Boda Bodas and Prenatal Outreach

Things have been so busy here I haven’t had time to brush my teeth, much less write anything down! But although there are two women in labor they are both first time mamas and are moving slowly. I’m sure I’ll be up all night but don’t feel like napping! Husbands don’t usually attend births here but we’ve had some sweet births with husbands present. Today one of the mothers is having bad back labor and her husband is providing good support to her, so sweet!

Before coming to Uganda I had happily managed to go my entire life without riding on a motorcycle. Here motorcycles or boda Bodas as they’re called are a veery common means of transport – you want to go somewhere t hat is a little too far to walk you just hop on the back, these are Ugandan taxis! My first few rides here I was terrified – super rough roads, no helmets, and all sorts of ‘obstacles’ to dodge! Now I’m still nervous but can comfortably ride ‘side-saddle’ like the women here do! When we don’t have a truck (the wheel & axel completely broke on our interim truck and the mechanic is not able to fix it) we take boda Bodas to do our prenatal outreach visits. The women that we serve come from all over, some close – many from far away. Since they usually are working in the fields all day it can be a real hardship to come to us for their check-ups. So twice a week we go to one of the parishes to do prenatal visits closer to where the women live. Sometimes outreach is in the Parish health center, sometimes it’s at the home of a Traditional Midwife. The Traditional Midwives mobilize the pregnant women in their areas to come. We do an individual appointment with everyone, give prenatal vitamins, and group education – usually on the importance of drinking water!

Northern Uganda is very beautiful. It’s a lush grassy savannah with distant mountains. There are many beautiful birds and supposedly there sometimes are hippos in the rivers. About 4 hours from here is a national park where you can find elephants, giraffes, hippos, lions, wart hogs, etc! I never thought I’d say this, but I’m starting to like to fly down the road looking off to the mountains at the edge of the vast savannah on the back of a boda! Like many things about being here, a little terrifying but amazing and beautiful!