Monday, January 18, 2010

Just Like a Ugandan

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.


Julie Q said...

I'm sooo spoiled! Thanks for sharing this.

The Peterson Six said...

Wow. Very good article and picture of life in Uganda. Thank you for sharing!