after a day at the swimming pool...

Niall2 Posted by Niall Manogue on Sat, 29 Jul 2006 | 1 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

im sitting at the internet cafe in a big shopping centre in kampala… you'll be glad to hear i can adapt to life as a westerner very easily if required. well time for another bloggage.. apologies for the delay, but i actually have been busy this month.

as you will be probably aware, the new community visiting schedule for HIV/AIDS care has been going on this month. its been going really well.. we are starting to engage with our community much more and are starting to discover more about the needs out there. we're finding out about how HIV/AIDS affects out clients and now trying to work out how to deal with it. also been planning a major funding proposal for the US government (through a Ugandan filter agency) so that has been busy. it should finished this week though , so we'll see what they make of it.

i heard a news story from the Uk a few weeks about a doctor, coming out publicy and saying that they were now able to treat AIDS as any other chronic disease.. like diabetes etc. that may be true at home, but it certtainly isnt the case here. AIDS still remains a very active killer. have been out with our community counselling teams over the last few weeks and have seen first hand the damage that it does to families, communities and individuals. the inequality of the global AIDS picture was really brought home by that statement.. we give people ARVs (Anti – retro virals.. drugs to aid your immune system) that no doctor in the west would consider using because of the horrendous side effects, and we do it because there is nothing else available. we ask people to pay for other drugs that they need because no international donor will fund drug costs. we tell people about adherence regimes that include food, but cant guarantee that those poorest clients have access to a regular supply of food.

there is so much work to do. to be honest, it is difficult not to feel overwhelmed by the scale of the AIDS problem. but in the midst of it all, there are signs of hope. we see clients improve. recently we had a monthly youth club meeting that we hold for our HIV+ children.. it was such an uplifting experience. these children were involved in really, really basic craft activities (the kind that kids at home cant be bothered with!).. and they absolutely adored it. there were huge smiles all round. it was so humbling to be part of that group… they taught me a lot.

ill be coming back to home for a few weeks for my sisters wedding in august, so hopefully the more accessible internet will result in some more reflections on african life from college avenue… apologies for the poor grammar (primary school teachers everywhere are tutting..).. but i ve had to type this quickly. see you soon (well some of you anyway)


Hutch said Tue, 29 Aug 2006 01:08PM
Apologies for shabby communication but you have been in my prayers! Sounds as if your being really challenged over there, cant imagine some of the stuff you ahve been seeing/going through. BUt so clear that God is using you to the max nad i have no doubt that you are doing an amazing job. Hope you have a really restful and joyful visit back home..and congrats to rachel...hope she had a great day. Love Hutch