–I’m off for my overseas elective!!–

Uganda, then Canada! 3 months in total.

Almost half a year in sorting out the whole lot of arrangements, some pleasantly straightforward and some unbelievably convoluted – hospital applications, visas, immunizations, medical examinations, finance, flights, accommodation, insurance, and medical indemnity cover – and now the time has finally come!!

I carry one 17.5kg rucksag on my back and one strapbag in my arms, and almost too carefreely, though still with a little sense of sorry yet without much second thought, leave the many attachments formed in NZ behind.

I am going beyond borders and crossing cultures. I am absolutely stoked.

I will be updating this livejournal along my trips with photos to show and stories to tell, and I invite you to follow along and share with my excitement! Although the Internet will not be as readily accessible, I will endeavor to reply messages as much and as soon as I am able to!

And to my NZ friends who are reading this (if any…) – remember to leave a comment to say hi!

More details about my trip, because I frequently get asked:

I should have written about this before leaving New Zealand, but there were too many things that I needed to sort out and too little time. I am now typing this from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – one of my transit points along my flight literally half a planet’s circumference away to the continent of Africa.

Every final year medical student of the University of Otago is allotted a 3-month (12-week) period to do an elective in a medical specialty and geographical location of their choice. I have arranged to do my first 6-weeks (26 Feb – 8 Apr 07) in Kisiizi Hospital, Uganda, and my second 6-weeks (9 Apr – 20 May 07) in Richmond General Hospital, Richmond (being part of greater Vancouver), Canada.

“Why Uganda/Africa?” is one question I need to remind myself not to get tired of being asked. I am tempted to be trite and reply “why not”, and that agrees with my reasons well, in fact. Then there’s the obvious complementary question, “Why Canada?”

I struggle to give concrete, bullet-point reasons standardized to say to everyone, but I have to say, when given the whole world to choose from, I was definitely spoilt for choice, as I am sure many would be.

I’m not sure if this is a wise or a dumb thing to do, but I’ll reflect more on the reasons I leave when I return. I’ll write more about them then; such is my plan.

In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps.
Proverbs 16:9

5 responses to this post

  1. // reply // #

    Go kuya! I really admire you for travelling far and wide and getting to see most of the world in a short span of time. ^__^

    Take care always! And the pictures! I love to see pictures!

    • // reply // #

      thanks for leaving a comment! i’ll try to update as much as i can on my trips! you take care too ya

  2. // reply // #

    Enjoy your trip. :)
    I like what you quoted here:
    “In his heart a man plans his course,
    but the LORD determines his steps.
    Proverbs 16:9″
    I believe your experience in those two countries will be invaluable for you.

  3. Anonymous
    // reply // #

    hello..Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening, Good Night Uganda

    Thanks to you i spent a brief moment revising my otherwise limited geographical knowledge. Uganda is surrounded by Sudan, Kenya, Zaire and Tanzania. So are you currently located in Kempala? Have u watched the movie,”The Last King of Scotland”? It is a portrayal of Uganda’s infamous dictator, Idi Amin. The actor that played the role got an Oscar so i think it must be a movie worth watching. Apparently my out-dated copy of “Young People’s Guide to Countries and Cultures of the World” recommends Lake Victoria as a must-see spot in Uganda. Though i have no latest knowledge of Uganda’s political situation, i do hope you are careful at all time. Look forwards to seeing your photos and hearing your account on Uganda. Your perceptiveness and inquisitiveness makes u a good travel journalist. But remember too much curiosity kills the cat. God Bless
    Shirley (Ke li)

    • // reply // #

      Re: hello..Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening, Good Night Uganda

      Hey Ke Li!! I’m so touched that you dropped a comment!

      Thanks for the research – I actually did very little before leaving, so all that you’ve mentioned are golden pieces of information! I only heard about the Last King of Scotland when I got hear, from the overseas medical students also staying here. I guess I should go watch it when I get back to NZ, heh.

      As far as I know Uganda is pretty stable right now, although the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) still causes some problems in the Northern regions. A whole chain of events between the Uganda government, International Criminal Court (ICC), and the LRA leaders have happened to basically no conclusion. I should reasonably be safe from terrorism in my area, but I don’t think anyone can be safe from motor-vehicle accidents in Uganda! Haha, I’ll write more about that in the future.

      Thanks again, and please continue reading…??

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