Every week I try to look back and find something to be thankful for. This last week it's been pretty easy- I've been in a little piece of America that feels just like home.
You know when you meet those people and they just click? They say or do something and you're like yep, this is it. I've found my people. Well it was pretty much just like that with the Hurry's.
I met they both in passing early on in my stay in Uganda but didn't really get to hangout with them until a very memorable trip to the Lira Main Hospital in town.
I should probably prep it by saying that I am so not cut out for the medical field. Like not even a little bit. Keep it in, if it's bleeding go handle it cause I can but really really don't want to.
So I end up visiting the Lira Main Hospital with some friends from our Bible Study to pray for some of their family members that have been admitted. Now I know when I tell stories I'm sometimes guilty of exaggerating or embellishing but let me tell you this is just a statement of fact and not embellished at all: that hospital was one of the scariest places I've ever been. Now from many conversations with other Mzungus here [Read: Western Folks] I've learned that this is one of the better hospitals. ARE YOU KIDDING ME I COULD NOT EVEN WITH THAT PLACE. But even still it is definitely a third world hospital.
We went into the Men's Ward to visit Lucy's nephew and walked into an open room with hundreds hundreds of beds and patients. The ward was one open room with many partial walls to put beds against. The walls had number after number after number painted on them with a bed in front of each. If you didn't bring your own supplies/sheets/food/family you had nothing. I didn't see one medical professional in the whole building. As we made our way through the ward I tried not to make eye contact or look at anyone, all men in various states of dress trying so hard to get the attention of the Mzungu girls that had just walked in. We made our way to the back where Lucy's nephew was, he'd been in a boda (motorbike) accident. He was laying in a bed surrounded by 7 other male patients, beds pressed up against one another. His leg was swollen. So swollen it looked like 2 legs combined. Turns out he broke his femur and was in so much pain he was sweating. But medicine here is optional, and only then if your family can afford it.
Our hospital visit left me horrified if we're being completely honest. We stopped by a few more beds on the way out as we were grabbed to pray for people. Some of those people had been their for months. They had a bed but no money for treatment, no one to visit or provide linens or even clothes, and food? Forget it. The disease, the sense of despair, the hopelessness and smell all turned my stomach. I got home that night almost of the brink of some type of panic attack, I couldn't breathe. My chest hurt and I was irrationally yet understandably afraid of venturing out on any road- because what are my options? What happens if I get sick? What happens if I'm in an accident or injured? This was my medical option! I'd just seen it and it was horrifying.
Which leads me to meeting the Hurry's. Dr. Bridget is not only a doctor but also a mom and has been living and working in Uganda for 5 years. After some encouragement from someone back home [Shoutout to Julie!] I went Friday morning to see if she had some time to just sit. She didn't really but excitedly welcomed me into her home, sharing TV, a couch and ice water [all huge and exciting things in Uganda, trust me!]
That day is imprinted on my memory along with the announcement made when I had dinner with them that this was "The year of bacon! We will figure out how to get bacon at the Cafe!"
How could these not be my people am I right?
So thankful for a community here that understands the struggle and brings a little piece of America to Uganda. And wants to bring bacon, that’s the important part ;)