Monday, 15 September 2014

Fried Blobby Fish and other Ugandan Stories

Here I am in Uganda for my fourth visit in 18 months.  I was feeling particularly anxious prior to my trip as we approach the end of our programme and need to show that we have achieved our objectives and provided value for money.  I have travelled previously with other members of RCM staff or external consultants; this time I have a dauntingly long list of objectives to achieve my myself.  However, I am happily overlapping with four of our UK midwife volunteers, two of whom (Tricia and Sue) flew out with me from Heathrow.  It's great to be staying in the Kolping Hotel together and to have arrived in the middle of the night with other people rather than on my own.

Ebola defences were in evidence at the airport; we were met by a wall of nurses in uniform, wellies, masks and gloves who made us sanitise our hands and checked our temperatures before we passed through immigration.  We also had to complete a long checklist to rule out any suspicious symptoms of disease! Thankfully UPMA's staff members Andrew and Bonny were there to meet us and drive us back to Kampala from Entebbe airport (approx 1.5 hours drive) arriving at 1am.  I am staying in the same room as my previous visit which is a mini suite (of sorts) and very comfortable.

After settling in and reconnecting with Ann and Kate, volunteer midwives who have been here for 1 week already, we went to the UPMA's office this afternoon for a meeting to discuss everyone's workplans and my objectives and ensure that everything dovetailed into our project plan.  This required much skillful cross cultural negotiation and I was quite tired at the end!  Back at the hotel we continued our discussions over dinner - it's lovely all being together but sometimes difficult to switch off!

Meeting at UPMA this afternoon

Having experienced the hotel buffet for lunch (starch, starch and starch) we decided A la carte was the best option for dinner.  Here is the fish menu - I was briefly tempted by the 'English Style Blobby Fish Fillet - look big, delicious but fish certainly' but decided to leave that delicacy for another night.
Yum yum, blobby fish

Kate, Tricia, Ann, Sue - lovely RCM midwife volunteers rehydrating at the end of the day

Tomorrow we are heading for Kiwoko to leave Sue there for the rest of the week and start collecting data towards developing a tool for supporting learning and teaching in midwifery practice.  More stories soon!


  1. Loving the sound of the blobby fish! You'll have to try it Joy. Just wondering what would of happened if you had a raised temp on arrival?

  2. I discovered that Blobby Fish is just fish in batter, eg English-style fish and chips! But still continued to give it a miss... all that startch!


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