Joined May 2018 Message
  • Day15


    November 18, 2019 in Uganda ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    I woke up to lots of rain and got ready before breakfast. I had breakfast with all the Americans and the family left about 9. Which left me and the 2 American pastors. So we played cards together while waiting for their driver to arrive, who was meant to arrive at 10...

    I said goodbye to Judith and the others before they left.

    At 10 he still wasn't there so I went inside to finish packing before Aggrey picked me up at 11.

    The combination of rain and a Monday morning means lots and lots of traffic so Aggrey picked me up at 11:45 in the end. Still no driver for the others, so said goodbye to them too!

    I got a quick lunch and then went to the airport and checked in. Which is where I am right now, waiting to go to my gate writing this!

    Oops, someone just found me and told me 'Wells you need to go in' - to be fair my flight doesn't leave for another 50 minutes, but I should probably go!
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    David Burton

    We have so enjoyed reading your daily blogs and the lovely pictures that have illustrated what you have written. Thank you for making the effort when you were so busy. Safe and good travels and we look forward to catching up when you are home. Much love Gdad and G

  • Day13

    Allllllllll on my own

    November 16, 2019 in Uganda ⋅ ☁️ 27 °C

    Saturday was my only day I was the only one at the guest house. I set off quite early to go to the craft market and had a quick city tour to see the sights of Kampala. I quickly went to a supermarket before heading back to pack for leaving.

    On Sunday I went to Watoto Ntinda, which is in the north of the city, I went to the midday service. It follows the same series as all the other Watoto churches and the pastor seemed very good. I grabbed some food for lunch on the way home and then packed for the afternoon.

    That evening a family of missionaries and the two Americans I met at church last week arrived at the guest house, so I had dinner with them before going to bed.
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  • Day12

    Kabaka's Palace

    November 15, 2019 in Uganda ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    As it was Felisha's last day we decided we'd go to Kabaka's Palace, and be proper tourists. As we arrived we were told that the king was going to arrive soon, which is unusual because he doesn't live there so only visits for events. We waited around a bit to see if he was going to come soon, while the guide told us about the history and some information about the marriage ceremony here, it's all very confusing! It then became obvious he wasn't going to come for a while so we walked around a bit and then to the torture chamber. It was used by Idi Amin in the 70s, it was built by the Israeli arms for Idi Amin as an armoury, but he changed it into a torture chamber. In total 25,000 people died in the chamber in the 7 years it was used; in total he killed 800,000 people in the 7 years, which was 4% of the population of Uganda at the time. It was a very eerie atmosphere, with writing and handprints on the wall from the people being killed and the relatives of those people. This part of history is why the king doesn't live there. We walked back up and saw the King's car driving past into the palace, this then meant we couldn't go in to take a photo of the outside.

    It was then back to downtown where I had to say goodbye to Felisha. I grabbed lunch at the Watoto cafe before Aggrey picked me up and took me go Bbira for just over an hour to say goodbye and thank you to everyone there.

    Then back to the guest house for dinner with all my gecko friends and to bed.
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  • Day11


    November 14, 2019 in Uganda ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Today I went with Felisha and her liason, Paul, to the Gem foundation. This is an orphanage for children with special needs and it has a direct link with Watoto. While she has been here Felisha has been part of the schools outreach programme which has meant she's gone to schools and told them about Jesus. So that's what we were doing, we started by waiting for the rest of the team to arrive so we played with the children, some of which are severely disabled. The most friendly one was a little girl called Mercy, she was born without any limbs but this didn’t stop her, she's still shuffling very quickly around the room with a huge smile and always asking to be picked up! Once the others arrived there was a short talk about the story of Noah's ark which is very basic but is more for the nannies looking after the children. Next comes some music and dancing, which is for the children. Everyone joins in, no matter what their disability, they're either jumping or moving in their wheelchair or even just twitching as they lie on the ground. It was a very eye opening experience seeing children with quite obvious disabilities and seeing what an amazing job the nannies do to look after them.

    After this we went for lunch at Downtown and then to see a performance by one of the Watoto childrens choir. They were performing at a school before they embark on their tour around the UK. The kids are so talented, and their stories are so impactful, you can really see how much Watoto changes their lives.

    Then it was back to downtown to the craft market for some quick shopping, but not before Paul spotted a guy following us and then reaching for our bags, but he saved us! Judith picked us up from downtown to take us back home. Judith had planned a film night that evening so once we got through all the traffic we went to a, what seemed like a slightly illegal, film store! Then we bought ice cream and popcorn before we headed back. It was a quick dinner before going to Judith's to watch Breakthrough, which is a Christian film based on a true story. We were finished late and then we had to check Felisha in for her flight and she packed quickly. Then it was off to bed for a much needed sleep.
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  • Day10

    Thank you Dr. Zach

    November 13, 2019 in Uganda ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    I got called Dr Zach today by a child!

    I missed his vein for the cannula so the nurse had to do it again and then when I gave the medication he started feeling a bit sick, but he still said 'thank you Dr Zach'!

