By Carlos Delgado ’16
Joe and I have just returned from Moyo, a town in northern Uganda bordering South Sudan. One of my main objectives here at UBOS was to operate in the field and collect data using tablet devices. It was great to have first-hand experience on how the data is being collected and observe the population being surveyed. We only stayed a night in Moyo, but we were able to stop by and visit nearby towns in northern Uganda. It was great to see a different part of this great country and see a distinctive population. Uganda is unique in that it is a country with multiple tribes, each with their own language, and the majority of its citizens continue to remain loyal to their tribes. Kampala, the capital, is mostly filled with Bugandans, whereas in northern Uganda you are more likely to find people of the Acholi tribe.
I have been keeping a journal to remember my time here in Uganda, as suggested by my professor, Courtney Jensen, and I had many great entries when I was observing the data collection. We first visited Gulo which is Paul’s (our supervisor) and Kony’s hometown. On the way there we crossed the Nile twice, and the second time was on a ferry. We also saw a couple baboons on the side of the road and fed them bananas. The primates were so ecstatic, they jumped on the hood of our truck. We spent the night in Moyo, in a mission like hotel/hostel that was created by the Spanish. It was really nice and we met a few female veterinarians from Connecticut and California that were in town with Veterinarians without Borders. They were observing the animals popular to Uganda and the trends of diseases the animals tend to have.
Then the next morning we visited a village of huts that grew corn and potatoes. We observed a team collect data and surveyed an entire family. The majority was in English, but a few of the family members did not know English so some of questions were asked in their native language. They asked all the questions I saw in the UDHS questionnaire and the team measured the participants’ height, weight, and also checked for anemia with a HemoCue device. We saw 6 participants being surveyed. Overall we were at the village for around two or three hours. We were 5 km from the South Sudan border, which is currently in a civil war. I really wanted to see the border, but no one else shared my desire.
Overall the journey was a blast and I am so grateful for having the opportunity to see a different part of Uganda. As of now, I am privileged to have seen towns in every part of Uganda. In the south, we landed in Entebbe and visited again during our last few days in Uganda to swim in Ero Beach. The city where we spent the majority of our time, Kampala, is in central Uganda. We visited Jinja in eastern Uganda the first few weeks of our trip where we rode a boat on the Nile. And finally, we visited one of our friend’s farms in western Uganda for a weekend. The trip was great and it had more to offer than I could have ever imagined. Again, if anyone is interested in the internship, I highly encourage them to contact either Bill Herrin or Courtney Jensen about the opportunity or feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. My expedition in Uganda was a humbling one that has left many remarkable recollections instilled in my memory. I will be returning to the U.S. with a new perspective on life and I hope you all enjoyed the reading half as much as I enjoyed reminiscing on my time here in the “Pearl of Africa.”