Going to the field – Part 1

On September 28th at 6am, I left Kampala and my comfortable Uganda home to travel to “the field.”  Throughout my life, the concept of “the field” has changed from anywhere in Africa, to outside major cities, to wherever everyone else calls “the field.” Right now, I’m sitting at Shine On Hotel in Mbale and would say I’m not so much as in the field as in a different town.  Mbale isn’t big, but it is by no means a village.  If it had an American equivalent, I’d put it at the size of Ravenna, Ohio – lots of little shops, a couple roads that could be called “main,” and a decent sized population (though Mbale heavily beats our Ravenna with a whopping 90,000 compared to Ravenna’s weak 11,000)

Mbale will be my base for the next week.  It’s nestled next to a mountain range with a white streak of a water fall visible from the city streets.  The tourist in me just wants to find that waterfall.  But I’m not here for sightseeing, I’m here to do a study of technological resources at local health facilities.  Or more accurately, I’m here to sit around until tomorrow morning when I’m going to hand out surveys.

I’ve met with the mobile team, had lunch with them (I had traditional lunch of matoke, cassava, sweet potato and beef for breakfast, so lunch was an egg and chapatti), and bought an adapter (forgot mine in Kampala!).

Oops, the electricity at the Hotel blew the charger.  Well, I wanted to see the city some more anyway.  I walked back to the shop (found it all on my own) and after a bit of bickering with the shopkeep over how the charger stopped working, I got a much more expensive charger that could take more voltage.   Now, successful, I blog in Microsoft Word, wondering how do I spend the next 14 hours before work tomorrow?  Some of it must be sleeping.

And then…Monkey’s!  The TV is on my side today with a children’s show, Animal Atlas, about monkey varieties.  No, no real live monkeys this time.


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