Monday, May 23, 2011


I will admit I have been neglecting my blog lately, I got really good at posting a couple times a week, and now I haven't for over two weeks...oops! This weather has really gotten to me, I need the sun! It has been hard to stay inside everyday and to not be active outside. It actually has reminded me of our trip to Ireland that we took two summers ago, about the same time of year. Ireland is a beautiful country, but I don't think I could ever live there, the weather would get old fast. Anyway, I want to share some pictures from Ireland, because it truly is beautiful.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mothers Day

Mothers day weekend was so much fun. We spend saturday at Jayden's little brothers soccer game, then we headed up to Ogden for their annual family mothers day party. Every year Jaydens's Grandma comes up with a theme and provides costumes for everybody. They take family pictures in the costumes. This years theme was "Sailors" and last year was "Pirates". Then on sunday we spent the day with my family, hanging out and playing games. Here are some pictures from the Mothers Day Party.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Uganda Part Three: My Story

This post is really long and I don't expect anyone to read the whole thing. It is just to have for myself and I ramble quite a bit.

Uganda Part 3-
I had an incredible experience in Uganda. Not only did I learn about the people and the culture, I learned a lot about myself. I applied to go to Uganda through the University’s Study Abroad Program, through the public health department. I applied around December of 2009, at the same time I was dating Jayden. I knew things were getting more serious, but I really wanted to have the opportunity to go on a study abroad, something I had to do in college. April rolled around and Jayden and I were engaged. We were to get married in July and we were so busy planning the wedding. This was definitely the craziest summer of my life. I left for Uganda in May and would get home just a few weeks before the wedding. Leaving for Uganda was so hard for me. I never imagined it would be so hard. I didn’t know anyone in my group and I was leaving behind Jayden, and we had become inseparable. I had mixed feelings about leaving, but I knew it was something I needed to do. I remember being at the airport and just balling, I felt so weak and I was so embarrassed. We flew out of Salt Lake City to San Francisco, then from San Francisco to Dubai, then from Dubai to Entebbe (Uganda). We spent the night in Dubai which was awesome. We went on a tour of the city and saw the worlds tallest building, the 7 star hotel, Atlantis, and got to walk on the beach. I’m glad I saw Dubai. Once we arrived in Uganda, everything was so unfamiliar to me. I have traveled quite a bit, but I have never been to a third world country before. Once we found all of our luggage we waited for our guide and translator to come pick us up. Our translator’s name was Violet, she was so kind and loving to all of us, and she was with us every day. She walked us over to a van, a 14 passenger van, which looked small at the time, but it is amazing how many people you can fit in there. We just stared at our luggage wondering how all of us and the luggage was going to fit. Needless to say, it all went on the top of the van, and they used tarps and rope to tie it all down. We were hoping it would make to the next city, which was a couple hours away. We all loaded into the van and headed for Masaka. The ride was long and bumpy without any stops. We were hurrying as fast as we can because traveling at night isn’t very safe. Once we got to Masaka, we were taken to our little hotel, called the Maria Flo, we ate dinner, and then were shown our rooms. The Maria Flo was the nicest hotel we stayed at, the hotels started out great then got worse as the trip went on, but it was all part of the experience. In Masaka we spent about a week, going to different orphanages. We did women’s hygiene seminars all of the places we went and also did eye examinations and gave out pairs of glasses. The best part was to just play with the children, they loved playing with us and were so much fun.

 After Masaka we headed off to Kampala where we spent a night. Kampala is the capital of Uganda and is a more developed bigger city. That night we went to get pizza! It tasted so good! The food in Uganda is good, it grew on me, but it typically is the same for every meal, including breakfast. The next morning we loaded up the van and headed out for our safari. We went on a river safari down the nile river, and also in a safari van. The boat trip down the Nile was so relaxing and beautiful, we saw a ton of hippos, giraffes, and elephants along the river. We also hiked to Murchison Falls, which was hard, but fun. After our  safari, we went back to Kampala for a couple days. The next place we went was Katosi. Katosi was the most primitive place we went. It is a small town right on Lake Victoria. We took a boat ride to an Island where there is an orphanage. We brought the some toys and spent the day playing with the children. After Katosi we went to Iganga, where we spent a week building bricks for a orphanage to build a new dorm for their students. We had brick making machines, which were really hard to use at first.