    Other than that I sat in the pharmacy for the rest of the day. We had a Bible study at lunch time, discussing the light topic of 'does science contradict faith?' Which was some good easy conversation over rice and beans! It was good though, lots of different opinions, even if most of the time I couldn't understand them because they were speaking at the same time!

    I went back to the guest house, did some squats, taste tested protein bars and then went to dinner.
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    Aurélie Drogou

    It looks like you are having a good time Dr Zach ! ;)

    David Burton

    It suits you Dr Zach! We are so pleased you are having such an interesting time. Much love G G

  • Day8

    Monday and Tuesday at Bbira

    November 11, 2019 in Uganda ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    This week I'm at the medical centre and the other village, Bbira. I spoke to the doctor and he said that I'd be doing the same kind of thing, so I was sat in the pharmacy for the day. The pharmacy here is in the middle of both schools so children point and laugh and then shout Mzungu whenever they see me through the window! It's much smaller and more organised here also, and the team are very nice and have helped me give the right medicines. They've also been very interested about the UK and especially medical school there, to which I reply "it's really hard to get in to!"

    Monday, we decided to do a workout which I'm still hurting from and it was also Judith's birthday and her husband had planned for all of us and the staff at the guest house to surprise her which was really nice. She definitely didn't expect it and she loved it. We had some cake and danced a bit. She gave a speech, calling us ‘the best guests ever’ which I can't deny, we're pretty great!

    On Tuesday the weather wasn't very good, I've never seen so much rain fall in 5 minutes! It flooded the ground outside in minutes. This means no one comes to the clinic unless it's really urgent, so most of the time, while it was raining, was spent chatting about the UK, playing tetris and reading. Then back to the guest house, now there's only me and Felisha again as Aya has gone to Gulu.

    Another good couple of days.

    'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. (‭Zechariah‬ ‭4‬:‭6‬ NIV)
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    Kenya and Uganda 2019

    Pretty sure that’s our front doorstep you’re stretching on..?!

    David Burton

    It's great hearing about your days and we are so glad the team at Bbira are all so nice and helpful to you. It's interesting to hear that they like hearing about the UK and our medical schools! You are obviously keeping the children amused! The photos are super! So pleased you are enjoying your time so much. Much love GG

  • Day7

    African timing!

    November 10, 2019 in Uganda ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    After going to Watoto Downtown last night I didn't need to go this morning as it's the same service. So I decided to go to Judith's church which starts at around 11:30. So Judith said meet her at 11:15 so we can drive the 2 minutes it takes to get there! I get there on time, as usual 😉, and she said she'd be ready in 5 minutes, so we left at 11:45! Once we get there I realise I'm not the only Mzungu at the service as there 2 Americans preaching and visiting that day. We were singing for a while and then the Pastor invites one of the Americans up to speak. He starts his sermon and then asks if anyone has anything encouraging for the pastor and his wife, to this call around 8 people all stand up and queue up to say something! The first guy spoke for about 10/15 minutes, really setting the tone for how long everyone else spent, even giving them a 30 second limit they still all spoke for nearly 5 minutes! Everytime 1 person finished and sat down another one would stand up and join the back, so it wasn't going to end very quickly! In the end it took up all the time for the talk, so he didn't give it! But it was obvious to see how much the Pastor's family put into the church and the congregation, I think it was a much needed encouragement for them both. Judith drove me back to the guest house and I had some lunch on my own.

    Felisha got back just as I was finishing lunch and we decided to go for a walk to the supermarket to buy a couple of things. We then came back, dropped the things off and went for an explore of the area. Walking towards the church and then just walking down roads we thought looked fun! We saw some children filling up 20 litre containers with water and carrying them on their head, so Felisha asked if she can try, I think it was a lot heavier than it looked, but she did manage to carry it to their house, making it look slightly more difficult than the 8 year old was! We carried on our walk and maybe get slightly lost when we were on our way back, but we did make it in the end, just in time for the evening service at the church opposite the guest house, where we had to introduce ourselves just as we were about to leave. Back for dinner and chatting with everyone. Finally off to bed to rest for the week at Bbira.
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    David Burton

    Another set of lovely pictures to illustrate your log. I admire your stamina for the church services but perhaps it is my Anglican background that would make this marathon very testing for me. What sort of distances were the children having to fetch and carry the water? Presumably they all lived in nearby villages? Enjoy the rest of your work experience and what a wonderful opportunity you are having. Love Gdad and Granny

