March 17, 2017

PMI Uganda 2014

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

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