Our Uganda experience is coming to an end. We spent a lovely evening with our students at an Italian restaurant called Meditteraneo, lovely setting and delicious food.
On Friday after we had said our goodbyes to everyone, we left for Entebbe, we are spending our last night in Entebbe at the Two Friends Hotel to be closer to the airport and avoid the traffic stress of getting here on time for our flight. The hotel is owned by a Swede from Västerås, a very pleasant hotel by Lake Victoria, and close to Entebbe Airport.
We had a few hours to spare so we visited the Wildlife Education Centre, an educational zoo where children are taught about the preservation of the environment and the protection of the wild life in Uganda. A great experience defintely worth a visit.
Malin surrounded by very curious children
Our last dinner in Uganda was by the Lake Victoria on the beach, where we ate a lovely vegetable curry with the typical African chapate and live African music in the background.
This was a great learning experience for us, it will help us tremendously both with our out-going exchange students, and with the students coming to Sweden from Uganda. The trip gave us a better understanding of the culture and working ethic in Uganda which will help to strengthen our working relationship with our colleagues in Kampala.
Yesterday we spent another day at Makerere University and Mulago Hospital to say goodbye to all the amazing people that we have met during our few days here; Annet, Dunstan, Louis, Susan, Physiotherapists Helen and Richard, among others. It is truly impressive how warm and friendly everyone has been to us and we hope to return the favour in the future.
Swedish people have a lot to learn from Ugandians. Here, nobody is hurrying to the next meeting or running to the metro as we do in Stockholm. Time is flexible here. 9 am means maybe 9.15 am or maybe 10 am, but it means today. We have slowed down our pace since we got here and are adapting to another way of life. We have realised that it is easy to miss something on the way if you are always running.
Our admiration also goes out to our students who are here now on exchange; Matilda (occupational therapy), Kajsa (Medicine), Arman (Dentistry) and Simon (Dentistry). It takes maturity and bravery to come as an exchange student to a place that is so fundamentally different from everything that we are used to at home; the weather, the transportation system, the food, the administration, the patient treatment plans, the people…. we all met last night again for a very nice dinner and had a chance to reflect upon everything that can be experienced here.
Below are photos of the Dental school students, a view from the campus of Makerere University and the view from Arman and Simon´s apartment in the HAM building.
We also met our student from the Occupational Department Matilda who is really enjoying her time here it can very tough but very rewarding at the same time.
Visited the Occupational Therapy Department, unfortunately no one was home they were all busy somewhere else.
We also visted the Physiotherapy department and met the person who is the main
contact for our students when they are in Uganda on exchange,
Now we have been in Kampala a few days and are getting familiar with the Ugandian way of greeting each other. Everyone is very friendly here and greet you with; “good morning/hello, how are you?”. As soon as you talk about how great Uganda is or ask them something a little more personal the Ugandians light up and you have a good conversation going. It takes practise for a reserved Swede to adapt to this openness but it´s worth getting used to (and Karen and I are not reserved so it is working well for us here)!
Last night we went to dinner at an Italian restaurant, Il Patio, with 30+ exchange students to say goodbye to two physiotherapy students from KI who have now finished their exchange period in Uganda. It was a lovely evening with good food and nice conversations. We ended up staying until midnight
Today we spent the whole day at the Department of Odontology where we discussed exchange studies with teachers and students and gave three different presentations; on the Dental programme, on Sweden and on services at KI for exchange students. The students laughed many times when we told them things about Sweden, especially when we told them about the cold, paternity leave and free education as they could hardly believe it. It was a very rewarding day.
Below is a photo of exchange student Simon at the dental clinic. In the Dentistry programme here, there are only about 15 students admitted each year here, as compared to more than 80 in Sweden.
We finally arrived in Kampala, Uganda after an eight-hour-flight, a three-hour-stopover in Addis Ababa and another flight of two hours. We did not look so great after that trip is all I can say…
However, after some noodles, local beer Club, a stroll through the neighbourhood and the changing of hotel rooms, we are now back in business (almost)…. Will just catch up on some sleep first (at 21:01)!
Today is our departure day. We are leaving Stockholm Arlanda at 21.30.
We have now received a tentative schedule from the coordinator at the University of Makerere and are all packed and ready to go.
According to Wikipedia Uganda has about 36 million inhabitants and is bordering to Kenya, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania. The capital is Kampala and the spoken language is English plus a lot of other languages such as Luganda and Swahili. The country is a republic and current President is Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
The motto of the country: “For God and My Country“