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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Robbie Burns Dinner

Traveling to Uganda, I really never would have expected to find myself at a Formal Scottish Dinner celebrating the 237th anniversary of Robbie Burns birth. but that is where I found myself last night on the eve of the national Holiday here. Poems and Songs, a Ceremony of the Haggis, traditional Bagpipes, a toast to the Lassies and a Reply to the Toast to the Lassies, Scottish dancing and more were all part of a great night at the Robbie Burns Dinner. Speeches were made, Scotch was passed and it was great fun to meet a wide variety of people. There is a strong Scottish influence here in Uganda which was obvious last night. pics below of Randy, Lisa and Kenzie McLoud out in their full Scottish wear for the dinner!


Theparty was still going strong when Kim, Julie I and a few others were the early birds leaving the Robbie Burns Dinner around 1 am, the hardiest Scots and Ugandans from our group stayed out until 4 am! ~all for now C

Location:Kampala, Uganda

Safari comes later, first Tues and Wed at the clinic

Internet availability has been a little spotty complicated by limited free time to blog, but I have a little time this afternoon to catch up due to our day off and internet working.

Sometimes it's just a long and tiring day for the kids, if you notice in the background, this little girls backpack is pretty full, it means she has been to the dentist and possibly had a wait of several hours before and after the dentist (photo courtesy of Kim). I am sure though she had very good and much needed dental car sandwiched between I hope some fun while she was at the clinic, chasing bubbles, doing puzzles, making a bracelet, playing games etc. Maybe we just tired her out. We had Safari Sat, Sun and Monday, then back to Kampala on Mon afternoon for clinic on Tues and Wed. Today, Thurs is Independence day here in Uganda, a National Holiday, so there was no clinic, instead we had a free day. But Tues and Wed were very busy days. Tues was a lighter patient load, but the cases were difficult. There was a young 18 year old on Tues with a full mouth of adult teeth that had to be pulled. Dr Justin had the case and it took hours, preceded by very careful counseling for the young lady so she would know exactly why the work needed to be done. Like most of the patients she has HIV and complicated by a mouth full of decayed and painful teeth. It really was best for her, but heartbraking. After the work she was sent up to a Hosp ward for monitoring and an IV bag. Toward the end of the day she was released and came down the hill to the clinic, all smiles. Just amazing.

Justin and Shelley at work on a little girl. We had group of nursing students who are spending a month in Uganda stop by to observe and they also were a great help with the kids for a few hours.

Lawrence working on charts post op! Like many of our new found freinds we have made here, I will miss and worry about him after we leave.

Dr Sally and Lisa McCloud with a patient.

DrJoni, Molly and Kerri hard at work.

Dr Paul, Jodi and Bernard working together. Dr Rose and Julie in the background with another patient.

Kim noticed this little girl standing off by herself sobbing late in the day on Tues. She took her into her lap and tried to comfort her, but since we had no idea what had put here into tears, I found Gladys to come and interpret. gladys was great but we never did find out what the problem was however, she had a good cry sitting with Kim. ~. All for now C

Location:Kampala, Africa

Monday, January 23, 2012

A little about the food

The meals at Mildmay have been really great, we get breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast might be some eggs, either scrambled, or hard boiled, bread for toast ( most of us brought our own peanut butter). Coffee, tea, juice, pineapple, cereal etc. Lunch usually has rice and potatoes, matoke(roasted mashed plantains) beans, veggies and some kind of protein, maybe beef or goat or chicken. Everyone seems to eat everything, I personally take a thank you bite of protein maybe, I picture the vendors selling it raw on the streets and am not too excited about this. Dinner is about the same. Some humour. So, since a few of us have been a little sick I will add a pic Kim took which she called "before". And that was before we knew there would be an "after"

Oh yeah and then there is the honey at breakfast that Kim could not resist getting a picture of!

~. Bon appetit C

Location:Kampala, Uganda

Some action at the clinic

Pam and Sharon registering a group of kids early in the day.

Kenzie entertains the kids as they wait.

Randy (Kenzie's dad) usually has his hands full inside the clinic, holding kids when needed, matching each kids feet to a new pair of shoes, running tools and equipment for the dentists, is shown here taking a few minutes to drop by outside the clinic and hand out some small toys. Notice Randy's tshirt.

...again the cute little guy in his suit.

This pic is great!! Kim got this of Dr Paul, Terry and Justin in motion just after setting the self timers for the group shot!

Princess Grace! She was in the clinic at the end of the day as part of a good sized group of children. She was charming everyone because it turns out her heritage makes her royalty in her village and region. Since her name is Grace she became Princess Grace! Anyhow waiting through the hot afternoon to see the dentists is extra hard on the littlest children, so someone had a great idea going forward to prioritize the order into the clinic based on age.

Lawrence is somewhere near 18 years of age. He is a local kid who comes and hovers around almost every day with his little sister Esther. Esther seems to be about 10. Lawrence has something wrong with his eyes and his vision. I asked him if he is seeing an eye doctor and he tells me he is, and that it is helping. He really has become a favorite of many of the volunteers because he has helped with translating, ushering kids about, running things to Judy in post op etc. I think Judy has given him transportation money so that he will come back because he is so helpful. Kim gave Esther and Lawrence money for transportation one day also because Lawrence seemed to have lost the money he had, which was not making Esther very happy, she as pretty busy scolding him for being careless enough to lose the money.

Like all the kids, Esther absolutely loves the bikes Pam and Terry brought with to Mildmay. She says Beeppp BEeepp all the time when she rides which you understand after spending any time on the road. Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Kampala, Uganda

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Very few words but lots of pictures

I know this pic is sideways, but check out the full suit including tie!

