St.Valentine’s Day

Not much hype here about St Valentine, obscure Christian martyr  of 269 AD.
Not that there isn’t an ethos of  romance and love and ‘Go forth and multiply ‘.  I’m surrounded by little children. Persuavive skills to encourage contraception, even for child spacing, trip on the edge of a cultural springboard signed ‘Multiply’.
No society escapes misplaced sexual behaviour but an effort to challenge it for the good of relationships, families and children.. is that not positive? 

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I love the word dignity, in this photo.It’s not a word I use much in my sexual health practice. But it’s a healthy word and worth repeating and pondering on.Created in a virgin state, the choice of when to first have sex needs to be dignified and under the control of the virgin.
So it’s sad to hear rumours of hype about a film of domineering, manipulative sexual abuse taking the limelight in the UK. When porn or sexual abuse are sought out as entertainment and marketed as mainstream in a society, the  society is in decline. If  we can stand up about  this we may give a glimpse of a film’s attempt at  degrading an undegradable people. A report this week gives shocking figures for UK teenagers in sexually abusive relationships.

http:// http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/four-in-10-teenage-girls-coerced-into-sex-acts-10037846.html

Children thrive in safe families built on a parent relationship of trust. Trust thrives in a supportive nonabusive, non threatening exclusive sexual relationship. Society thrives on building blocks of secure families. Of course, there will be childless households and unpartnered individuals for many reasons, but the multiplication of a society of dignity requires security of its children and young people who can be confident to enjoy a responsible freedom in their own generation.

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Here is an anti HIV poster…. Change the word AIDS to PORN….use both. In the year of removal of topless women in the Sun newspaper, there can be hope for a responsible society putting sexual behaviour in its rightful place.

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As the children of Uganda cry out
‘How are you, European ? ‘

Thankfully,God is Love is timeless and meets us at our point of need.Know love this Valentine’s day.

Degrading Undegradable

Plastic,plastic,plastic..
everywhere,everywhere, everywhere .
It’s  a mess. It’s cheap and it’s careless. It’s bags,it’s bottles it’s water cans and broken chairs.Rubbish with a price…    and with a value.

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Plastic bags

The road has been remade recently and the plastic bags are now half  embedded in the road.
On the path home, the pigs and chickens scratch amongst the debris.,the plastic. We have the knowledge on food chain contamination but no will to care.We know that water sitting on a plastic bag is a great place for breeding mosquitoes.We know there is a lot of malaria here.No will to clear up, no will to educate. No will to afford large scale recycling.The fall in oil prices is bad for recycling.
A worldwide problem and A We Don’t Care problem.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-31432515

But a ray of hope.Fazzi  with his broken plastic jerry cans

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Eeking a living out of collection and nurturing the infant recycle.
I like this guy, he wants to collect metal but for now he wants the plastic monopoly. On the back of research into the process of collection and recycle,  a trip around the main plant for plastic recycling looms.Should be interesting even if not on my original Uganda agenda. Might stop my scream of frustration at this degrading undegradable mess.

Stopping the Starting

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The Libyan Coast.
Where Africa meets the Mediterranean. The  Mediterranean calls back promises of Europe.

It is obvious much much more must be done to stop the trafficking of Adventurous-by-Circumstance across these waters,    or into the deep
deep depths of these waters.

Conflict and inequality embracing deprivation and desperation.
Talent and determination at the mercy of cruel opportunists.Lives washed away and more boarding boats behind.

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Stopping the Starting. Stopping the conflict and inequality, deprivation and desperation must be our target. Africa is not to be ignored.

Rest in peace. Unknown.
Known unto God.

Financial Times

I went to the bank,  a bus ride away.It cost me 1000 shillings each way.The bank had moved from the dusty busy street corner to a brighter spot one hundred hectic metres down the road to Sudan. A place where bike and motorbike, maxi trucks and minibuses, pedestrians and pedallers and dogs snatch an opportunistic route.
Three gunned guards outside the bank, chatting in the heat, offered me a bag check.The bank was empty. But shiny and air conditioned. Funny how banks are always the comfortable palaces to outshine the neighbourhood. I paid cash in with a paper form in duplicate and the receiving account will be credited tomorrow. Ah! So much better than five working days to clear a cheque in a certain banking zone that boasts the world’s biggest  fashionable financial centre.But smarter is here,now, London ,and the chequebook should have been buried years ago.

This is the new school term and fees have to be paid.I am told the queues at this time of year used to warm up the air conditioning demanding ever open doors. Why the emptiness this year?

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Rapid adoption of technology is changing the scene quickly.There  is no need to pay 2000 shillings on the minibus fare to the bank.Probably no need for the bank.

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The new bank

Silly institution I was paying is slower to change and me,foreigner failing to trust.This new world is leapfrogging the duplicate forms and archaic chequebook as money speeds up its journey transferred by phone.Mobile money is reaching the heart of the communities, instantaneously and imaginatively. Reliability, accuracy,speed, safety.Shops are beginning to be money mobile as are schools and institutions.
Mobile magic money is here to enhance and empower.Will it be a tool for international payments?  Could we tip our mango growers for instance, if his or her number is on the fruit?  Will the phone companies be as problematic as the old banks? Will greed rob or will this accessible transfer system set millions free?  The Gates Foundation have a vision of the latter. Pray it is so.

