Sunday, January 19, 2014

Medical Camp

All I need is you Lord, is you Lord

Wednesday we were headed out to the village I was so excited because I was going to spend time with my family out there and give them their remaining Christmas gifts. We got out there and set up our tents- everyone set up inside the church but we knew better so we set up outside underneath the mango tree (we meaning Dylan, Myleigh, and I). Hannah stayed behind because her sister was surprising her and coming here to spend a couple if days with her something we have been planning since October! Anyway we have a group of five nurses out here with us who were excited to set up this medical camp- they immediately started a open wound care and treatment. Everyone was out there Almost all of our staff and volunteers- it was an all hands on deck kind of week. Not only were we having a children's medical clinic but we were also having registration for our new primary school Empower academy primary school so when we arrived in Zirobwe we found many people who had been waiting at great lengths of time to see us. Next week we are going to start employee interviews. I am so excited to see The Lord doing big things in this community. I had gifts for my family so Christine and I snuck away from our jobs for a few minutes so I could give them the gifts and she was going to translate for me. As a side note I just want to say I love that girl she is such an encouragement to me and she is everything I am not she and I are going to be friends even long after I return to the states. Anyway I was so happy to see everyone out there I was quickly greeted with many Muwala Wamusumba calls from all over and too many hugs to even count. I was so so happy to be back. Back home. Back where the people I love are at. Back where I am comfortable. Back where I am so loved and cherished. I gave my fam their gifts and they were so thankful they offered me bananas and jack fruit which is a huge pokey looking green fruit and you cut it open and it looks like guts you peel off a chunk and take the big seed out of it. It fills your stomach rapidly. The gave me a huge piece so I ate as much as I could and than handed it back to the kids and offered it to them. I was also given a sugar cane which I love! The next day we started the medical camp Myliegh Dylan and I were on the dispensing table counting pills and filling up liquid meds and really just doing anything the nurses told us to do. We had a pediatrician who was hired to come out and prescribe since the nurses cannot. He is a pastors kid too so we had fun getting to exchange stories about growing up. Funny that it is the same here as anywhere. We ran a children's program in the evening- I don't think I have ever used that much energy. It was my first program back and I. Had so much fun with it!!! It was a long day and we say about 100 children the first day. When we got into our tent after the long day we anticipated that we would be exhausted from the first day but all three of us found that we could not sleep. Now what I am about to explain is very difficult to put into words so bear with me and please know it was 10x worse then how it sounds. Haha. It was 11:30pm and we heard a bullfrogs croak right next to our tent which startled us all ten minutes later was foot steps coming towards our tent so we got very quiet and listened the ground was covered with the papyrus mats and we heard the crunch of someone stepping onto the mat followed by the rustle of the tin on the Sunday school shelter. What seemed to be an eternity of time was wrapped up in a matter of minutes. We were unsure of what the escape plan would be this could be anyone from--the town drunk with a hatchet in his hands to a small child looking for shelter for the night to an animal Myliegh got her phone and tried to call Nina to call be on to come out to our tent and help us go inside the church because by this time we were terrified. Every time she got a hold of Nina the phone would die before we could explain what was going on. Then an animal scurried across the mats freaked us out even more. So we sat there trusting to decide which one of us would be brave enough to look and see who or what was outside our tent so we could move it closer to the church ourselves. My finally mustard up the courage to look out she did a quick peak and it seemed as if we were fine and set to go on moving it. In our pajamas we all quickly got out of the tent (just an FYI we have two mattresses and all of our bags in this tent so it's not as light as a feather) and started carrying across our property I was in the back with the bags and the girls were guiding me there was lots of light in the sky from the full moon above us. So we finally get it closer and get back into the tent and sit there everything we are wearing and even the sheets on the mattresses are now covered in dirt. Coming to the conclusion that none of us were going to be able to sleep after that I pulled out some glow sticks and we began sharing random stories trying to take our minds off of every little sound the went past our tent. Pit is about 1:15am at this point and we here this god awful noise almost sounded like a baby elephant. So we wanted to get. A better look at what it was then it made the noise again each time making this noise it seriously sounded like a dying animal of some sort. So I had to go to the bathroom so bad because I had been holding it since we heard the bullfrog so we get out to see what it was and I went to the bathroom and it was somewhat dark but I looked to my right and I saw a huge shadow of what looked somewhat like a cow bull looking thing. So we quickly find our way back to the tent and within 1 minute it was up against our tent the three of us huddled to the middle and were holding onto each other for dear life. This was one of the most terrifying things ever what if has horns what if it just decides to walk right into our tent and step onto us. It walked all the way around our tent then started to walk away as soon as it was fare nought we made a run for it towards the door into the church we ended up bringing our mattresses into the church and just slept on the floor of the church no mosquito net or covering if any kind it was worth it to know I was going to sleep great. Once we were all settled in we started hearing rat noises. We didn't sleep at all. Needless to say we moved our tent into the church the next morning. The next day we had another great turn out for the medical camp we saw another 200+ kiddos in the afternoon I walked over to. Lukas house to check on the kids because shakira and mama Luka had headed to Kampala to see shakiras dad. I knew that Rita would be the one cooking so I got over there and played with the kids but I found Rita peeling sweet potatoes and helped by the two year old who was also peeling with a butcher knife. When Rita saw me she ran inside and brought me a bowl of bananas and we chatted and the other kids were swinging in the back yard. Frank rode his bike over because he was on his way to fetch water. I hopped on his tall bike and rode it back to the church with his help because I couldn't even reach the pedals. It was such a great week and I would love to do it again in a heartbeat minus the scary night.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Hello from Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Day 1: I can't believe I am here. Wow! Today was a long day I woke up in a panic at 2:30 am. I wasn't sure about the flights I was going to take and I thought about everything that could go wrong. I tossed and turned for sometime hoping a new position would spark my exhaustion interest...nothing seemed to do the trick. I finally last looked at my clock around 5:15 before I fell back to sleep. We got up and left the house by 8am and headed to the boys rehab home (the one we cooked at on Friday) led worship, had devotions, and played a game. Ultimately just spending time with these boys and loving on them. It was sad to say goodbye to the EAC Kenya team. They are truly a great group to work with so organized and really put together and they all have a great sense of humor. Said my goodbyes and told them to stay in touch via Facebook and then adroitly and I left. The traffic was so bad today (probably because I had a flight to catch that's always how it works isn't it?) it took us two hours to get home. Once e arrived I was starving David bought pizza at pizza inn and had it sitting on the punter he offered me a peace before he even finished I was in the kitchen dishing myself a plate. Our taxi driver helped put our things in the trunk of his car when seeing that I have a pillow with me he commented, "do you always travel with a pillow? What you don't trust other peoples pillows?" Haha this made me laugh. I don't know why though. We made it to the airport with more than enough time. I got all checked in and was sitting in the final terminal before boarding when a airport employee came in and said the words, "first of all I want to apologize on behalf of the airline...." My heart began to race even more because I had woken up but I had not foreseen this one she is about to tell us that the fight to Kilimanjaro has been cancelled due to whatever. Thankfully she followed it by the words, "we switched your gate". I was so so so relieved. It was a quick 40 minute flight and I was here. Smallest airport I have ever been to. You can stand in one spot and see departures arrivals and all the gates from one spot. Got through immigration and was the last one to get my visa and last bag sitting at the baggage claim. I met Godwins right hand man his name is Barakas and we had to wait two hours for Godwin to arrive from flying from Amsterdam. So we got to know each other very well and found out all about the sakila program here in TZ. When Godwin and his buddy Gene arrived we headed up the mountain that starts with an M and we are at an elevation of 5,000 ft. So there is a nice cool breeze. It's now 10:30 and we sat down for dinner of rice, seasoned beef, and of course my favorite ugali!!! It was so yummy.the followed by an incredible dessert of bananas and vanilla milk. ,mmmm. I could stay here forever.

