Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Great Cultural Event in Uganda

As Orbis Medical Director, Hunter Cherwek, has said "One of the greatest things about working for Orbis is that every month one or more of three things happen:
"I see a heart-warming sight-saving surgery; I meet an amazing Volunteer Faculty; or I experience a great travel adventure/ cultural event."

Well, my last night in Uganda we experienced one of the best cultural events one could imagine--seeing (and participating in) the great art of the Ndere Dance Troupe-- an event for the Ophthalmologic Society of Eastern Africa (OSEA) annual meeting.

Amelia (Orbis program manager), Hunter (Orbis medical director), staff ophthalmologists Warren Anderson and Bernadette Martinez, 3rd year resident Justin Arbuckle, Ethiopian country program director Djalene Temesgen and myself attended this event. Earlier in the day, Dr. Dave and myself had spoken at the OSEA meeting, which was attended by over 300 ophthalmologists from countries as diverse as Tanzania, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Uganda.

This dinner at the Ndere Cultural Event Center was part of the OSEA program and featured spell-binding Ugandan drumming, singing, and dancing with side-splitting comedy from Mr. Ndere, a former school teacher turned comedian--all under a beautiful, summer night sky.

Featured guests included the Minister of Health and Veronica--a 16 year old girl who was Uganda's first recipient of a corneal transplant when Orbis came here 2 years ago. (You can read more about her on the Orbis blog.) Hunter and Amelia also used the evening to present the Ugandan Society of Ophthalmology with a large donation from Orbis.

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