#InspirationalUgandans

Hear the stories and be humbled.

Uganda is a goldmine of talent,strong spirit,courage and endeavour. It’s all around me and that talent’s
seismic activity just needs to break out of the crust and be free.

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Lois employee

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Christine

Meet Christine, a dress designer of much style and talent.She’s made a great dress for me. A smiling happy lady who learnt to sew 8 years ago, then trained 6 machinists and now employs them. She works from 0700 til 2200 each day except Sunday. She is a Christian and her faith is her strength. She has two sons and has lost her husband.Look and see that she has no use of her legs since polio targeted her as a small child.

And yesterday,a blind Leeds university masters scholaship graduate came to talk about the orphaned siblings she cares for.A lady whose computer has a voice and so does she. Already she has lobbied the UK  House of Lords on disability rights.Now back in Uganda to contribute with her talent to the buzz and excitement of the young generation. Discriminated against because of her lack of sight yet resilient, courageous and inspirational.

Or one of the top students in his specialist subject at Gulu university. Bright and articulate he’s peaceful and yet striving to better himself and his family. He spent the holidays rebuilding the roof of the family thatched cottage.Formerly a Kampala street boy and before that running for his life from the massacres and atrocities of the Lord’s Resistance Army.

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There is a lot more to tell of his story and he is slowly writing it down. Pain and agony  just allowed enough space to appall and his reaction, to humble and inspire the listener.

There are many many more. Let there be a bright dawn for Uganda.

Infection

Eveyone has their temperature taken on arriving at Entebbe.The nurses all wearing masks.Ebola may not be far away ,but the risk is low .There are other common illnesses that do change nations demographics still. And unnecessarily. Unfair for those who suffer. Often a result of haphazard neglect of educating about simple preventative measures. And inadequate provision.
Is it a scandal that the world has neglected adequate toilet and drainage and handwashing facilities for so many? Is it not an animal instinct to have a clean nest as a priority? The twenty first century sees mobile network providers being far more savvy at marketing than sewer manufacturers or toilet makers.It must be one of the biggest untapped markets .( no pun intended) Please,if you are a toilet manufacturer or economist or WHO person ,please can you tell me why the neglect. Don’t say money ….why the low low priority? Don’t say ignorance … We have had the information for 150 years ..

Queen of 63 years

7th February 2015

Yesterday the Queen of the Commonwealth and head of state of the UK commemorated 63 years on the throne. By necessity as a hereditary monach, also remembering a parental death.
The last one to hold the head of state office for so long was also an Empress and oversaw an era of adventure and discovery. Exploration of the Nile and it’s headwaters was a race against rainforest, disease, men and a passion of some of Queen Victoria’s subjects.

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Strolling around a tiny part of this great lake with a balmy dust free breeze is a lot easier in this Elizabethan era.But worth the contemplation that some of this water makes it through jungle and rainforest desert and city to the Mediterranean

Slaughter of the Innocents

My host here,laughs a lot. And likes to understand people.He’s seen a lot and laughed a lot and been perplexed by people at times.I think he got it that loose rats might make me scream. Anyway, he’s kind.So he locked the school rats in a cupboard. Just for me. So it was I agreed to take the dissection class.A Rat and I.
The class mentioned before are a great group and we had a lot of fun and overstayed the lesson time.
So.
Mrs Ratty… No,I cannot say I liked you .But you were skinny and much smaller than the giant rats of my imagination. Alas, a skinny expectant one.

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Mrs.Ratty

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Four fetuses

So we learnt a lot.Four amniotic sacs to open,four fetuses to handlens. Limbs, eyes, umbilical cords and placentae with a 1cm crown rump length.
And the class did so much work on the five. We saw kidneys,liver, lungs pancreas,heart and then the budding neurosurgeon stepped in and explored spine and brain

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Oh! Mrs Ratty. You will not be forgotten. And neither will your babies. Six young scientists learning and questioning and curious. A high in their academia will be kept for you five.
Nevertheless, Mrs Ratty did raise a paradoxical emotion. Five less rats in the world = good. Killing before the very first breath of such intimately developed fetuses = bad. And the city of York came to mind….in a land with free contraception we abort the fetuses that could populate a city  the size of York, every year.Nearly 200,000.Remember the city of York as an annual memorial for those not with us and may we strive harder for wanted and loved pregnancies.

Youth is wasted in the inequality.

I took up the challenge to join the sixth formers. They are a lively group,hungry for education, for success at exams and seeking a bright future. This group all  want to study medicine  and they want to be my friends on Facebook. They want to write e mails to me and they want to know how to find funding grants for higher education.They are bright and they deserve a great future. Who knows? Will inequality rob them?  rob their families, rob their communities, rob Uganda? or will the cuddle of inequality and dependency slacken into the orgasm of empowerment?

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Here they are ( with permission)  with self made Dorcas who can pump fluid around her circulation

Pet dislike

I dislike mice. Hate them even. I scream very loudly too. The mixture of mice and me can be a loud rapid departure.But who put a hole in some medical equipment. There is a confusing tipping point where tease and truth liquidise in the same pot.Rat? RAT? Rapider rapid running. If I can get away of course. Sometimes you just have to stay.