Friday, March 4, 2011

Clinic: Part1

Well, I've been out of touch for the last week and a half for a couple of reasons. One, when I purchased my internet I had to do it based on usage. What I bought to last a month actually lasted about 1 1/2 weeks. Oops! Then I lost my internet stick. For those of you who have seen my bedroom/house at home....this won't come as a suprise. After literally tearing my room apart from top to bottom, I found it wedged in between my boxspring. Score! I've also been out of internet/cell phone range because we had a medical team arrive from my hometown and went to a really rural village to conduct a medical clinic for a week. So needless to say I have a lot to catch up on!

The medical team was great...and included some firsts for me. I had my first breakdown in Sierra Leone. And it was a bus....with 20 people on it...stranded in the middle of NOWHERE!! It started with the bus overheating. Now I'm not big into cars, so maybe this is normal, but this bus had the radiator inside the bus. Unfortunately, when the driver opened the cap, scalding water started shooting out inside the bus! The driver's apprentice actually got quite the nasty burn on his forearm. So scalding water is shooting everywhere and the steam is making it hard to see inside the bus. One of the team members who was in the back had to feel her way out because she literally could not see anything. So that was a bad sign.

But we put some more water in and on we went. For like...10 minutes. It started overheating again so we pulled over and parked the bus in a delightful little the middle of nowhere!
We were told that another bus would be coming from Bo, which is about an hour and a half away. So we hunkered down to wait. Well, that time came and bus. Then we found out that it wasn't really coming from Bo, but from Freetown which was about 3 1/2 hours away. An hour later we received a call that the bus coming to rescue us had a flat tire. And no spare and no jack. Also, the driver either couldn't or wouldn't tell us where he was. So one driver was screaming into the phone of the other driver asking him where he was. After some more waiting, he finally rolled up. Wait time? 5 1/2 hours. By this time it was getting to be dusk and the road was narrow with small bridges so we really didn't want to be driving at night. We quickly changed the tire, unloaded everything from one bus to the other bus and we were off! For about 4 minutes. And our bus got a flat tire. Fortunately since we hadn't driven very far, we took the jeep back to the original bus and took some more tires from that bus. And we were off again! Only the bus wouldn't start. After about 20 min. of working on it and some fierce praying by the team members, we really were off. We were hoping to arrive around four or five but got in at 11pm instead. When he first arrived in the country, my dad said that things were just going too smoothly. Problem solved! :) More about the clinic tomorrow!

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