TEAM UGANDA: CLINIC DAY 3
As we rose from our beds this morning accompanied by the chilly air, I was able to look up and still see the stars and moon from last night’s sleep. Sipping on my 1st cup of coffee, followed by another 2 or 4, depending on who you ask, the Ugandan sky went from starry night to a pink and purple beauty which later gave way to the sun rising on another day of clinic.
Last night at dinner we were told that there was already a line of people forming outside the site anticipating our arrival. In my mind, I’m sitting there comparing it to what some do for Black Friday back in the States for things, gifts, and possessions…except for here they camp out over night because this could be their one opportunity for their child, mother, father, sister, brother, or friend to get any sort of medical attention. They wait in line for life…for a sense of hope.
Sure enough when we arrive the line of people is wrapped all the way around 3 sides of the building then continued far down the dusty dirt pathway. We set up camp in all the classrooms, gave everyone in line bracelets with numbers on them, connected with our translators (who are literally God’s gift to us) and hit the ground running.
Throughout the day I’m constantly reminded that the person sitting in front of me who’s pouring out their pains, needs, and illnesses is my brother or sister. Now I can’t say I did this on every single patient, but I’m reminded to be present. To take my time to not only listen to why they spent the night waiting in line to see us, but to get to know who they are and where they live. They’re a gift. There was an 82yr old woman who walked 2 miles on her bare feet with a limp leg…but what was she doing when she sat down in front of me…smiling ear to ear. When there’s 86 different languages in Uganda, there’s one thing that’s universal- the smile. You can never go wrong with it!
What an incredible feeling to be able to see every single person who showed up today-200 to be exact! This team, community, and Ugandan family we’ve formulated here is one that’s like no other. Going to bed with grateful hearts, tired bodies, and a love for our people here. We love y’all back home and are definitely feeling your prayers!
+Angelle Hayes, RN, BSN
TEAM UGANDA: CLINIC DAY 2
I love so many things about Africa, but the thing I love most is that the small things go anything but unnoticed. I worked as a runner/optometrist (lol jk. I’m only allowed to give out reading glasses) which gave me some time to get a better look at the beautiful thing that make up the clinic. I’m probably a bit more observant than most but Uganda continually charms me with its ability to revel in belonging to the continent of extremes. No small thing, like a child chasing a butterfly as our van passes, or the impeccable patterning of hand-swept dirt patios is left untouched by its astounding hand.
Even more so, I’m in love with this country’s ability to envelop everyone into its vibrance for life. Each of our volunteers are roped into creating beautiful moments, even if they may seem small. I couldn’t help but smile after I watched 21 Americans effortlessly offer patient joy. Whether it was a smile and an attempted use of the local language(s), or a helping hand up the stoop to the clinic rooms, the kindness was so apparent. The locals aren’t untouched by Uganda’s love, either. Their constant willingness and trust is absolutely overwhelming at times. I find myself praying that I may be willing and ready to extend love as they are to me.
For the third time now I’m in awe at this country’s beauty and tendency to wrap everyone in its loving arms, regardless of who that person may be. Can’t thank sweet Jesus enough for generously allowing me to witness it. Hopefully he never stops letting me come back.
Love you people BIG
+ Emilia Vawter, Undergraduate Student
TEAM NICARAGUA: CLINIC DAY 2
Good Evening from Nicaragua! Tonight our blog post is sponsored by the 3 woman pharmacy team: Kati, Katie, and Cat. Say that three times fast. Ha! Clinic today was night and day compared to our maiden voyage yesterday! While we were able to serve over 200 patients yesterday, we really took the opportunity to evaluate our efficiency and improve for the days to come. Today, we again served over 200 patients, but in a vastly more organized and timely manner which worked wonders for team morale and in full stride we had a fantastic day!
Our highlights tonight focus on pharmacy and the service our group contributes to the team and the communities we serve. We are lucky enough to have three pharmacy professionals on our team including Kati, a licensed pharmacist and graduate of Mercer University’s pharmacy program, and Katie and Cat,both 4th year pharmacy interns from the Medical University of South Carolina. These three ladies as well as two assigned helpers staff our clinic pharmacy every day and have been filling, on average, 550 prescriptions each day. The pharmacy staff adds an additional level of safety to the running of our clinics and elevates the value of our care. Having medication experts available to counsel patients and advise prescribers is an indispensable part of any health care system, and has become even more so in our compact model of service.
If you want to know a little more about the medication we provide, prescribing trends have heavily favored allergy relief, antibiotics for various infections, pain relief for aches old and new, and nutritional supplementation for children and pregnant women. It has been really humbling to experience the difference a few tablets of ibuprofen can make in the life of a person living with minimal access to healthcare. Luckily, the model of OneWorld Health is working to insure that never has to be the case again. We look forward to serving right down the road from OneWorld Health’s Clinica Integral Tola tomorrow and providing some much needed publicity to the accessible care options available at this permanent community health center.
As always, no part of our daily clinics, especially pharmacy, can function well and to its fullest ability without the support of all the amazing volunteers who staff each area. We are fully indebted to the ceaseless work ethic, calm execution, and tireless joy that comes with the very special team of volunteers that have gathered this week. This team is truly wonderful.
Buenos noches, hasta mañana!
+ Kati Turner, Katie Bradley, Cat Rigdon