Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tuesday, July 22nd - Kisugu Eye Clinic

After a nice "pancake" breakfast, we headed to Kisugu for our last eye clinic with our Cincinnati team. This part of Kampala is what we westerners would call the slums, or ghetto! The poorest Ugandans were living in clay & tin rooms built right next to each other. A railroad track ran through this section of town with tiny stands selling foods and various goods. A woman named Generous, who runs the TAPP program in the area, as well as various other projects, organized this clinic which we were excited to do! Our setup worked well for Dr. Donna and our various stations. There were many people patiently waiting for us to begin.  The volunteer interpreters were run through the clinic first and given Abbey Rose T shirts. Very few people here spoke any English.

I began my day in the registration area trying to figure out the issues with people's eyes. I have learned a great deal during these clinics!  We were able to see 50 people before lunch. Generous led us all through these "alleys" to Kisubu church where the women had prepared our lunch.  There is no way I can fully express how visually appalling & overwhelming this part of the journey was!  Peering through doorways, some partially covered with cloth, I could see some pots, mats, and children. We had to duck under clotheslines, step over puddles of who knows what, and avoid trash piles! There were small children everywhere! But when we arrived, we were greeted by jubilant women doing their African shrieking.  These women entertained us with wonderful dances that only our Melissa can duplicate!! We had a lunch of beef, potatoes, rice, "coleslaw" and fresh pineapple, and there were enough forks for each of us!  The TAPP program has just begun in the church (a way for women with aids to make crafts to earn an income) so we were able to purchase a couple of items before our trek back to the clinic. Melissa and Lana enjoyed another squatty potty adventure, braving the stench and hitting their heads, but no falls!

The Rissell's sponsor child, Hope, was there to be presented gifts. The awesome part was she wants to be a cosmetologist and Brenda & Daniella had sent combs and barrettes! She beamed with joy!  Roy videotaped her thank you message and she laughed when she saw herself!

I began the afternoon playing "traffic cop" moving patients around and registering some occasionally.   The crowd was growing and getting rowdy outside the gates on two sides of the clinic area. Children's arms and faces poked through on another side. One little girl with a growth on her face and neck had the biggest smile which melted my heart!  Soon the police were called to keep control of the situation as all these Ugandans wanted to be seen and knew we weren't going to be able to help them all.   Out last patient was a local pastor so grateful to receive glasses!  As we began packing up, Sally & Melissa handed out our remaining sunglasses almost getting knocked over by the crowds! A bit scary but Moses, Sunday & Logan kept us safe!

So in four days of full eye clinic, we gave out approximately 650 pairs of prescription glasses and many more sunglasses.  It was most fun to see the children who were proud to wear their new sunglasses!  I forgot to mention how we had prayed over all the glasses at the beginning of this day.  We were extremely low on some scripts, but by the end of the day we had not turned anyone away due to not having what they needed! Hallelujah and Amen!!!

God is good! Blessings to all!
Norma Jeann

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