As I reflect on the events of the last three days, it feels as though three weeks worth of events have come to pass and three weeks worth of work has been done.
Our two days in the remote, rustic village of Yaara were memorable in so many ways. We arrived to a huge welcome celebration with drums beating and women dancing. The chief of Yaara, who is David’s brother Joseph, and at least 15 other chiefs and elders from other villages were seated and ready to greet us. Despite the massive amount of work before us, time was taken to greet one another with speeches, gifts, handshakes, and dancing. My African friends teach me so much … they never rush into anything without taking time for protocols involving interpersonal interactions with one another.
The clinic was set up and we went to work caring for many, many people with serious health issues. The breadth of disease we saw was astounding. Every area of the medical, dental, optometry, and physio sections of the clinic worked at such a high level with so much heart and soul over the two days.
We seemed to always have an emergency just as we finished our clinic. This time a young pregnant woman collapsed and we are thankful to report that she is well and has returned to her village. One remarkable story involves a man who presented with acute angle closure glaucoma in both eyes. His eye pressures were 4 times normal. With no laser in the country, our eye team and medical team worked together. Sixteen hours after treatment his pressures were down and he was out of danger. Dr Martin predicts he would have been blind in three days without treatment. “The blind will see” took on extra meaning for this man who was healed in the eye clinic which was held in the church.
This was the first time ever we were able to see all patients who came to the clinic … no one was turned away.
Other highlights include the bucket baths, the stars, the tour of Yaara, and the awkward white people trying to dance! I was presented to some baby Jennifers who were born to infertile women after being treated by the 2009 health team. The village presented the team with yams and another ram and eggs and fruit. The family of Joshua who almost died last year gave the team more yams and a guinea foul and a speech that will not soon be forgotten. We were thankful for the safe three hour journey home on the narrow, muddy, rut-filled road … or perhaps I should say path.
We had a great clinic today in New Longoro. 15 chiefs and elders greeted us in the new Peace Building built by NEA. It rained in the morning which cooled everything down so nicely. We sneaked out at lunch for a quick trip to the local market.
The surgical team have completed 114 procedures and three new surgeons are coming tomorrow! The team is doing an incredible job with the hernia patients and the urgent cases we send in from the villages.
We are two thirds of the way through our mission. Tonight we will play games, relax, and laugh. My jaw has been sore from laughing so much with this fantastic group of people. Tomorrow will be our day of rest. We will go to the local church and rest up for our final three days of work.
Much love to all our friends, family and supporters. We miss you and can’t wait to tell you even more when we see you face to face in one week.