to the village where we worked on the house the first week here. We saw the progress (roof goes up on Monday) and were able to play with the kids for a while!
Tonight we are looking forward to a traditional meal prepared by our hosts, Jackie and William. Jackie is an excellent cook and she has been working all day to prepare us this feast! YUM!

-Becca H.

Bollea Party

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Thursday, June 9th:
Once again our day was split between the hospital and the garden project. The group at the hospital started the day by sitting in at the doctors' morning meeting. There we heard a summary of the past days events and listened to discussions about the interesting or tricky cases for the day. Next we followed a surgeon on rounds through the main surgical ward. There we saw everything from broken limbs, to post-op infections, to fingers that need amputation. It was an educational day and was especially interesting to compare treatment of patients here, with the care we get at home.
The rest of the group went strait to the garden to begin planting. They finished five plots which consisted of mchicha (like spinach), onions, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, green peppers, and other green leafy vegetables. They also fertilized the garden with Bollea (chicken manure). A very productive day all around!
The groups joined up again to try a new restaurant, then we all went home to clean up and recuperate!

-Becca H.

Burn baby, Burn!

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Another busy day in Bukoba!

Today (Wednesday) we split into two groups. One group of us went to the Kagera Regional Hospital to shadow in the OB/GYN ward. While at the hospital, we saw a minor operation for a woman to get her "tubes tied." It was very interesting to see! First, they only have to make a very small incision in her lower abdomen and that was enough for the doctor to search around for her fallopian tubes. Once he found them, he verified it by following it to the fimbriae (the fingery fringe tissue that cups the ovary). He explained that the fallopian tubes resemble other tissue of the abdomen so it's best to verify what you're cutting! They then tie a loop of the tube off and cut it. It's a very quick and efficient procedure, and the doctor was very welcoming! We all enjoyed it a lot.

The rest of the group went straight to the garden site at Uyacho orphanage. The group finished clearing the dried grass and roots into piles to be burned. A man there to help us started organizing the field into plots for planting seeds tomorrow. I'm very impressed by the hard work of the crew that went first things this morning. They put in a solid 5 hours of work, and because of it, we are on schedule to plant and fertilize tomorrow! I think we all love working there though because when we are done and head back up to the orphanage, we are greeted by hugs, fist-pounds, and high-fives from all the kids!

-Becca M

Shit Happens!-Tuesday June 7th

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Tuesday June 7th

Hello to all at home! Tuesday morning, the BWB group split up into two different groups. One group went to the hospital and another went to Mr. Raza's shop. The group at Mr. Raza's shop helped prepare meals for children whose parents had died of HIV or AIDS. The children were living with their grandparents or other surviving family members. With that, these meals are sent to these families who do not have the financial support of working parents. The food was packaged as a kilogram of beans and a kilogram of corn flour to ensure that these families could have one solid meal throughout the week. The program is sponsored by Mr. Raza, and it was fun and nice for our group to see that there are or organizations in Bukoba that are similar to organizations such as Open Arms in Minneapolis. The other group that went to the hospital got to see some very interesting procedures. First, there was an appendectomy. The surgeon performing this procedure was very informative of what was going on, and we were all surprised at how long the appendix was (Looks sort of like a green bean except not green). We then saw a repaired hernia on the middle abdomen near the belly button. After this, both groups had lunch at either the New Rose Café or Hasseki's . After lunch, the group that had done the food preparation went and distributed the prepared food. At 3:00 pm, both groups met at the garden site and hauled manure (bolea in Swahili) to the garden site. The orphanage already had the manure from the chicken coop, but it was our task to haul it in bags or buckets approximately 300-400 meters down a hill and across a river to the garden site. By the end, we had a very large pile of chicken manure at the garden site. With the help of workers at the orphanage, we began burning the dried grass piles we had hoed the previous day. We worked on this for about three hours before going home for chips mayai for dinner!

Mathodia's Village

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June 5th, 2011

Hello to all State side! Sorry this entry is a little late. Yesterday we went and toured Mathodia's village. Mathodia is a friend of the groups who was introduced to us by William. She is a school teacher in Bukoba. The village was about 15 km outside of bukoba, and when we got there, we toured the town market which had fun fabrics as well as lots of food. We then toured Mathodia's village and were able to see a traditional hut of the villages in the area. Mathodia invited us to try chewing coffee which has a bit of a menthol taste but does not taste like coffee at all. After seeing a traditional hut, we then went to the edge of the village for a spectacular hillside view ( the village itself is a top a large hill). Mathodia then introduced us to her grandmother who was 104 years old! We were all taken back by how great she looked too. After the village, we went back to Bukoba for a few restful hours on the beach. We then proceeded to the Paradise Bar for fish and chips which is just across from the beach (William highly recommended the fish there). After that we retired for the night for a good night rest for starting the garden project for William's orphanage!

Mathodia's Village

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June 5th, 2011

Hello to all State side! Sorry this entry is a little late. Yesterday we went and toured Mathodia's village. Mathodia is a friend of the groups who was introduced to us by William. She is a school teacher in Bukoba. The village was about 15 km outside of bukoba, and when we got there, we toured the town market which had fun fabrics as well as lots of food. We then toured Mathodia's village and were able to see a traditional hut of the villages in the area. Mathodia invited us to try chewing coffee which has a bit of a menthol taste but does not taste like coffee at all. After seeing a traditional hut, we then went to the edge of the village for a spectacular hillside view ( the village itself is a top a large hill). Mathodia then introduced us to her grandmother who was 104 years old! We were all taken back by how great she looked too. After the village, we went back to Bukoba for a few restful hours on the beach. We then proceeded to the Paradise Bar for fish and chips which is just across from the beach (William highly recommended the fish there). After that we retired for the night for a good night rest for starting the garden project for William's orphanage!

Garden!

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June 6th, 2011

Hello everyone! Today was a long, but great day! Rose, Liz, and Becca H started off observing at the hospital....there at 8am sharp. They were able to observe an emergency C-section while shadowing the head doctor for the maternity ward. Another very cool experience! Ben, Becca M., Ashley, and Madison went to start our garden project at the orphanage in the morning. They began by clearing the land, leveling, and weeding the area. They other three who were at the hospital came and joined them around noon. We have been working through the day under the blistering sun until now. Garden gloves on, some of us raked and beat down big chunks while others sifted. As of right now, the land is looking pretty nice. We had a great start to the project with help of some of the caretakers from the orphanage. They even treated us to an afternoon snack of bananas and Coke...very refreshing. And that is all for now! We start fertilizing tomorrow and we will continue to take shifts observing at the hospital and working on the garden.

Garden!

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June 6th, 2011

Hello everyone! Today was a long, but great day! Rose, Liz, and Becca H started off observing at the hospital....there at 8am sharp. They were able to observe an emergency C-section while shadowing the head doctor for the maternity ward. Another very cool experience! Ben, Becca M., Ashley, and Madison went to start our garden project at the orphanage in the morning. They began by clearing the land, leveling, and weeding the area. They other three who were at the hospital came and joined them around noon. We have been working through the day under the blistering sun until now. Garden gloves on, some of us raked and beat down big chunks while others sifted. As of right now, the land is looking pretty nice. We had a great start to the project with help of some of the caretakers from the orphanage. They even treated us to an afternoon snack of bananas and Coke...very refreshing. And that is all for now! We start fertilizing tomorrow and we will continue to take shifts observing at the hospital and working on the garden.

Recent Comments

  • joh04643: So jealous of the feast and operations! Eats lots! Wish read more
  • elisabeth.mcalister@gmail.com: Thanks for the 'postcard' descriptions, guys. The mayor of Bukoba read more

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