Day 2: I was wide awake at 6:00 am ready to start the day but still feeling tired. Breakfast was at 7:00 and I was hungry. We had chapati pancakes, eggs, and sausage although it was not like home it was really yummy. I feel like a princess here I have my own full size bed that is so comfy AND someone does the dishes for me. It is a huge luxury. After breakfast gene and I walked up the road to the kindergarten a room with abut twenty five students to one teacher. There are three teachers for that one classroom but only one runs it wright now. They are hoping to find forty more kiddos to begin kinder. Most of the kids in there are repeats from the year or even two years before. They are not able to advance until they have mastered the level. (I love this rule) most of the time it is due to the illiteracy they are getting from their home environment. They all stared and smiled and waved when I entered their classroom the teacher came and greeted us and said caribou (meaning welcome) she shook our hand and then instructed the kids in Swahili. They immediately stood up and all single filed and silent walked over to us and shook our hands as well as a few of them telling us good morning. Once returning to their desks they continued studying. Madame wrote the familiar letters a e I o u on the board and had the class recite the different sounds. I was very impressed I snapped a few more shots and away we went. This place is so magical. Such a beautiful facility with incredible educators giving kids from primary all the way through high school an incredible opportunity to succeed. There is close to 900 kids between the to campuses of which all or most have sponsors. We walked through the primary school campus and made our way down to the high school where there is quite a bit of construction going on down there. They have a three story building that will have three classrooms on each level making a total of nine new classrooms for these kids. They also have a new building being constructed which will have a science room, computer lab, and a brand new library. It is HOT here. Twice as hot as Uganda. The shade is a small relief to the beating sun. I can feel myself turning into an African in just a netter of mere hours. There is no internet here and it is so peaceful. Such a slow pace of life and such contentment. One story that really touched me was a out a 6 year old autistic kiddo from the states who saved his allowance to send to the children that his parents sponsor. Each child will receive about 1,000 shillings to spend on whatever they want. Makes me want to challenge you what little extras could you be carving out to send this way? Is it that latte, the late night French fries, the movie, the new phone? What is it that is keeping you from sharing with these kids? I am really excited I came up with this new Idea for when I get home in March. Starting in April I am going to pick an area of needs whether it be school supplies, chalk, tools, medical needs, toiletries, stuffed animals/toys, crafts. We as a community are going to send these areas different things that they need. Both Uganda and Tanzania. :)

