|By Tamara Stanley
|While it had never been on my list of activities to take part in, living in the bush country during rainy season has brought mudding into my life. Of course, it's still not as extreme as some folks I know, but instead it is frequent and a matter of necessity even to get to the nearest large village with a hospital.
I've been to the clinic or hospital almost every day for the last 5 weeks. One student has had severe typhoid, requiring multiple rounds of treatment. One child had extremely bad ear infections, one with pneumonia, one with some sort of infection in the skin on her chest, one with a fungal infection on the head, and one with some condition that nobody knew an English word for. That particular child was not treated by the doctor. Instead, he was given medication for symptoms and I had to take him twice a day for treatment by a local woman who knows about local herbs. It was interesting to see the reaction of Ugandans when they saw the infected area. They knew exactly what it was, but throughout the entire treatment, we never met anyone who knew an English word for it.
Anyway, between getting to the clinic or hospital, and getting any supplies we need, like eggs or bread for the school, we have to drive on the roads. When a person requires injections at a certain time of day, you can't wait for the rain to stop or the road to clear up.
And what do you do when a huge truck is stuck in the mud and the entire road is blocked? In those moments, you're grateful for the local person who speaks enough English to direct you on another route. Of course, that also means you learn more ways around and see new villages.
Here are just a few pictures.
These tire tracks are very deep and it's easy to get stuck.
I don't have a photo of the truck that blocked the entire road, but it sat there for 2 days. The very day after they got that one moved, this one got stuck.
The scariest moment happened on our way back but I don't have a photo because who takes a picture in times lack that?? A boda reached the spot just ahead of us, so Floyd told him to go first because we would throw a lot of mud on him if he waited behind us. He decided to go up the side and he was doing a great job most of the way. I admit, I was very nervous. I even told Floyd that I was feeling very uncertain. Sure enough, with only a short distance to go to be clear, he lost his balance. When he realized that he wasn't going to make it, he basically dove off to avoid having the boda land on top of him or rolling with it. He dove at least 2-3 feet down and straight into the mud. He was in his business suit and had his briefcase, which also landed in the mud. Fortunately, the boda stuck in the mud and did not roll down on top of him. I jumped out to see if he was okay and Floyd pulled the car over. A few pedestrians were also nearby, so they came to help. Floyd got out of the car and another boda pulled up about the same time. They worked together to get his boda out of the mud and he was able to continue on home. I'm telling you, I've seen a lot of boda accidents and they almost always jump up and keep going.
Now, this last picture was the next day when another truck was stuck in the mud. He had to dump out his load in order to lower the weight, and he finally got out.
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