One of the parents had a two week old newborn, she stole all our hearts and got some new baby clothes as well!!

Bob, Jim and Dr Sally's dad John. among other things they run all the mechanicals, keep the statistics, run the sterilization and repair bikes if needed.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

A couple of wanderers and a missed day

I have missed a couple of days blogging and I am overwhelmed with what to write, so I might have to write a couple of separate sessions. the emotions of seeing so much need on so many levels are as strong this year as last. So it is helpful to write and reflect.

Being able to go to Mildmay and visit our Dental clinic is a very big deal to the kids and communities that come. So kids come wearing their best clothes sometimes, some of the boys come wearing a full suit, usually several sizes too big and sometimes even wearing a tie. Thursday was a light day in the clinic which, not what we thought would happen, in fact we had been expecting a huge amount of kids, but due to several reasons less kids came through than expected.

Each day the clinic starts with Paul, that is Dr Paul reflecting on the previous day, thoughts on the day ahead and then he has been handing it over to Janelle for a devotion. It's a great way to start the day. On Thursday morning, Paul told us that one of the local Milday patients who was in on Wed managed to get on a Van with a group of rural outreach patients!! a creative patient he said, a wanderer! It's so hard to understand how that could possibly happen unless you are here or if you think about the fact that the Mildmay patient was there without a parent and the rural kids maybe have two caretakers to 25 or so children. I challenge anyone to take 25 kids for a day with maybe one other adult, many of the kids may be sick etc, so you have the idea I am sure. So the mistake was discovered and the little guy spent the night hours away from his home safely with a caretaker. The plan was for him to be put on a taxi( not like a taxi in the US) and to be sent on a journey that might involve some very careful transfers back home. I understand he made it back safely, thankfully.

First, I missed Friday because I was sick, so what I write is what I heard of Friday.. So Friday was 90 patients, well actually 89, because little Mr 90 had made it known he was really afraid of the dentist. Near the end of the day luckily Janelle went looking for Mr 90 knowing it would be good to have him seen earlier than later, and that he had been afraid. He was nowhere to be found. After some investigation, it turned out he had managed to get on a departing bus headed hours away in the wrong direction. Coordination had to occur to have the bus going in one direction, meet up with another bus which would also have to travel an hour or more in the wrong direction to reunite 90 with the right group. exhausting for both groups of kids, the caretakers, bus driver and any parents waiting.

I am sometimes sorry to even write about the really hard things, but I think I should. At the end of the day on Friday Dr Paul had a little patient who needed many extractions, but he was so sick and burning with fever, he couldn't work on him. Worse he had pus oozing from an ear. i am sorry to write this. He simply could not be worked on. But so many kids are helped so much. The dentists and assistants take such great and personal care of each child. Outside the support volunteers are trying to make the day comfortable and fun.

For my Minnesots readers, we had a little boy on Wed wearing a sweatshirt that said, Camp Foley Whitefish Lake! I have to pst quickly I am almost out of battery, and the internet goes off here at soon. ~~ all for now C

Location:Kampala, Uganda

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Each Child has a Story

Tues and Wed clinic have now run together a little bit in my mind. The group has a pretty good and efficient routine developed now after three days. Well at least better than Monday when we were trying to find what worked. Yesterday, Tues there were several groups of kids and for the last group that departed late in the day I found it really encouraging when the caregiver was telling me how he was getting phone calls from some of the childrens parents who were anxious for their kids to come home after such a long day. So many kids coming through the clinic do not have parents or family so it was good to know that this group from a rural outreach area had parents for some of the kids. Kids waiting for their transport at the end of a long day. the red backpacks have a Toothbrush, crayons, coloring book, small bible, shoes, a toy, a framed photo of themself taken before seeing the Dentist and sometimes a new shirt or trousers.

i want to show you here what the kids charts sometimes look like. They are newspapers ingeniously folded and repurposed into Medical charts.

When i say each child has a story, this is of course so true. as I write this I think of a particularily sad story from yesterday, but I will write that later. instead I will briefly tell you about Jen and Janet, in the early part of the day while I am printing photos, I have some curious visitors always watching. Today I thought why not hire some local help! I had two curoius girls hanging out watching and soon put them to work cutting and framing the pictures. They were just a great help. SInce they spoke perfect english we had a nice talk. I thought I remembered them from last year and it turned out that yes, they are Mildmay patients. I was asking them where they lived etc and Jen who is eighteen explained to me that " of course her mother and father have passed". She and her 14 year old sister Janet live together alone, but get help from some other siblings, but she said they are struggling. Both girls were very nicely dressed and looked healthy. Yet two teens living alone. i paid them with a nice donated shirt each. In fact one of the shirts was double donated, brought over with Kim, who received them from the Thrifty Store in Edwards Co gratis. Really, every child has a story and many times it leads to them just wanting an opportunity to be able to go to school, to have hope for better times. Janet whispered to me, "it is my dream and wish to go to America". I truly hope she can get a good education that will lead to a good job in Uganda or wherever she goes.

Overlooking Mildmay from a higher part og the campus.

From Tuesday, Julie asked me to help as she and Dr Rose worked together on a patient.

What a beautiful smile.

Kim showing a little girl her spiderman face painting. Kim, Cathy(a local) and Janelle another Mn volunteer have been making the kids really happy by doing some great face paiting After they see the dentist. Time always seems to be short here i have lots more to write, but want to get this posted while I have an internet connection.

This group of 32 kids got off the Coaster bus and lined up without any instruction that I could see by youngest to oldest and by boys and girls. They were so cute. ~~all for now. C

Location:Kampala, Uganda

Monday, January 16, 2012

Clinic Day one

Pics only from day one.. No time to write

using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Kampala Uganda