Today started out with a miscalculation. As a result, I had to drive to town to get some cash out of our own bank account to send with our teens for their two-day retreat. Having no cash in my own pocket, I took both of our ATM cards so I could get money for the retreat and for ourselves. Neither of the ATM cards worked today. No money and no access to cash – that’s how most Ugandans spend their days.
Having had a small lunch today, I was ready for dinner early. But I had to take a child to the hospital in the evening and the place was full and the doctors weren’t around. So it was quite late before I got back home for dinner. Hunger (only a little bit on my part) – that’s what many Ugandans face every day.
The child I took to the hospital has had malaria, she has palsy, she is on anti-seizure medicine, and she was having an allergic reaction to something in that mix. The hospital was overcrowded and Tiny Rose had to share a bed with another child in the Pediatric Ward. The Ward has 23 beds in one large room and every child has to have a mother or someone staying with them. Other beds were shared; some children were on the floor – not to mention all the mothers crammed in the room with nowhere to sleep. I get to sleep in my own bed tonight – Most Ugandans share a bedroom, but have no bed in their 1- or 2-room houses.
While at the hospital, I was talking to one of our nurses on the phone. I ran out of airtime (which has to be prepaid here) in the middle of the conversation. No airtime – that is a standard way of life for most Ugandans, even though they may have a cell phone.
No money; little food; no bed for a child; no airtime – these are all basics of life for the masses of people all around us. For me they were only temporary inconveniences. Such is life in Uganda.