Thursday, May 23, 2013

This morning we went to Kampala to visit the veterinary college at Makerere University. Driving through Kampala was a bit of an adventure but luckily Frank, whom we've been staying with in Entebbe, is a great driver and knows back roads to avoid traffic. We arrived at the college and were a little lost but met a very nice student Martha who is completing her Bsc in wildlife biology. She introduced us to Dr. John Bosco Nizeyi, Uganda coordinator and director of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, and Dr. Sam Okech. After chatting for a while they invited us back to attend a boma, a meeting where vets and students share experiences and ideas, at a one health veterinary conference they are holding in early July. We will make every attempt to come back to Kampala to attend.
Busy streets in Kampala.

We then went for a walk around the vet college with Martha. She showed us their center for pathogen control and research and introduced us to Dr. Nakanjako Maria Flavia who works at AFRISA, the Africa Institute for Strategic Animal Resource Services and Development, AFRISA offers programs in essential agriculture and livestock skills for farmers and local community members to enhance their knowledge and education. Before leaving the vet college, Andrew, a final year vet student, gave us a brief tour of their small animal clinic.

We had also been given a book from Dr. Jerry Haigh, his most recent, Of Moose and Men, to deliver to his friend Dr. Christine Dranzoa at Makerere University. We discovered she was no longer in Kampala and was currently working at a university in a town further north, but we managed to meet her sister Angela who will pass the book on for us.

Walking around the beautiful Makerere University campus.

Lunch with Martha was the usual delicious chicken or goat stew with matooke (plantain), rice and chapati. After lunch we were fortunate enough to meet with Dr. Ludwig Siefert. Dr. Siefert teaches at the university and has been working in the national parks in Uganda for many years. His work centres on large carnivore research and community-wildlife relationships. We hope to work with him in Queen Elizabeth National Park later this summer.
Our day ended with a 5 hour bus trip to Mbarara where we will be staying until the end of July working on our project.

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