Author Archives: Denise Kavuma

Here’s Why Not Medical School.

Read enough out-of-the-way books, talk to some rather strange people, or even visit random obscure sites on the internet and you’ll find some great advice that no other place will provide (that and then some.) I fall in one of those categories and seeing as how I don’t recall the last time someone published me, let’s then just say that this strange person would like to give you some advice.

Do not, for the love of all that is pure and good (and I repeat, do not) encourage anyone to go become a doctor.

Of course there a myriad of professions many people are advised against, Law, Engineering, Bull-fighting and Child-trafficking being in the mix, but I shall stick to what I am certain of for now.

At the end of all this you might ask why I didn’t give you this piece of information before the highschoolers applied for courses but man, with the festivities going on, I could think of little else and not for the reasons you assume. It was impossible to do anything else during this season, when guys just decide to cut themselves up with broken bottles and try to stop moving cars with their bodies. People suddenly go all ‘challenge accepted’ and try to see how much diarrhea their body can handle before their butts burst into flames and there are always those families that let their 5-year olds get drunk. That last one though, was a little funny…just a little, don’t judge me!

Now, some people actually want their friends/children to turn into some depraved and jaded human beings for a while and hey if that is you, then ignore the advice and do your thing. Let your friends bury themselves in their books, have weeks of being vegetarian as they slice up those cadavers, deal with the sexual harassment (though admittedly, this is not just limited to Med school) and come out of it all only to find, the cycle just repeats itself. They’ll have their boyfriends attend New Year’s Eve parties while they’re stuck in some emergency room dealing with those strange fellows who somehow manage to get firework burns before midnight.

At some point or the other, human beings got addicted to breathing and doctors are carefully bred for more than half a decade, at the very least, to further this addiction. The price seems to be our own sanity, though. There are a couple of things people should prepare to experience while in the profession and I’ve paragraphed them for your reading pleasure; because lists are far too main-stream.

Much like in some movie about endless dreams, they should prepare to feel like old souls stuck in young bodies and will be having ‘mid-life crises’ at 24 years. They’ll forget why euphemisms are necessary in today’s society and call spades, spades, boobs, breasts and nether-regions…well, you get the point. Discussing bodily fluids and excreta during meals will become commonplace and people in pork-joints will discretely shift their chairs away from them in disgust (true story.) Slowly, they’ll turn into those people at the movies who point out the inaccuracies of the film like how that baby has no umbilical cord attached to it yet nothing was cut and how that bullet should have ruptured his spleen; “CPR is not done like that you crazy person,” they’ll find themselves shouting. Caffeine will become a necessity and they’ll start to jump at the sound of any phone ringing, anywhere because it will remind them of people calling from the Emergency Room at ungodly hours of the night. They will hate the media as it embellishes and milks stories of medical malpractice that they know for a fact are not what they seem and will have to deal with people just calling them ‘doc’ which is a way of the world saying ‘screw you and your medical crap, to us you’re all nameless slaves that must respond to one title.’

If however, you positively enjoy having endless sleep debts that shall never be repaid and simply cannot resist the idea of not being sure whether you love your profession or not, then this is the road you should take. There are plenty of thrilling encounters with patients who’ll loathe you and assume they know everything simply because someone else in a white coat taught them the secrets of the universe when they visited his clinic in town. It’s really the perfect place for those whose hopes and dreams don’t lie beyond when their next day off shall be so they can finally catch that movie that came out 6 months ago but end up sleeping halfway through it. Indeed, you will meet TB patients in taxis, coughing and hacking away as if they’re in their own quarantined room and know-it-alls who assume that WebMD is the way to go; doesn’t that sound like fun? Sometimes you will want to scream “#$$%&**@!!#” back at your superiors but interestingly enough, your brain will be so out of tune, all that will come out will be “yes sir. And may I add how perfectly white your coat is today.”


Now, of course the profession does pay off about two and a half decades or so later and there are many patient people out there who are willing to wait for all that time.

And your rather clueless friends cheer as they think “free medical care!!”

The rest of us poor sods are quite literally stuck in an endless cycle simply because we don’t know how to do anything else anymore. I do hope I have succeeded in warning you off.

*Disclaimer: my counsel has nothing to do with not wanting to share any money and prestige that the profession affords. And all the Ugandan-based doctors ask “which money?”

Ugandan Travel Dynamics

Travel; ah, don’t we just love the sound of that!

Unless…you know, you’re one of those unfortunate few who get worn out by even a simple taxi drive from Entebbe to Kampala (and well, I can’t blame you; that stretch of road is from hell itself.) You might also happen to be one of those blessed few who have flown practically all over the world (or so, you like to tell it) and are so fed up that the very mention of the word travel makes you foam at the mouth (could be old-age making you drool but hey, we’re not judging you.)

For the rest who might be just like me and have been in Uganda for as many years as you’ve lived but yet somehow still feel you’ve been stuck here longer then travel is one of those magical words that produces a sigh of longing from your sun-roasted lips.

