We finished up rounds and went back to the resort for our day off (only because the hospital shuts down on Sundays). We had planned to venture to Lake Mburo National Park for a safari, but it was pouring down rain so we decided to evade the open-roofed, mosquito-infested jeeps. Instead, once the rain had halted, we decided to go on team run to explore the Mbarara countryside. We set out in single file line fashion on the dirt sidewalk, Dr. Burch (an ultramarathon runner) taking the lead and us tailing behind as closely as our legs enabled.
As we swiftly passed by markets and family-owned shops I was able to soak up the culture of this country more than ever before. The elated children hollering ‘Mzungu, mzungo!’ to tell their families that foreign people were passing their homes while waving at us sent chills down my back. Looking to my side at the hilly scenery made the first three miles of the run fly by. However, after a cursory first half of the run, things fell apart rapidly.
I was leading the group on the second half of the run, hill after hill, when I heard a scream and squealing of tires. Confused, I turned around and saw Nadia skid five to ten feet on the rough side-road we were traversing. At first, I thought she had tripped and was falling to the ground by mistake, but out of the corner of my eye I saw a Boda-boda (local taxi motorcycle) fly out of control and I immediately put two and two together. A reckless Boda-boda driver had hit Nadia. I frantically sprinted back to where she stood (yes, she was on her feet after being knocked down by a motor vehicle). She was a little shaken up but after a quick inspection, we determined that it was a fracture-free incident. What a miracle!
Cut up and bruised, we told Nadia to wait with Dr. Holman and Laura while Dr. Burch and I sprinted two miles back to the resort for help. The front desk concierge, after some persuading, allowed us to use her car to go and pick up Nadia and the rest of the team. Nadia didn’t break a single bone and continued to heighten the team’s morale throughout the day. She shocked us all by describing the run as “exciting” (bat-woman never gives in). At this point, nothing can stop the Spine Machine…
We got back to the resort, tended to Nadia’s Boda-boda wounds, and un-winded with a casual dinner. A curveball was thrown at us today and we can only hope that Nadia will have a speedy recovery!
Quote of the day: “Let’s run during the day today so the boda-boda drivers can see us!” –Anonymous