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Monday, December 5, 2011

Sense & Sensibility

Another bat was spotted in my house this morning. It was hiding behind one of my basins. I was washing the huge pile of clothes that accumulated during my trip to Jinja. At first I didn’t notice it crawling across the back portion of my house but as soon as I did I ran into my bedroom and shut the door. There is a small opening on the metal door that can be opened without having to open the whole door, so I opened it and peered at the bat as it made its way to my back door. There is a gap between the ground and the door so I figured the bat would use its brain and crawl out to freedom. Unfortunately, I have more common sense than a bat (I suppose this is really a good thing) because the bat simple sat in the gap and stayed there for more than an hour. I thought if I threw something at the creature, it would try to leave through the previously mentioned gap, so I took some moth balls I had handy and hit it a few times. This only seemed to make the bat more curious about me because every time I tried to scare it, the bat seemed to move closer inside the house rather than outside the house. Lucky for me, I have two entrances to my house so I shut and locked the door to my bedroom on one side and used the other entrance to get out and try and track someone down to get the creature out. Of course this is the week when all the staff is preparing for new students to come to the school, so everyone seemed to be busy. I tried for what felt like an eternity to find someone, only being met with giggles and laughs. Finally I tracked down Moses, who I knew would at least help me, even if he would probably laugh at me. I was right, he did laugh, but at least he helped. He used a newspaper and actually picked the thing up and took it outside. At first I thought he was going to kill it, but he said if I wanted it dead I had to kill it myself. Seriously? I told him if he didn’t kill it, the stupid bat would just keep coming back. As a compromise, he decided to take it “far away” which I can only imagine is just a few feet further than he was going to toss it.

I’m wondering if this means the unit needs to be sprayed for bats again. I was told that it had to be repeated every few months. I’m not really sure if I’m allowed to request the spraying to be done or not. If so, I hope I don’t have to pay for it myself. That seems like it would be kind of expensive, although it would be worth it to not be surprised by unwelcomed visitors.

The only silver lining I can think of is that it wasn’t a snake. Thank goodness for that.

This Friday marked the beginning of the Red Cross Youth Camp. I thought I’d offer my help for any sessions that I may be useful for, so Aaron’s supervisor took me up on my offer. I co-led yoga sessions in the morning (6 am…the horror) and did an HIV/AIDS session. The sessions weren’t really mapped out so it turned into a “do what you want with it” type situation. This wasn’t exactly appealing to me because I haven’t really done any educational sessions on HIV/AIDS before, so I wasn’t sure where to start. I tried to come up with something interesting, so I thought I’d start the session off with a discussion of things that are well known but may need reinforcing in youth today.

The topics discussed were:
What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?
What are the different ways to transmit HIV?
What are some ways to prevent HIV/AIDS transmission?
What is a discordant couple?
What are some stigmas related to HIV+ test results?

Then I thought I’d split the group up into five smaller groups to perform different role play scenarios:
Group 1: Discordant couples discussing possibilities of having a child
Group 2: Convincing partner to get tested
Group 3: Convincing partner to wait to have sex
Group 4: Convincing partner to use a condom
Group 5: Receiving news that a friend is HIV+

So after going through the Camp, I think it went really well. The attendees somehow were interested and seemed to gain something out of it. Hopefully they retained some skills they can use during any outreach they do as Red Cross Volunteers. I know with the Student Link group at my nursing school, I will try to incorporate these unique and creative ideas in our outreach, when we start doing outreach. There was also a heap of positive feedback from the attendees as well as the other administrators of the camp. Hopefully this means I can actually do this whole HIV/AIDS education and sensitization thing after all.

The trip back was a mess. Griffin and I left early to stop in Masaka to run some errands. After running around for a while, we trekked for what seemed like hours to get a taxi. We were waiting at one gas station, which used to have taxis to Kyotera, only to find out they no longer board there. While waiting, a random Ugandan child came out of a car and sat on Griffin’s lap. We finally got into Kyotera (Griffin’s hell of a town) and hung out there for a while, where Griffin was gracious enough to share her awesome gifts from home with me (including Skittles, granola bars, and Skippy PB). I left around 3 and walked what felt like miles and miles in the heat to find a taxi to Rakai. When I finally did, we didn’t leave Kyotera until 4:30. Upon finally arriving in Rakai, I had to walk up my mountain. When I finally got to my home away from home, I realized I had no water in my jerry can. I unpacked and filled up my water, then took a bath, completely exhausted. Some staff members noticed and commented on it, and I responded that I was very tired from the weekend. Next thing I know, my neighbor comes to my place and gives me a whole tray of eggs. Seriously. That stuff isn’t cheap; each egg is 300 USH a piece. A whole tray is 30 eggs, THAT'S A LOT! I was so happy…sometimes people really can surprise you.


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