Wow. The last month or so has been so crazy busy!! Where has the time gone??? I’ll just get right to it. Six days after the building team left, I was back at the airport to pick up a medical team, also primarily from my hometown area. This medical team was a little special because coming along were my mom, my dad and my uncle. It was their first time to meet my new little one! J I think my mom might have brought 17 suitcases of stuff with her. She came ready to spoil!
In addition to being excited, I’ll be honest and say that I was a little apprehensive about this team. See…..we decided to camp this year. In Africa. During the hottest time of the year. And when I say “we decided” it was really me, convincing them that it could in fact be done successfully. And no one would get sick and die. (Generally not the best thing to promise here). They might have been a little apprehensive as well. As we were driving up to the village, the thought definitely crossed my mind that if this goes badly, I may lose some very valuable team members. For. Ev. Er. (Name that movie).
After a slightly hairy trip up to the village (apparently you’re not supposed to gun your vehicle to make it through a river when you have a really high load…who knew?) we were ready! Because of some incredibly hard work by some of my teammates (shout out Pepe, Alejandra, Scarlett, John, Abdul and Adama) when we arrived the campsite was pretty much set up. The village had divided the church into sections so we were ready to set up the clinic.
|The pastor used palm fronds to divide the church. This was our pharmacy.|
This team was so awesome! I was so proud of them! They took to camping like…someone who takes to something easily. It was great to be able to be in the village and not have to travel an hour to and fro each way. We got to spend more time with the community and more time together as a team.
Over the course of the week we saw hundreds of patients. This was the first time I can remember the providers ever asking to keep seeing patients at the end of the day! They were so pumped and excited about what they were doing.
|I love when our nurses get to do new things (with the doc's supervision of course!) It's so fun!|
|One of our providers praying with her patient. I found that almost all my patients got their biggest smiles on their faces when I asked if I could pray with them. :)|
It was a great week! We didn’t have time for our extra beach day at the end of the trip like we often do, but we snuck in a “beach evening” after we traveled back from the village. It was a wonderfully relaxing time after stretching week.
|I mean...please. Jesus is just awesome!!|
The team left the next day but I got to spend the next week with a friend I’ve known since high school and her husband who added on an extra week in Sierra Leone. We headed up to my village and they got to see where I work, what the heck I do, etc. They were also privileged to get to see a surgery to fix the largest hernia I have ever seen. Seriously. It was huge. Thanks to my friend who takes 1000 picures every day, I have the pictures.....lots of them. But I won't. :) My friend’s husband (who isn’t medically inclined) observed this surgery and it was pretty funny to see how horrified he was that they cut off this patient’s testicle (which was very large and very damaged due to the hernia)……and just threw it into the garbage. He kept repeating it over and over…”they just threw it in the trash! They just threw it in the trash!” Ha! Salone J
While two of my friends were watching the surgery I took some others on a tour. And they ended up donating their malaria free blood to a couple women in the OB ward that they couldn't find a donor for. You guys are awesome!! :)
We decided that we’d go on an adventure and explore the animal park that’s a couple hours away. You may remember my last experience at said park was not too stellar as it involved me falling off the motorbike, seeing exactly zero animals, and ended with us sitting by the side of the road for a couple hours since they’d tried to fix one of the broken motorbikes while crossing the river on a ferry….and of course dropped one of the parts into the river. Dude.
This experience was MUCH better! J We decided we wanted to camp up there so that we would be able to be there early enough to see all the animals. When we got there we went on the “elephant walk” which probably would have been described better as a “nature walk” since I don’t think anyone’s seen an elephant there in….years? It had been a long time! But the scenery was beautiful!!! That night we built a fire and roasted hot dogs. It felt so familiar!! Just like camping at home. It was great! Until the rain came (which incidentally also felt a lot like home)! My friends made fun of me because even though we heard the thunder coming and knew the rain was imminent, I still put more logs on the fire. Keep this party going!!! It just felt so normal and I haven’t been camping in years!!!! Fortunately the rain didn’t drench us too much and we woke the next morning, ready to see the hippos.
|I have made fire!!!|
I wanted to take Mari in the boat, but as I read the headline “New Mother Takes Small Child (who could not swim) in Canoe Along African River to See One of the Most Dangerous Animals in Africa. Canoe Capsizes and Child Dies” in my mind, I decided she’d wait and see the hippos when she was a little older.
|See the hippos?!?!?! We didn't get very close.....but that was just fine with me!|
After the hippos we packed up camp and headed back. The next day we left to go back to Freetown and my friends left. It’s been so so so great having so many people from home come and participate on the different teams!! I love when people come and get excited about what’s going on in Sierra Leone.
That being said, I’m really really excited to get into a routine in my village! We’ve been up here for a couple days now and every day Mari says, “Where are we going tomorrow Mama?” Nowhere!! We’ve done our travelling for awhile!!! I’m really interested to see what my time here is going to look like. I am only working at the hospital part time and am praying about how best to spend the rest of my time. (I have a feeling that being a mom will take up a lot of that time!) My passion is still discipleship. In the three days that I’ve been here I may have already gotten into a friendly debate with one of my friends down at the hospital about salvation by grace through faith alone that ended in me jumping up and down shouting “Jesus is Enough! Jesus is Enough!!!!” Always so quiet and demure I am. J I love it here. J