Good news: I am now finally all finished with my studies! My thesis had been submitted, but now I also received the official message of acceptance. Great! The graduation will be postponed because I will not be in The Netherlands before August.
Just for a little while?? A lot of you this will not come as a surprise, but I have decided that there is still a lot to be done here and so I will be returning to Uganda after graduation, this time for indefinite period. The combination of outreached to the communities around us, being able to work as a doctor and the care of the children at Noah’s Ark pleases me immensely and my research at the Mulago Hospital, delivery rooms is still ongoing. I never have to be bored.
This past week we will be celebrating Julius’s forth birthday. For those of you that still remember a severely undernourished and apathetic little boy. After living with me for a month and a half he was healthy enough for the orphanage and I had to transfer him into their care. In the morning I greeted him: Happy birthday Julius. With a big smile on his face he replied: Today is Happy Birthday to ME!! His real birthday is unknown, he was about two when he arrived and it was decided that the day of arrival would be his birthday. Now there are no traces of him ever being undernourished and he is a very happy toddler that always has something to say and always has a big smile on his face. This is the reason why I never get bored of this work and why I will stay.
A few days before his birthday, Julius got a new visitor, Amito Christine. This time a baby of only 4 month old. The reason for her arrival is to ugly for words. To try to explain using acceptable language, her father had done things too her that unspeakable. After 2 days she was at the police station with her mother and was place at the temporarily orphanage. The advantage of me working in Mulago is that, we were able to see within a couple of hours a gynecologist! They wanted to admit her, but luckily the doctor knew me and dared to put her in my care. They could not closed the wound because it was already infected. Luckily the doctors were very satisfied about the recovery and healing and there was no reason for an operation, instead we were allowed to continue our care.
Yesterday they mother came to stay with us. A woman with a mental challenged and that did not speak English or even the local language. It is now my duty to teach her how to take care of her baby and help her get the breast feeding to commence again. An interesting task, considering that we did not speak each other’s languages and an interpreter was not always available, we made due with all the means we had. Luckily she is willing to learn. The past couple of years she has been living in the streets. She is now staying at the clinic. It was the first time in three years that she had slept in a real bed and had her own clean clothes. She was overcome with joy that is difficult to put into words! The past couple of years her family had not heard from her, and were glad that both mother and child, under the circumstances, are doing ok. They cannot wait to until she will come home again.
Who knows, maybe I will be able to post an update before I come to the Netherlands. If not, I will be there from August 17 for a couple of weeks and I am looking forward to catch-up with all of you.