Monday, April 8, 2013

“30 Sites and 30 Nights”—April 8, 2013 (Day 20)

Name: Sisay Ashenafi

Age: 24

Home State: Minnesota

What he did before Peace Corps: Salesperson at SoleEssentials

Program Sector: Community Economic Development

Number of months spent in Uganda: 10

Host Organization: Village Enterprise

Site location: Western Region, Hoima district, Hoima town

Language spoken at his site: Runyoro

Sisay is working with “Village Enterprise” in Hoima Town, which helps the most extreme poor get out of poverty by providing grants to start businesses. About 2/3 of the people that they give grants to are women. “I’m considered a fellow in my organization and work on a variety of projects within the organization. My primary project right now is helping map out the areas where we do our operations. That requires me to go out on a field work to GPS the areas.” His organization is also preparing for a summit that will be held in Hoima in two weeks. “Village Enterprise” has offices in Soroti, Hoima, Kenya and the U.S. So all of these offices come together at their bi-annual summit.

Sisay does most of his food shopping Hoima Town. He can get almost anything he wants there. Sisay lives in the same building that his office is in so it is not only his workplace but also his home. There he has running water and electricity.

Sisay thoroughly enjoys his site, but most especially he likes the location of it. He really likes the fact that he is so close to Hoima Town. It only takes him about 20 minutes to walk to town.

Sisay is also playing football for a local team in Hoima. “I play soccer for the team that represents Hoima town, so a lot of people know me because of that instead of my role with ‘Village Enterprise.’ A lot of the people that I know in my community are friends that I met through playing soccer.”


Lori explaining to her students what is wrong with one of their patients
After waking up this morning, doing some laundry, eating breakfast, and getting ready, I went with Lori to the hospital. I saw how she takes role there and then I made rounds with her. She usually goes around to all the different units to make sure all the students are there and to help them if they are having any problems or if they have any questions.

The hospital here in Hoima was similar to the one in Arua that I went to last week, but it was also very different. It seemed a bit more organized and it also didn't seem to have as many patients. There were a lot of patients waiting for treatment or waiting to be attended to, but I didn't really see any patients lying on the floor or on mats like I did in Arua Hospital.
One of the kids in pediatrics with her mother

After spending some time in the hospital with Lori, I went over to see Sisay at his organization. It took me about 20 minutes to walk there from the hospital. He showed me around his office, which also doubles as his house. And then we just sat down and chatted for a while about what he does at “Village Enterprise” and some of the newest things he's been working on.

Grilled Cheese...MMMM!
Then I made my way back to the hospital where Lori was just finishing up with her students. So from there we walked back to her house stopping at the supermarket and Hoima Resort Hotel on the way. Hoima Resort Hotel is very close to Lori's house and the people there are very nice. They even allow Lori to store a few things in their fridge when she needs to. So we had to stop there to pick up some cheese that Lori left there. We also met Kristina there and she came back to Lori's house with us to have lunch. We had grilled cheese and cantaloupe!

After lunch I decided to lay down for a little nap and apparently I was really tired, because I slept for about 2 hours. I woke up around 6 PM. This was right around when Lori was gonna make dinner, so we had sloppy joes and more cantaloupe for dinner. After dinner we decided to go back to Hoima Resort Hotel to use some of the free internet and have some cold sodas. Sometimes there is nothing better than a nice cold soda. We'll probably spend a couple of hours here and then head back to Lori's house for the night.

Tomorrow I'm heading out to Kristina's village. Tomorrow night will be my last night in Hoima. On Wednesday I'm heading down toward Jinja to visit a couple volunteers near there. I'm already 2/3 of the way done this project and it feels good!

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