GTRI 2014: Day 4


July 4. Transit day.

Today is a transit day. Breakfast of hardboiled egg, bread, and coffee. Talked with Klero of South Sudan. Discussed ideas of how to bring GTRI courses/materials and other counseling training to local areas here in Uganda and in S. Sudan. While Juba has great Internet per Klero, most people there do not have access to it. The same is true here in Uganda. I am very interested in finding a way to bring this training (videos, readings, exercises) to this region without it being in an online format as it is right now. Seems the areas of greatest interest are basic helping skills, trauma healing from the Bible Society, deeper understanding of impact of trauma and expression of PTSD across cultures, and exposure to psychopathology. My goal would be to give this material away and offer live conferencing sessions to the training mentor as needed. Then, possibly follow-up with a visit to “t0p-up” as Harriet Hill is fond of saying.

Anyone want to fund that or help me figure out how to get others to do so? (Smile)

After breakfast we made our way to a nearby Catholic college to talk with Sister Bokiambo and the dean of the counseling department, Fr Evarist Gabosya Ankwasiize. They were interested in future opportunities with shared learning (my bringing students here to engage and interact with their students and participate in joint training). I left with new ideas for this location (on the shorts of Victoria) and with the encouragement that the Bible Society might be able to begin some seminars here to improve the dialogue between Scripture engaged trauma care and traditional mental health trauma care.

After a lunch of fried fish on the shorts of Victoria, I said my good-byes to Justus and Esther at Entebbe airport. The added security was quite evident (3 bag checks and 3 metal detectors before boarding) but there were no problems. The flight to Kigali was under 1 hour on a very new Rwandair airplane. Just enough time for a Passion fruit drink from the steward. Arrived to significant upgrades to the airport.

Arrived at Solace Ministries Guesthouse, our usual haunts since 2011. Solace isn’t hotel level but I love it for many reasons: Simeon’s great cooking (he makes fantastic vegetable soups and dessert of fresh tropical fruit and ice cream tonight), my money goes to a ministry and not a behemoth corporation, the water is hot, the rooms are clean, and it is centrally located. Seems Internet is a bit upgraded since I was able to SKYPE with Kim and boys.  [For a 2012 video of Solace Guesthouse, see here.]

I arrived here after the major July 4 celebrations today. Today marks the end of the 100 day mourning period and celebrates the liberation of Kigali. This is the 20th anniversary. A number of fireworks were shot off tonight, which I was told later triggered some local people into thinking the city was under attack.

Tomorrow, Lord willing, the rest of the team will arrive from the US and other points and our GTRI immersion trip will begin in earnest.

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