Day 3: breakfast at precisely 7:00 am served up by Kisali- at every meal he come to my room to tell me that the food is ready and walks me to the dining room-so sweet. I headed to the primary school with Gene and talked with Patrick(primary school headmaster) who is such a sweetheart. Gene had some gifts from sponsors to hand out to the kiddos. My favorite gift was from a sweet 6 year old boy who is special needs who saved up his allowance to give to the sponsored kids. Each child in the family of 6 received 1,000 shillings which is close to 60cents. Such a touching story and good reminder that we can be giving even if we don't have much we all have something to share. We then walked a quarter mile to the secondary school just up the road where they are doing the contribution and met Godwin there- still handing out a couple cards and gifts. On our way there we saw so many donkeys the locals use them to carry the water that is too heavy for them to carry. They are everywhere!! I also passed by a turtle I had to double take fora minute it was just one turtle in the middle of the field just hanging out. We headed out to the local town known as Arusha which is known for the movie Atari being filmed there. Pretty fun fact though is that I got to drive around the center of Africa from Kiro to Cape Town I really am not joking when I say I was in the middle of Africa haha! Went to lunch at Africafe a westernized style cafe with coffee and sandwiches. Then back to the house and just hung out and rested. It is SO HOTT here. You kind of feel like doing nothing but sleeping in the afternoon because of how hot it is.

Day 4: SURPRISE!! Godwin set up with his cousin for me to go onax day safari, this was a huge blessing because I really thought I was not going to be able to goo n while I was here in Africa. It was so incredible apparently it was a smaller park with very few animals but I would have never known the difference. It was amazing. We saw zebras, giraffes, tons of wharthogs, a million flamingos, an eagle, dik diks, baboons, and more!! It was on a mountain so we drove through trees and through very green landscape it was beautiful I. Will post picture because even if I tried to explain it in words I would fail because it is just too cool and breathtaking. Joshua. Drove us around and Doudy was my guide. They were greAt company and made it a day to remember. Doudy is one of the teachers at the secondary school and aspires to become a guide and work with tourists. We had lunch at a touristy buffet place that served a variety of local food. The. We were off to Arusha Moshi area to the orphanage. The facility is great. It is directed by Godwins brother Stephen who looks just like him! He showed me around the dining hall doubles as a classroom for the kiddos that are to young to start p. 1 thee we about 50 kids there currently and they walk to school in the morning all together. They really have no schedule after school and on the weekends I would love to send some games over or some sports equipment. Or a swing set/ jungle gym. When I asked what the biggest need was for the center they said they would like a bus to be able to bring the kids to and from different places and to school so they don't have to walk a mile every morning and a mile every afternoon like I said it is really hot there so it would be easy for these kids to get dehydrated in the afternoon. They performed a couple songs for me and then it was time to go. We stopped at a local food joint that had some sort of bird painted on the wall. It was smelly and dim. There were two fans working at the time and the other one was broken. Flies were everywhere it is rally gross. They land on anything and everything. Last night for dinner we had chicken, pizza, ugali, and then banana pudding. I am missing home cooked meals and a hot breakfast already. I truly cannot wait to come back and spend some time teaching in the classrooms and getting to know the people better. They are so welcoming and made me promise to come back and visit in at least two years. :) cannot wait to go back.