TEAM UGANDA: SUNDAY FUNDAY
Today was our first full day in Uganda. After some much needed sleep, we awoke to roosters crowing and a full day of preparation. (There may or may not have been a small power outage.) We completed a mock clinic and then took a walk over to MKMC.
Masindi Kitara Medical Center (MKMC) is one of OneWorld Health’s Hospital that carries out their sustainable healthcare model. It has changed dramatically over the years, and will continue to as it aims to meet the needs of the community it serves. A plot of land that once hosted cows for grazing is now a one of a kind hospital providing patients with exceptional and affordable care. MKMC is complete with both inpatient wards and outpatient clinics. It is staffed 24/7/365 with RNs, midwives and THE Dr. Godson. Since last year, they have added both x-ray and 2x incubators. (One of which is currently housing a 24 week premie born today.)
Following the tour we loaded up the vans with all our clinic materials and headed back to the hotel. We unloaded, loaded and reloaded SO. MANY. BINS. Every team prepared their bins to be ready for our first day of clinic tomorrow. Once all the Tylenol had been sorted and the omeprazole was stocked, we enjoyed an uneventful dinner. Complete with a welcome cake and French fries. We bid Michael O’Neal (Executive Director) farewell after he eloquently portrayed the beginning and heart of OneWorld health to the team.
Now we head off to bed for some rest before the hard and rewarding work begins in the morning.
+ Matt, Sarah + Melinda
TEAM UGANDA: TRAVEL DAY
Our Uganda team arrived safely to Masindi! They were greeted by smiling faces and a delicious hot meal. Now it is off to bed to get some much needed rest. Tomorrow starts their prep for the week of outreach!
Photo by Paul Kim for OneWorld Health
TEAM NICARAGUA: CLINIC DAY FIVE
Today, we were blessed to have the opportunity to serve in a rural community outside of Sebaco. Upon arriving to the community, they had a formal welcome planned for us. We gathered in a large circle and the welcome began. This included warm words of welcome and a traditional Nicaraguan dance led by the young fearless Ashley in a beautiful traditional Nicaraguan dress. While standing there enjoying the warm welcome, I couldn’t help but to reflect on the community on one side of the large circle we had formed and us on the other side of the circle around the dancing children. We were all together as one but the circle clearly had two sides.
We were on the “easy” side of the circle. We come from our lives of comfort in the United States and get a glimpse into the lives of the members of the community and what physical poverty truly is meeting individuals who struggle to meet their physical necessities including clean water, food and access to healthcare. We are given the gift to come to Nicaragua and have the opportunity to share our gifts and talents. It gives one tremendous joy and fulfillment to share their talents with others. We are so blessed to be on this side of the circle.
The Nicaraguan community was on the other side of the circle, the “hard” side. Being on their side of the circle, they are born into physical poverty and face this reality day in and day out. Despite this, they brought us coffee and an amazing Nicaragua breakfast that I can best describe to you as an amazing flat corn pancake. They also brought us true love immediately welcoming us into their community with kind gracious words and beautiful dances. Within an hour of being there, you feel like you are home, like you are part of their family, like you are where you belong and where your heart has been all along. It is hard to put into words, but it is beautiful, and it is true love that they share with us.
They also share with us another gift, humility. They have recognized that they have a need in their community for healthcare, and they are opening themselves up and taking a risk as they reach out to OneWorld Health and invite us into their community. Have you ever had to be this vulnerable? Have you ever had to ask someone for help to get something that you truly needed? Could you imagine asking someone you don’t know and have never met to take care of you and your health? Could you imagine having to ask a stranger to give you the blood pressure medicine you need so you can stay healthy and care for your four children? It is truly humbling to be in this position.
How did we end up on our side of the circle? It’s a random result of where we were born. It seems crazy if you really stop and think about it. Being a member of the “easy” side of the circle, I feel that we have a large responsibility to do everything we can to work towards a world that is a circle with no sides. It has been an honor to work with OneWorld Health and the 42 individuals on this trip who passionately dedicate themselves to this goal.
+ Dr. Dan Scholz