 After a couple days of brick making, we took a break for a day and went to a park, where our group went river rafting and bungee jumping. I decided not to go and stayed back with another girl. We stayed at the resort and had to whole day to ourselves, it was nice just relaxing and being in the sun. This is where my adventure goes sour. We were headed back to our hotel when I started getting a really bad pain in my upper stomach. It felt bloated and all of the bumps we were going over were not helping. By the time we got back I was in a lot of pain. I decided to go to the internet cafĂ© to Gmail chat with Jayden, as we had been doing every night at this time. I had only been talking to him for a couple minutes when I told him I wasn’t feeling good and I had to go lay down. I tried going to sleep, but the pain was so bad. Finally around 2 am, I couldn’t breath very well. Every time I took a breath it felt like someone was jabbing knives into my lungs. I have never been in more excruciating pain before. I was scared, I knew that I needed to get to a hospital because something was not right. Carly, my roommate, went and got our program director. There were two guys from Utah State staying in the same city as us that happened to be LDS. We called them and they came over and gave me a blessing, which helping the pain subside a little bit and calm me down. We grabbed my bags and headed to a local clinic, when we got there it was clear that we needed to head to Kampala to the International Hospital. The ride was 3 hours long and I was in so much pain on the bumpy roads. We finally arrived as the sun was coming up. I was checked into the ER and had lots of tests down. I had multiple blood tests, an ultrasound ( to check if my organs looked ok), an xray of my chest, etc. Once my bloodwork came back, the doctor told me my white blood cell count was way up and that I had some type of infection in my body, but they weren’t sure what it was. Then the doctor told me that I needed to be admitted into the hospital overnight. I was such a nervous wreck, I was in a hospital in Africa. I just started crying and couldn’t stop. I wanted to be back home with Jayden and with my family in safe Utah. I was able to talk to Jayden on the phone, who comforted me and told me everything would be ok. My roommate Carly was amazing, she was with me the whole time, and never left my hospital room. Once I was admitted to the hospital they hooked me up to antibiotics via IV and I also got shots every four hours for the pain. Once they did an xray and some more tests. They discovered that I had Pleurisy, which is, this is the definition of pleurisy found on google, “ Pleurisy is inflammation of the lining of the lungs and chest (the pleura) that leads to chest pain (usually sharp) when you take a breath or cough. Pleurisy may develop when you have lung inflammation due to infections such as pneumonia or tuberculosis. It is often a sign of a viral infection of the lungs. This inflammation also causes the sharp chest pain of pleurisy.” I was grateful to find out what was wrong and was starting to feel better due to the antibiotic. The xrary showed the I also had the start on pneumonia. The hospital was really nice actually, nicer than any of the places we stayed. I felt safe, because it was the International Hospital they had really good doctors and care. The next place my group was going, was 12 hours outside of Kampala and it was decided that I should go home early. John, our program director was amazing and got in contact with my family and the insurance company and booked me on a flight home for the next day. There was a group from Utah State who was flying home, so I was lucky to be able to fly with them. It was bittersweet getting on the place home without my group. I wanted to stay, but at the same time , I knew it was safe to stay either. Once I finally made it on the place home I crashed. I was so tired from not really sleeping the last two nights. On the way home I flew from Uganda to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to JFK, then home. It was so much faster then the way we came. The flight (s) home were such a blur, I just slept most of the time which was nice. When I got home to Salt Lake, I was greeted by my loving husband (fiancĂ©  at the time) , and my family. I have never felt more comfort then I did in their arms returning home. Even though my experience in Uganda had its good moments and the bad, I am really grateful that I had the experience I did, and I wouldn’t change it.

7 Star hotel in Dubai

Worlds Tallest Building

Flying over Dubai

Our Van

Orphanage In Masaka

Ugandan Food

Carly and I at the equator

Carly and I eating our pizza :)

In Kampala

Little Hotel in Katosi, yes this bed was for two people


On our way to the island

On our river safari

After hiking up Murchison Falls

Our room at the game park

Me on our safari!

SO excited I found a diet coke!

The brick machine

The ER

Carly tired from being up all night!

My hospital room

Possibly the worst picture of me ever. 

International Hospital Kampala
Another view of the ER

Me drugged up on pain meds

Talking to Jayden on the phone

Saying goodbye and ready to go home