We have been criticized however by people who are clearly paid too much for the statistics they provide, that we don’t want to explore our country. They paint the picture of us wanting to end up in some cramped hotel somewhere across the sea with little money to get by but somehow still rejoicing that we have travelled. Yeah dude, those people bum me out too, but you have to admit that they have a point.

Whenever the term ‘up-country’ is used, people flinch and you can practically see their memories of terrible Christmas experiences and complaining relatives who stick to them like leeches deprived of blood for weeks. That is wholly unpleasant I am sure but hey, one of these days, ditch the whole personal village idea and go visit other people’s relatives. Christmas is coming up and really, what better time to go out there and disturb some random people you might never see again.

Alright, that is not your incentive for travelling, I get it. Well then, have a look at what those overly-paid statisticians found out; go for the scenery and the quiet. Don’t forget that food is so more or less free in the villages and boy, don’t we all just love cheap things. You could even take a bucket-load of pictures and upload them to your blog before you forget why in the world you thought a snap of a narrow dirt road was a good thing to have. Then of course, there are those cramped hotels we apparently love so much, completed with bed-bugs and showers so bad they’ll cure you of cleanliness for a while. Now this is my experience but then again, I did end up in the poorest of communities so don’t base on just this.

I should emphasize though that this is Uganda and the intensity of drama is the same no matter where you find yourself. I mean, there was that homicidal bed in Busia that I am still sure either wanted to bash my head in or cripple me in one way or the other. The Wi-Fi in Mbale that played hide and seek for the entire length of my stay there and of course not leaving out the crazy herd of cows in Kasese that suddenly went stampeding and almost killed me…twice…on two separate days.

Yes, so clearly there is a reason why some of us shouldn’t travel (that’s if we want to maintain our sanity) but hey your own journey is still just beginning.

SURVIVING THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE: Ugandan Chapter

It’s not news to many of us that at some point in the future (if movie and book writers are to be believed) a large population of the world will be turned into zombies and we’ll have to fight them off lest the human-race is wiped out. Of course there are those with the opinion that if the human-race is stupid enough to believe such garbage, then it deserves to be annihilated anyway. But well…you don’t go around telling that to world governments that spent millions on contingency plans for the undead taking over unless you want to disappear without a trace. Everyone is preparing in their own different ways and our precious Uganda is not to be left out. Yes, I know they almost never show Africa in the movies but maybe that’s because we’re just so prepared, period! Not a single zombie can outmatch us and today, I point out to you exactly why, starting with how Ugandans are preparing for this virtual inevitability in their own secret ways.

  1. Fashion: As the dresses get shorter and shorter and the shoes higher and higher, the powers that be squirm in their seats, but that’s because they don’t want you to realize that dressing a certain way helps you survive the undead! Yes, I’m telling you now that it’s a conspiracy. You see, with those tight leggings, there’s less friction and you can outrun those Hussein Bolt-like zombies. Those stiletto heels are like spear-heads (and what’s more African than a spear-head even if it’s at the bottom of your shoe) with one sharp throw and good aim (as well as some good CGI) it can enter your zombie’s head and down he goes. The tight mini-skirts are usually under so much tension they can easily be ripped to create bandages and the turned-up collars the males are so fond of can actually resist a zombie bite (considering the shirt is made out of metal or Kevlar or something.) Also don’t forget that you can bring along a friend who wears jangly, noisy jewelry to distract the zombies when need be.
  2. Diet: It’s not just the females complaining about their weight anymore, the males these days feel a need to have their waistlines reduced and their cheeks sunken. Who could blame them too? After some of the more recent zombie documentaries (disguised as movies) we now know that those things are as fast as cars, if not faster. Maybe one day we could turn them into a means of transport but until then, avoid being fat or easier still befriend a fatter person only so that they can get eaten first. I mean, I can tell you the number of friends I’ve made of recent has been ridiculous; I originally thought it was my charm drawing them in but turns out people just want someone who doesn’t run faster than them.
    True friends run as fast as you do

    True friends run as fast as you do

    So when that apocalypse arrives, make sure you’re skinny and hollow-looking (also you’d be well camouflaged, I mean, you’d look dead already) plus you’d already be used to perhaps the only food available to you in such times. No sugar, or salt, or fat, or happiness…just despair; you’ll thrive I’m telling you.

  3. Education: For one reason or the other, today’s young generation seems to think a formal education is outdated and they can just wing it and BAM, success will hit them in their faces. Not only that but the drugs and the alcohol and sex…well, suffice to say that people with brains in this wretched world are becoming rather scarce…and that’s the point! These kids have the right idea. Zombies love brains and if you don’t have any, they’ll most likely not find you very interesting. It’s really as simple as that; so let people do what they want, say what they want, nature has given them a way to survive the ultimate doom on this earth, don’t take it away from them.
  4. Health: If there’s anything I learnt from World War Z (other than Pepsi has a lot of money) it’s that diseases are your friend. Oh, I should probably say ‘spoiler alert’ at this point. Ok, moving on; the drugs, the smoking, the violence, it’s all a way for people to survive the zombie apocalypse. Ads should run that say: “Tobacco = Cancer ˃ Zombification.” Smoke shisha, get yourself some chronic respiratory problem and presto, all the zombies in the world will be avoiding you like a plague; then you can have some time to drink Pepsi. You might find it rather insulting that the zombies find your body even more disgusting than their own affliction but hey, you get to stay alive, so chin up.
  5. Sex tapes: I have to admit, this one had me a little confused for a while. A trend that could have occurred at any point in time picks such a ripe period? It had to be related to the apocalypse I tell you and here’s why. You see, with the sudden appearance of over 400 videos, I’m expecting a rush of June 2014 babies who’ll be born to rather…well…rather idiotic parents and that will scar those poor kids. Don’t cry just yet though, for you see, adversity does indeed make the heart grow stronger.
    Just ask him

