GLOBAL HEALTH INFLUENCERS BLOG

TEAM NICARAGUA: CLINIC DAY 1

December 12, 2017

Today was the very first clinic day-and it was exciting to say the very least. The energy, the smiles, the laughter, and some howling monkeys had us all moving nonstop. But I don’t just mean physically, I mean spiritually too. Never have I ever felt such a warm, connected feeling towards and among a group of people. It’s a feeling that I think or that I know this world so desperately needs. It’s a feeling where discrepancies and/or judgements over and for gender, age, race, and religious belief goes away. It’s a place where all are made me to feel welcome, important, valued, but most importantly, respected as a human life. It’s a feeling that I wish to give to my future patients as a future physician, but it’s also just a feeling that I wish for all people to have always.

It takes me back to kindergarten, and the introduction of the infamous golden rule. But out of all my schooling it’s the one single rule that has never seemed to fade away, be disproven, or needed to not be taken seriously. It is a rule that I hold in my heart, and that all these other people on this mission hold in theirs too. It’s a rule that makes me feel as though there is always such fundamental good in this world… but that it just simply needs to be coaxed or encouraged out sometimes.

Feeling safe and loved, in your most vulnerable state, (i.e. in your health), is a feeling that I and these people wish to give to all, because we have had the opportunity to have felt that feeling, more times than not, at some point in our lives. As a young person, a young scholar, and a young aspiring physician, I am so incredibly moved everyday by the opportunity that education gives not only to the person themselves, but to others. And in that, if education, (especially medical education), is acquired and then shared with a full heart, bursting with passion and encouragement to spread goodness to all—that is extremely powerful and moving.

It inspires me to study hard and to keep my head high and my heart strong, so that I can continue to share my light, love, energy, and respect for all those who deserve that, especially in terms of their health. These people, within one day, have showed me what it means to love, and to not just see that, but to feel that and share it with others. It leaves me speechless, but I think I knew that coming into something like this, with an organization like OneWorld Health.

There’s a good thing going on here you guys-and we’ve got all week to keep sharing a piece of all that it is, with all of you. Send us your love, and we’ll send it right back!

+Kedron Walsh, Pre-Med

TEAM UGANDA: DAY 1 IN COUNTRY

On the first night of our Uganda trip my true love gave to me…a canceled flight. Clearly that true love did not work out. Here’s the story: everyone on the trip was coming from a different location and the majority of us were flying through Atlanta. But because of the snow storms our flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam got canceled so we ended up having to spend an extra night in the States which sadly means we have to miss a day of clinical in Uganda. We left on Saturday and started our very long journey with a flight from Charleston to Atlanta (which was delayed by 4 hours again because of the ice). This meant that we only had about 30 minutes to make our connection to Amsterdam. Once we got off the plane we had to sprint to our next gate which was quite literally the furthest terminal from where we were. The other half of the group had to drive to Atlanta because their flight from Columbia, SC was canceled. They cheered us on as we sprinted to them, all of us meeting for the first time. We arrived right as they were calling last boarding call for our flight and we boarded out of breath, exhausted, and maybe a little sweaty (sorry to the people sitting next to us). Our flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam was about seven hours.

On arrival in Amsterdam, we were greeted by festive Christmas lights and the heavenly aroma of sweet pancakes. The airport itself was very charming- lots of little booths to snuggle in, literal tea cups to eat a snack in, and massage booths scattered around the terminal. Even though we were all exhausted (at this point it was 5am Sunday morning), we saved all of our strength to chow down on some amazing mini pancakes, croissants, and omelettes! Thankfully, our team was able to work some magic and get us all on the same flight to Uganda! Around 9am we departed Amsterdam and headed towards Entebbe. The majority of our group snoozed away throughout the entire flight.

Ten and a half hours later we arrived into Entebbe, Uganda at 10:30pm and went through customs and loaded into vans which took us to our hotel for the night. We arrived around 12:00am and had a late night snack of chicken and chips (fried chicken French fries which hit the spot). We all went to bed for a much needed night of sleep. Breakfast the next morning was at 6am. After breakfast, we started the 6 hour car drive to Masindi. Many of us who had been to Uganda before were used to the chaos of the Kampala streets, but for everyone else it was a bit of a wild ride!

The Masindi hotel was a welcoming sight- the staff (cheerful as always) greeted us with cold towels and water bottles to help us refresh! We settled in to our rooms and then had a quick lunch, before heading to tour MKMC, the medical center founded by OneWorld Health. After the tour, we came back to the hotel to organize our supplies and prep for the week of clinic. We ended the day with an amazing dinner and team introductions. It has been quite the journey for the last two days, but we cannot wait for this upcoming week and all the memories to come! Now, time to sleep…nighty night!!

+ Austin Hinton and Melanie Geradts
+Photo by Micah Lindstrom

TEAM UGANDA: SAFE ARRIVAL

December 11, 2017

The Uganda team has safely arrived and they are on their way to Masindi! After many setbacks caused by the winter storm that hit the southeast, they are all safe and sound!! Follow along on the blog this week as the team serves the patients in Uganda.

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