TEAM UGANDA: FUN DAY
“We waited 2 hours for this chick, she better have an accent.”
Who would of thought that this small sentence would begin the greatest week. 22 Americans and 1 Australian took off on an journey that made a small but everlasting impact. We laughed, we joked and we ate carbs. Lots and lots of carbs. We treated everything from weird to wacky. We ate everything from beans to pasta. People changed us and we changed the way we think. We learned the meaning behind the cause and why we do what we do every single day.
Today was like any other day. We got up early, had breakfast on the go and got in the van. Except it was dark and we were trying to race against time. To beat the ferry and get to the other side of Nile River. It was Safari time and we were all a wee bit excited. We saw lions, tigers and bears… well not really just these deer looking things, elephants and giraffe’s. No big deal. Jokes. It was amazing. And I could go on and on, or you could just come with us next time. So we finished the trip discovering the Pearl the Africa and seeing true beauty without the distractions of life. And let me tell you, watching the sunrise of the Nile River is something that I will never forget.
+ Nurse Betty and Mumma Bear
aka Bethany Purcell and Christy Olfossen
TEAM UGANDA: CLINIC DAY FIVE
Today was bittersweet. The last day of clinic. The final day for this makeshift assembly of strangers. When I consider the fact that one week ago we all met at Gate A31 I find it hard to believe what a fluid and complete team we have become. From the dirty jobs to the tedious tasks there was never a moment when anyone feels alone. We work steadily, we work carefully, but most of all we worked together. Brought together from many different backgrounds to share in this unique experience. Each of us have now shared their story and though our paths have differed greatly they have all led to us to this week together.
The unspoken question is the elephant in the room as we pack our materials… “How can we leave when there is still so much work to be done?” For many this trip has brought to reality the world that so many people Uganda and its people are filled with beauty but there is so much heartbreak as well. We each have a patient whose case we continue to dwell on. As providers we are left wondering whether there is something more that could have been done. For others, there is child whose eyes carried evidence of too much hardship and pain.
We saw over 1,000 patients this week. 1,000 lives with 1,000 different stories. Those 1,000 lives are now a chapter in our own stories and we hope that we have become an important part in some of their stories as well. In some instances, we changed their endings, hopefully to a happy ones. For some of us, this week is a short adventurous chapter. For others, this week completely changed the arc of our own story. Either way, we are now all intertwined in an unique and meaningful way that many of us never expected. We ended our night together standing on the bank of the Nile… feeling content.
Photo by Paul Kim for OneWorld Health
TEAM UGANDA: CLINIC DAY FOUR
Today was the last full day of clinic! We traveled about an hour away to Ntooma where we were able to see 238 patients. Getting all of the vans there was a struggle; one of them overheated causing about a 20-minute delay on our journey. To “cool the engine down,” they had to lift up the front seat? We guess that’s how they get to the engine…and proceeded to pour water on it. It all worked out so we made it in one piece.
Once everyone finally arrived and got set up, the clinic started full blast. Everyone truly put in all of the Beverly we had left to make this last day great. The patients that came through were definitely interesting, and providers had to consult each other on all sorts of cases to make sure the patient was getting the best treatment. In the pharmacy, we were slammed! The amount of griseofulvin tablets that had to be split into fourths was our “favorite”… also, starting out the morning with only one interpreter created a few obstacles for us, but with an amazing team, we survived the day and finished strong.
So now, we are ready for one more half day of clinic before we had out to Murchison falls for the weekend. We are going on a safari!
+ Brittany Taylor and Anne Brookes Powell, USC School of Pharmacy