My main responsibilities are supervising 2 health centres (Mpati, Kivuye) and a mobile clinic (Bibwe), although Bibwe is a mobile clinic where right now we only have a clinic one day a week. Mpati, Kivuye and Bibwe are all within 1 hour drive of each other but are still 4-9 hours away from Kitchanga, where we are based.
I left on my first trip to the clinics on Tues. We are in the process of renovating the building where we hold our clinic in Bibwe to convert it into a full-time health center. On this trip, we were a big group – with a medical and logistical team, along with a car full of construction workers.
The scenery was magnificent and lush. We are quite high in the mountains so the air is fresh and cool. Mornings are misty as we are in the clouds. Dotted amidst the foliage are the colourful pagnes of the women. Little children shout out and try to chase the cars. We had to share the roads with cows and goats as worried herders are moving them to safer areas after some incidents of pillage on livestock in the area.
The guest house where we stay is a collection of wooden huts with dirt floors. We have an outhouse with 2 latrines and 2 outside cubicles where we can have bucket showers. There is no running water but we have a big water tank which gets filled from the village water source. There is no electricity and we have kerosene lamps in our huts when it gets dark. Two women from the village cook for us when we stay there and the food is DELICIOUS!! As we normally do not have time for lunch, we have a big breakfast and an even bigger dinner. They cooked ugali (a stiff porridge made from cornmeal or manioc/cassava), rice, potatoes, beef stew, stewed beans, baby aubergines (eggplant) in peanut sauce and cabbage casserole. We had avocado, passion fruit, bananas and some other sort of fruit that people here refer to as ‘frog eggs’. Breakfast is usually the leftovers of dinner.
I am a little tired now with all the travelling so I am very much looking forward to the weekend ahead to unwind with Claudio.