    Just ask him

    [ngg_uploader id=4]With some poor parenting, knowledge that a number of them were aborted and the rest conceived on some ‘challenge accepted’ sex video scheme, those kids will have major baggage. They will also kick some major ass in future and just like that, we’ll have our own zombie-kicking, almost brainless Justice League of sorts. Yes indeed, futures really are made at campus.

I think you’re now starting to see exactly how clever your fellow countrymen are; really, they’re ninja of sorts aren’t they? So jump on the bandwagon if you don’t wanna be eaten my friend. Do share if you see any other behaviors that could secretly be survival techniques, don’t keep them to yourself. Godspeed!

 

Grand_Universe_by_ANTIFAN_REAL

The Universe Has Spoken

Every so often, you’ll hear stories of how all the Universe’s forces came together to ensure that somebody ended up exactly where they were needed. You’ll find books written (and no, anything based on the Mustard Seed does not count,) conferences set up and whatever else is needed to feed the ego that comes with knowing The Universe finds you special. Many of us however, are left wondering whether God cares which paths we take or are we just extras in some superstar’s life and it doesn’t matter if we order tea or coffee so long as it comes in a cup. Wonder no more my friend; here, I have come up with 3 ways you can tell The Universe is telling you to do something.

Your job: This is a hard one because sometimes you simply cannot tell whether to quityour job or not. Will your pay go up or should you just go to the private sector (run while you still have legs) and even whether to punch your boss in the face or just pee in his coffee every morning…decisions, decisions.

Sometimes you’re in the wrong sector altogether and have no clue. Say, if you were meant to be a plumber (like I was) then it’ll start out with sinks and toilets regurgitating, getting blocked or even blowing up and flooding your room and only yours. You’ll repair them repeatedly until The Universe just decides “forget it; time to teach this punk a lesson!” Suddenly, you’ll be fixing pipes at your house, the neighbor’s and even your boss’ who might even offer you a job in that sector. Now, at this point you’ll probably be very irritated but I urge you not to hit that wretch with a wrench. Simply think about it for a few moments and then go ahead with it; you might even break a few teeth and voila, you’ll have a job as a prison librarian. It could be even that that constant flooding in your house is some higher power trying to teach you how to walk on water…who knows.

Your social life: An area like this is a little easier to understand simply because we just do not learn. I mean dude, if they pop up only when you have money, they’re not true friends; if she won’t let you take a dump in her toilet, she’s not the one (what, you assume you’ll constantly be going to the neighbor’s when you move in together?) On that note, if your neighbor is constantly doing number-twos in your bathroom, it’s time to move! If that same guy owns a restaurant that every so often gives people, including you, a running stomach, don’t go back again. It’s highly likely his workers have the same fascination with bathrooms and they take it to the kitchen. This might be common-sense, yes, but when chickidee shows up at your doorstep in the tiniest little dress, you’ll forget that she poured acid on the last girl you tried to date (or so I hear; I wouldn’t know how that is.)

hr_After_Earth_poster-2

Yes, After Earth, we’re looking at you!

Yes, The Universe works in forms of common sense as well…it doesn’t always have to be grandiose, as much as it likes to show off. Also, perhaps one last piece of advice: if the movie has terrible ratings on IMDB specifically, and you watch it in the cinema, you’re gonna have a bad time.

Your language: No matter which way you look, there are teenagers all over the place and they always seem to come up with some sort of new baffling slang words that you just cannot understand. Sometimes hearing these kids talk feels like getting a rectal exam (or giving it; believe me, it’s not heaven for the doctors either.) It’s ingrained in some however, to be able to understand and speak all these strange terms without biting their tongues in half and having their brains freeze half-way through a sentence. That in itself could be a sign that you’re meant to work with the youth…or that you are meant to infiltrate them and take them down from the inside; whichever one you choose, I’m cool with it. Then there are those like me who, from childhood, were offended when we were teased for one thing or the other, simply because those assaulting us were doing it with such poor grammar. We cannot read PowerPoint presentations unless certain words are spelt right and we can’t help but correct everyone’s written or spoken grammar including our own.

You sent for me?

You sent for me?

Now, rest assured I have tried to suppress this trait but it will not be under looked! The Grammar Nazis are coming and when they do, The Universe won’t help you a single bit.

After all this, you probably have even less knowledge on the workings of the Cosmos and your place in it than you did at the start but hey, at least you’re not alone…there is, after all, the person who wrote this.