  • Day6

    My God in the mosque

    November 9, 2019 in Uganda ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Today was my 'day off' so I was keen to see some of Kampala. I had the morning at the guest house just reading and relaxing before Aggrey picked me up at around 12:30. We drove to the national mosque which is the second largest mosque in Africa. I was given a kind of tunic to wear for the tour. Aggrey waited in the car while I was shown around by a tour guide, she took me into the main mosque, but first removing my shoes, and explained the history of it being built, originally started by Idi Amin and then knocked down and completely built by Gaddafi, opening in 2008. The mosque itself is very beautiful, with the materials coming from all over the world- carpet from Libya, windows and doors from Italy- it has stain glass windows and a huge chandelier in the middle. She shows me the Quran and tells me the story of how it was written, to which I politely nod along. She told me to walk up to the balcony where the women are allowed to pray, while she waited down the stairs to collect our shoes. We then walked to the minaret, and she I climbed to the very top alone, while she waited at the bottom! I'm not usually scared of heights but this was a bit different, the concrete steps were slightly uneven and my tunic meant that I couldn't step as I usually would. I prayed the whole way up (hence the title!), so God definitely got me to the top. Once I reached the top the view of Kampala was incredible, looking down at all the busyness of the city. After I reached the top a man and his son joined me, but he spoke very limited English and didn't understand any of my questions so just told me how great Kampala is! The way down was still pretty scary so I prayed the whole way down too! I reached the bottom of the 50m tall minaret and greeted by my tour guide asking about the Queen and thinking the Queen's great great great great grandson, or something like that! She takes me back to Aggrey, and on the way people are greeting me in Arabic, there were lots of people visiting as it was Muhammad's birthday.

    We then went to lunch and I then had a hair cut at the salon. They thought my hair was very soft and even washed it for me after, which they don’t do for me at home! Then a quick stop at the craft market again and then to church for the Saturday evening service at Downtown. Which was of course loud and full of dancing. Then back to the guest house and met the new girl who is staying there from Japan.

    Quite a busy day!
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    Kenya and Uganda 2019

    We were in the car coming back from Parkrun when you texted from the Minaret steps... you can picture the scene, Granny and I were saying, ‘ just come back down, you don’t need to go the top!’, whilst Dad, Grandad, Caleb, Oggs and Zeph were saying the opposite.. (more along the lines of ‘Don’t be a wimp’ (Caleb), ‘You’ll regret it if you don’t get all the way to the top’ (Dad). Good thing the Lord came to the mosque with you, is all I can say!

    David Burton

    Sounds an incredibly interesting day and quite an experience. Did you hear the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer in the mosque? I thought they traditionally did this from the top on the minaret, but I guess most of this is now a recording blasted out? We liked the pictures very much and well done you sharing your experiences in this informative way. Much love from us all including Lower Lodge Cottage.

    David Burton

    Granny and Grandad have just shown us all the photos and it all looks amazing- most amazing thing is all the boys are SMILING! Lots of love, Ims and Esti xx

  • Day2

    Tuesday to Friday

    November 5, 2019 in Uganda ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    The rest of the week was mostly the same every day. Normally picked up at 8 by Aggrey and then off to Suubi for the day. I spent some time in the treatment room removing cannulas and injecting medication to patients, but most of my time was spent in the pharmacy giving out prescriptions to patients, which meant I had to learn all the different drugs and also be able to understand the doctor's messy writing. They're always very polite after receiving their medications, although sometimes getting confused between 'thank you' and 'you're welcome'! On Wednesday the school was holding a fundraiser for a child of 2 teachers at the school there to send him to India for treatment for leukaemia. This meant the clinic closed for the afternoon and I went and played volleyball, with the medical team winning of course.

    That was my first working week here and I very much enjoyed it, onto the weekend and next week.
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    David Burton

    I am sure ears of reading my writing will have assisted in translating the prescriptions! All sounds very relevant training though given the UK seem likely to push more onto pharmacies for dealing with minor injuries and treatment needs. Love G and G

  • Day1

    Alone in Uganda

    November 4, 2019 in Uganda ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    Today my family left me in Uganda. I left mum, Zeph and Caleb back at the apartment at around 9 to head to downtown Kampala to see Aggrey and get taken to Suubi to start working in the medical centre there. Mum was quite obviously going to miss me for the 2 weeks I'm away while Zeph and Caleb didn't obviously show it, but I'm sure they will deep down. Jose, Dad, Oggs and I drove to downtown and met Aggrey there, we had a quick coffee and I had a long hug from Oggs while saying 'why are you leaving me?' Which I suppose was almost cute..! Aggrey and I drove to Suubi to start the 2 week adventure I'm going to have. I quickly met the doctor and the nurse working at the medical centre and was shown around. Before I knew it I was in the treatment room being told that today I'd learn how to fit a cannula! Half thinking she just means I'd know the process, not actually having to do one. But I got eased into it, first I gave the medication through the cannula, and watched 2 being done. Then after the third time of watching Ruth, the nurse, said the next one is mine 😬. And so it was, under supervision I put my first cannula into a patient, and, not to brag, I succeeded first time! I then had to set the drip up for this person and walk them into the ward to rest with their drip in. That concluded my first day at the medical centre and it's fair to say they allowed me to do slightly more than I'd be allowed to do in the UK! It was back to the apartment to rest and eat dinner with Felisha, who's the other person staying here at the moment. We planned what the hundreds of kids were going to do at children's church on Sunday. Then to bed to get some much needed rest for the next day.

    I really appreciate all the people praying for me while I'm here, thank you all so much!
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    Kenya and Uganda 2019

    Hooray, day 1 on the blog has emerged!

    Aurélie Drogou

    We are definitely praying for you Zach . Have an amazing time

    David Burton

    Very well done Zach, you certainly sound as if you had a very interesting and informative first day, which I'm sure in England you would not be starting to do until well into your training!! Much love and prayers G G


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