I love Uganda so much. I have gotten used to rarely having running water and electricity. I have been placed as the head of public health. This is such an overwhelming job, but I am learning to delegate. I have been so busy that I haven't had the opportunity to check my e-mail for about 2 weeks. Family, I see that you all have e-mailed me several times. The internet here is so slow that I can't even get into my gmail account all the way to read the emails. The best that I can do is a blog post. Hopefully, this helps. It is official; I do not have an address. I live in a little village called Nakazadde which is right outside of Lugazi. We pretty much walk everywhere. I am becoming a pro clothes washer. I never realized how difficult it was to wash clothes by hand. I still have a problem with my whites. It is impossible to get the red clay out of them. Becky, do not wear white clothes in Africa. We met a man named Emmanuel that is a great contact for us. I was able to set up a standing appointment with him every week on Tuesday to do HIV screening. It is such an awesome experience. Last week, we screened 49 people for both HIV 1 and 2. Thankfully, no one was positive which is rare. I was swabbing people's fingers and doing record keeping. I even pulled each person aside to give them their results. Emmanuel taught us to really make them sweat while they were in the hot seat even if their results were negative. Nearly all of them had legitimate reasons to worry. It surprised me how many were not being smart and putting themselves at risk. For the testing, we did not have the proper supplies such as gloves or a sharps container. This worried me and I am working on fixing that problem. Here the clinics are dirty and they do not have the resources. On saturday, we went into Kampala for Dominoes and a football game. We are all getting very tired of Ugandan food, but were slightly disappointed by the Ugandas attempt at pizza. It was certainly better than the usual matoka, beans, and rice though. AFterwards, we went to Mandela stadium and had front row seats to the football (soccer) game between Uganda and Kenya. It was absolutely amazing! Of course, Uganda won 1-0. I love this country very much. My only frustration is that Ugandans run on a totally different time schedule. They are at least an hour or two late to every meeting that is if they even show up. They make mormon standard time look good. We are trying really hard to get actual projects up and going, but it is difficult if we can't meet with the right people to help us. I am certainly learning patience. Mike and Debbie, I hope all is going well with the job search and moving. We should have a house warming party when I get back.
Oliotiya! (hello) I am safely in country. On my way here, I ran into London by myself for a day trip. I am a master of the tube. I am surprised at how easily I was able to navigate around London without a map or clue of what I was doing especially since I am still confused about the bus system in provo. I stumbled upon buckingham palace. It is so amazing in real life. I even got yelled at by a bobby. From there I went to Kenya. It is just like the Lion King. There were moths there the size of my hand. The airport there was nasty, but it was quite the experience. Kenya and Uganda look nothing alike. Kenya is more of a safari while Uganda is a tropical forest. We drive through a rain forest on the way to church. I have already eaten fried grasshoppers. It is apparently a special treat here. Our team has already made two adobe stoves. The children here love us and follow us everywhere yelling "myzungos myzungos" (white people white people). Everywhere I go, I have at least 2 children holding on to each one of my hands. My first day in country I drank black market contaminated water and got hit by a car, but it is ok because I am still alive. The water bottle had a small hole in the bottom that they drilled and then filled with dirty water and super glued shut. Pedestrians do not have the right away. Everywhere we walk, people stare. They absolutely love us, but the ones that are a bit too outgoing are the ones that you have to watch. They are looking to take advantage of you. I have already had someone try and steal my bag. Our first official restaurant meal was fish and chips. I was expecting cute little fish sticks, but instead they brought us out the whole fish. The eye balls are supposedly the best part. That is a lie. They are disgusting but the fins are pretty good. During our first stove building, we were stomping and mixing the clay with our bare feet and I got clay and cement on my face so I just made little smears under my eyes. Kisha (our construction leader) told me that I had dirt on my face. I said I know; I am a warrior. He looked confused and said that in their culture they put paint like that on little boys' faces when they are going to be circumsized. Oops. Also, the women and children kneel when they greet you as a sign of respect. Today, we toured Kowala Hospital. I got to see a live operation in the major theatre (operating room) and saw a woman's uterus being pulled out. I can't wait to really get to work at the hospital. I will even be helping giving birth. The country is beautiful and the people are even more wonderful. It is so green here, but it is also ridiculously humid. For the past week we haven't had running water and the electricity is only on half the time. When we have the chance to get water, we take bucket showers. I am really getting the third world experience. Since it is rainy season, it rains super hard at least once a day. All of the myzungos love it because it is a break from the heat, but all the ugandans run for shelter and wear huge jackets and parkas. At first, all the natives here stunk like BO really badly but now they are starting to smell fine. I attribute this to the fact that I haven't showered for 3 days so I stink also, and everything I touch sticks to me. The bugs here are insanely large, and the mosquitos are even bigger. Although, we were told that the mosquitos that carry malaria are the small ones. Good thing I have my bed net all set up. Here, my name is peggy. They do not understand paige or think that it is silly that I am named after a piece of paper. I have already developed a little bit of an ugandan accent. It makes it easier for the people to understand me. I have so much to tell but no time. I also have amazing pictures and videos but I will have to wait until America to post them.