This last week was such a whirlwind of events I didn’t have time to sit down and tell you all what we were doing except for short updates on Facebook so brace yourself for a lengthier blog than normal but I promise you it was an AMAZING trip and you will want to hear about it.
I just have to start off by saying how incredibly amazing God is. He orchestrated this whole trip and it was truly one of my favorite of all my other trips. This team was amazing, there were six young adults, Dr. Stilley and his wife and Stu. None of us knew each other well if at all so it was only by God’s grace that we all got along so well. I am so incredibly grateful for this team. Not only for the students but for Dr. Stilley and his wife Connie for bringing us their past experience on trips like this, for our team leader, Stu, for ALWAYS making us laugh no matter what and also helping to get us to where we needed to be. I can honestly say that the six of us will be forever friends despite the distance between us. There was never a dull moment with us, between playing card games and talking/laughing until midnight every night, the random jokes all throughout the day, and on a more serious note screening children. This trip was so amazing I am sad that it is over but will forever hold it near and dear to my heart!
In addition to our team from America, we had three local Zambian nurses who helped us during that actual physical exam, Babra, Edward and their son Alpha were there most days assisting in any way they could, the teachers at Chipata helped us, and various Sara Rose staff were also helping. We were so thankful for their help, they can relate and explain things so much better than we can so having their help was crucial to our time there!
Now on to what we did while in Zambia: we spent Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning doing physicals on the children who attend St. Michaels School at the Feeding Center in Chipata. Thursday afternoon we were at the Orphanage and Friday morning was spent at the Boys Ranch. We saw just under 200 kiddos over the course of those 4 days, some of which had never been to a doctor of any form and have never received medical care. I am excited and amazed to say that we did not have any major issues and sicknesses that were cause for immediate concern!!!
Each child was registered and we took a picture of each of them and then we did height and weight to graph on the growth chart and a basic eye exam. We only had about a dozen or so between the three sites who needed eye glasses! After their eye exam, their hemoglobin was checked with only a few who had low numbers but nothing that caused a major concern and that hopefully can be helped with vitamins and better nutrition. Each child was given a basic physical exam checking their ears, throat, belly, etc. and praise Jesus we only handed out anti-biotics for basic things like strep throat, ear infections, skin infections, etc. In addition to the anti-biotics, we brought a ton of chewable anti-parasite pills that each and every person we treated received. That pill will last around six months and we left all the extras that can be used in the future.
Two of the students along with myself are nursing students, we had one pre-med student, and one student in med school so this trip was a ton of hands on learning and I can say with certainty that all 5 of us learned more in the four days of clinics than we ever have in a classroom! And we are thankful for this opportunity and can’t wait for more like it in the future. We really are so thankful for all your prayers for good health for ourselves, for the team to mesh and for safe travels! We would not have been able to make this trip happen if it weren’t for you and your prayers and support!