Saturday , September 18 2021
Home / Society catergory / Health / Four years without Sophia

Four years without Sophia

Sophia Koetsier (left) worked eight weeks as a medical intern in Lubaga hospital in Kampala before she went missing

Clearly the investigation left quite something to be desired, as has been observed and acknowledged since then by both Ugandan and Dutch professionals. Words like ‘tunnel vision’ were used, and ‘blaming the victim’.

We can only speculate about the reason why a ‘fatal accident’ scenario was so eagerly embraced from the start, despite the lack of any evidence to back it up. Thereby excluding all other possiblities, including crime. Perhaps it was the easiest option to get rid of an incomprehensible story and many people do not like stories without an end.

It seems that Sophia was not well at the time. Very occasionally she develops sleeping problems which can cause her to become restless. She had also been taking malaria pills from the day she arrived in Uganda. These pills can have unwanted side effects.

However, Sophia is far from crazy and has never shown any sign to anybody at any time of being tired of life. On the contrary, her love of life is immense and her ambition has no bounds.

If you don’t know anything, nothing can be ruled out but we find it hard to believe Sophia laid out those items herself. Like we find it equally hard to believe she went into the river. In one of her weekly reports Sophia, a good swimmer, writes about an outing to Ggaba Beach at Lake Victoria:

‘The only thing lacking was the option to cool off a bit. Even though the locals went swimming in the lake we decided against that, because of the chances of getting a parasite infection.’

Sophia was born on December 7, 1993, our first child and only daughter. Her name means ‘wisdom’ in Greek.

Barely fully born, she looked us straight in the eye, with her big, dark eyes, wide open, as if saying: ‘Well then, here I am’.
And there she was indeed, a personality from the start and keeping those eyes, and ears, wide open whilst going through life. She is very perceptive and observant, with an open mind. Quoting some excerpts from her weekly reports from Kampala is the only way at this moment to hear her voice.

On her serious effort to learn Luganda right after arrival:

I have learned some more Luganda now. If you say ‘oliotya?’, which means: ‘hello, how are you?’, to the local people, they really like that. Things like ‘webale’ (thank you), ‘nde bulungi’ (I’m fine)  or ‘sula bulungi’ (good night) are really good to know.’

After attending a party she comments on Ugandan women’s dancing prowess:

‘The girls here are truly exceptional dancers. They could really teach us Dutch people a thing or two…  Jojo taught me her killer moves and I tried them out immediately. The reaction was: ‘Huh, Sophia is dancing like an African girl?!’

And how she is enjoying her stay:

‘I am starting to get used to Uganda more and more. The way of life, the habits. I am almost considering simply staying in Africa, cause jeez, it’s so relaxed here!’

Most of her stories were about her work in Lubaga hospital. Christine was one of the midwives who often worked with Sophia. She told me about Sophia’s eagerness to learn things and to be useful, how quickly she picked things up. ‘A born doctor’ according to Christine. In Sophia’s own words:

‘The next day was an interesting day on the maternity ward. I spent all day on labour ward and was really useful. Christine taught me how to catch a baby after delivery. This was harder than I thought, but Christine guided me. After that I took the baby away for post natal care. I could do this several times. It’s so nice to do this for those tiny creatures and it is really great to be useful.’

One comment

  1. It is indeed saddening. Hopefully nothing wrong happened to her. It’s been years but since all stories don’t add up due to irresponsible search teams by then. It would be best to have 50/50 chance of Sofie living. But what happened to their tour guide?

    A tour guide from Kampala? That is something not advisable. Tour guides are provided by the park management because these people are very well aware of their surroundings and place of operations. But no matter what. A tour guide from Kampala unless this person was sent from the place you intended to go.

    Because everyone believes they can be tour guides just because they know few ideas but that doesn’t make them one. A tour guide must first ensure clients safety first. But look Sofia’s incident happened due to irresponsible personal cliamed tour guide…..

    Most people in KAMPALA disguise in certain occupation…….that’s why sometimes evenpublic taxis are driven by people without permits they drive because they know.

    If only the tour guide can be questioned again after all these years I believe he may have a different story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *