Today, Tyler and Katie had to separate to get all the tasks done. Tyler went to OVC and led a devotional with the kids on Esther and played at OVC. Katie went on outreach to a clinic five mins down the road. This clinic had three room , but was packed by the time the outreach team arrived. The outreach team consisted of one nurse, one community health worker, a pharmacy tech, and Katie. There was 60 scheduled adults and their children patiently waiting to be seen. The tram worked for 6 hours and saw 10 patients and hour and gave each patient three months worth of medicine. Katie worked in the pharmacy with Knox , the pharmacy tech and actually filled the prescriptions for the patients. Considering some of the drugs are written in different language both her and Knox were excited at this little victory. Although we both had very long days it was very rewarding, and we finally feeling like we fit in and have a place in the mission.
Today, Tyler and Katie had to separate to get all the tasks done. Tyler went to OVC and led a devotional with the kids on Esther and played at OVC. Katie went on outreach to a clinic five mins down the road. This clinic had three room , but was packed by the time the outreach team arrived. The outreach team consisted of one nurse, one community health worker, a pharmacy tech, and Katie. There was 60 scheduled adults and their children patiently waiting to be seen. The team worked for 6 hours and saw 10 patients and hour and gave each patient three months worth of medicine. Katie worked in the pharmacy with Knox , the pharmacy tech and actually filled the prescriptions for the patients. Considering some of the drugs are written in different language both her and Knox were excited at this little victory. Although we both had very long days it was very rewarding, and we finally feeling like we fit in and have a place in the mission.
Today we started the day with church at the local United Church of Zambia. This is where we attend church every week. About one-third of the country is apart of this denomination. Our church in Mwandi is the biggest in our area. Literally the whole church is full and then people sit in aisles and sometimes outside just to hear the message. The chief of Mwandi attends our church so when he enters or leaves there is a processional. The chief here operates much like a mayor would in the states, however the chief here lives in a palace and has traditional greetings and customs associated with his role. The church service consists of drums and singing and clapping and yelling! Today we met a cute little baby named Emmanuel and we were instant friends. Emmanuel much like the babies here in Zambia, tough our faces and try to figure out why its white. Emmanuel was absolutely adorable! The service was lead today by our friend Brady and it was on serving those who serve you. The typical service last about 3 hours and occasionally will spill over into 4. Everyone at church is extremely nice and welcoming. The rest of the day we did housework, and relaxed. Yet again we spent the majority of the day without power.
Today Katie took an early shift at the clinic and Tyler finished up the chores so we could go on holiday. Today and tomorrow are national Mwandi holidays , but we only get tomorrow off. Today we decided we would engage in many adventures. The biggest adventure was buzzing Tyler’s hair. Yes that’s right cutting off his hair. It is very warm here for us , so Tyler decided he needed a trim. We only had kitchen scissors so we attempted with those, but failed horribly so we had to take the shaver to it. He looks like a total different person, like literally people we know passed him and didn’t recognize him. The rest of the day involved preparing for our adventure to the Falls.
We got up incredibly incredible early, grabbed a hat, some bus tickets, and our bags for the falls. We got to the top of falls about 8:30am and the bus ride took about 3 ½ hours and was late at that, so you can do the math to about how early we got up. Anyway, when we got to the top we were both completely awe struck. There was a double rainbow over the top of the falls. Now Victoria Falls is one of the 7 natural wonders of the world and is absolutely huge, so we had to walk all the way around to see the whole picture of the falls, but it was an amazing walk. We also went to the bottom of the falls and watched someone skydive off of the bride overlooking the falls. It was great to see; by the walk back up to the top was awful! Literally, like walking to the top of the empire state building. Ugh! So we survived both walks to the top and bottom, and the baboons and decided to get lunch. We picked an off- the–grid Chinese restaurant, that took forever, and we are pretty sure that Tyler ate dog. No, we aren’t being stereotypical or making any jokes, a dog came into the store and didn’t come out, then an hour later our food was ready… Anyway after lunch we bought a pillow for the lodge, Katie got asked out to dinner twice, Tyler had a minor freak-out about the bus time, and Katie’s dawdling all to find out we were an hour early, we traded a hair thing a 3 dollar hat, and a used empty bottle of hand-sanitizer for 6 real copper bracelets, then got on the bus. All in all we had a lovely day, but it was super crazy.
Today Tyler let our morning devotional. He talked about how we can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us. It lasted for about 15 mins and he even got some amens. Then after the devotional, we went to the clinic and waited on about 65 patients and it was crazy. Patients were coming in switching orders, crying, yelling in Lozi, and fighting. Despite, we met the happiest baby on the world. It probably smiled for the whole 8 hours it waited to be seen. However, when it left it cried and reached to come play with us. After a long day, we came home had, dinner, cleaned the house and both went to bed early.
Today we got up bright and early and stuffed ourselves into the aids relief land rover and headed deep into the bush. It wasn’t long before we turned off the highway and just started driving into the grass. After about 2 1’2 hours we finally made it to the tiny rural clinic. It was a little house with 2 rooms and when we arrived they people were already camped outside to meet us. Although we were only seeing 25 adults and their children that day, lots of the villagers gathered around to see what we were doing. After we had a 10 min lunch we got started and worked through the day. Tyler wrote the prescriptions with a nurse and Katie filled the prescriptions with the pharmacy tech. We ran out of some medications and we scrambling to find more. For some people we just had to give them a little bit and promise we would bring more their way when we could. After about 4 hours of working, we loaded back
Today we were supposed to go on outreach and got let behind. However, it is amazing how God uses gifts and talents. A surgery team humbled us today, by coming for 10 days to do free surgeries for needy patients. They had been there about a week already but today we were invited to observe surgery and obgyn screenings. We started out with the ogbyn helping patients, seeing babies, and Katie had to help communicate some in Lozi. Then we moved on to watching surgeries. Katie watched 6 surgeries and a birth of a baby. Tyler watched two surgeries and decided he rather help out in the pharmacy. The women in Africa are so tough. When the baby was born the room was silent, the mom had the baby in a sitting position and she let out a faint sigh then the baby was born. It is awesome and amazing to see how kids, women, and men handle huge surgeries then take a Motrin and head home. They only person who cried was a two year old, who had to get a large hernia taken out and it was only because it had been stuck with a needle. By far the most amazing surgery of the day was a lady who had thyroid surgery. This thyroid was as big as a baby head and took hours to perform. But as she came up from the surgery, she was singing at the cross. It was something that put Katie in complete awe of the Lord.
Today we woke up bright and early! Tyler delivered a message to the OVC Staff about Jeremiah 29:11 and how God has a plan for all of his children and Katie helped scrub for a surgery which means assisted in sewing up the hernia. So she got a little taste of what being a med student would be like and loved it! She helped assist in a belly button hernia. We also watched a little 2-year-old get a huge abyss removed from its neck. Then our surgery for the day was over. So we spent the rest of the day helping in the pharmacy. So because our friends were closing out their trip we decided to write a devotional and lead worship for our new friends. We led a devotional on health, suffering, and redemption. We prayed with team and had a wonderful night, even though we had no power.
Hello! We are so sorry for going so long without posting. We are in the bush with unreliable power and internet! Anyway this post is going to have multiple days included so you all can have a look into our trip so far. The next couple post will have multiple days/weeks worth of post included because we are really behind on posting! Please keep praying for us and keep reading to see what we have been doing.
We got up bright and early to go to hospital chapel. We accapella all sang hymns and listened to a devotional on having peace. Then we were taken to the Art clinic and got started on taking vitals and filling out patient forms. We finally started learning the system and ending up waiting on about 50 patients, so needless to say we had a busy couple of hours. About 90% of the area is infected with HIV, so we see a lot of the villagers in the market. At the clinic we give patients, 3 months, 2 months, and 1 month worth of medicine. After we worked we spent the afternoon getting a tour of the OVC, or orphans and vulnerable children, and exploring more of the market. We decided to try the fish and Katie gutted it and Tyler fried it. We forgot to take the scales off so some were a little crunchy, then Katie had a near death experience, after that we decided to just call it a night.
The start of Chimewewe
Finally, after months of waiting the mission received their containers. Now initially when we heard this we thought that they would be a couple plastic containers like we are used to in the states. Boy, were we wrong! It ended up being truckloads and truckloads of stuff. From the UK, USA, and Australia. It took us hours to unload and sort. Then we went to OVC and lead devotionals Tyler told the story of Gideon through a puppet, controlled by Katie, named Chimewewe. She was a hit! We helped serve lunch to 208 children through the feeding program and then we went shopping for dinner in the market. We have made some vendor friends so we try to go to their stands when we can. After collecting veggies at the market, we walked back to the lodge. When we returned we were scared because we thought someone had broken into the lodge because the shower was running, and the door to the lodge was locked. When we went in to check and no one was there so it was very weird. Finally, we made a veg stir-fry and it was surprisingly very good.
Today after the morning chapel we went on outreach to a more rural village. So we loaded up in a truck and headed out for the village. We when got there we split into two groups one taking the bigger clinic and one taking the littler clinic. We both got placed in the bigger clinic although it felt little to us. The big clinic had three rooms with two doors. When our team arrived there was already a line out the door. There were forty patients registered to come for a visit today. Tyler went with the community health worker and took people’s vitals who were waiting and Katie helped run the pharmacy. People traveled very long hours to see the nurses and get their medicines. Some would even make a 12-hour trip today on foot just to get their medicine. The procedure for medicine on outreach is different than in the states. We bring medicine and the nurse writes down how much and what kind and we mix it and give it to the patients. However, if there is not enough of one kind we will combine multiple medicines to get that combination. In some cases today we couldn’t get the right amount for some of the babies so we had to give them a higher dose than what they needed so they could have medicine. Pharmacist here in Mwandi have the key or the medicine that determines rather people live or die, because without the medicine people with HIV will die rather quickly. It was so hard to only give people half a supply and tell them to come back later or just give them barely enough because we were running out because we knew how far people had traveled and how important the medicines were. Katie gained way more respect for pharmacist. Today she had to learn the medicines in Lozi and count the pills and give medicine. She cant even imagine knowing all the medicine and effects that pharmacist know!
After our morning devotional, we worked at the clinic and waited on about 30 patients. We have gotten down taking vitals and we are starting to pick up some Lozi! Then we had to help with the feeding program at OVC. The feeding program provides meals to 208 children. For many, this is the only meal that they have all day. We had to give a devotional today, so we chose the story of Noah. Tyler helped Chimewewe learn about obedience and used Noah as the example of someone who followed God’s commands for him. Because we use the puppet Chimewewe, whenever the kids see us they yell “CHIMEWEWE ” in hopes of seeing her. Today when they asked after we were headed home, we said she was sleeping. So the kids decided to yell her name louder in hopes of waking her up. It was incredibility cute! After we left we decided to laundry. However, the village had no detergent. So we decided to travel to the surrounding village, so we could buy detergent because Mwandi was out. Because the bus only runs occasionally on weekdays we had to call a cab. Our drivers name was Happy and agreed to take us to Sesheke. Whenever we are in a car the police always stop to greet us, so on the way back when Happy stopped it seemed normal. But this was not a normal stop, when we drove by the cops threw bananas to happy, and then we past another set of cops who proceeded to throw fruit to Happy. After about five minutes of silence, we finally asked, why they kept giving Happy fruit, he responded because we are friends! After still being confused, we arrived back home and began washing clothes out of the communal shower, because we have to do the laundry by hand and it was dark outside. All in all it was a memorable day.
Today, we decided to take a trip into the bordering country of Namibia. We lead the devotions at the OVC Center (Orphans and Vulnerable Children) and headed for the border at Sesheke. After about a 45-minute taxi ride, we got to the border and went through immigration. Once we were over the border, we hitched another taxi ride for the 3-kilometer ride into Ngoma. We were very pleasantly surprised to find everything extremely cheap. One US dollar is worth 10 of their currency, so we loaded up on food, and went around the market some. On the way back into Zambia, we came into the immigration office before it closed, but the woman behind the counter took a while with our passports, so by the time she was finished and we got back in our cab, the border was closed! So for about 25 minutes, we were stuck in the border, but the immigration people eventually opened a back gate so that we could get back to the main road. On the way, we picked up a man going to the bus station, and we talked for a little while. Before long, he asked Katie if he could marry her sister! He also followed us to our next cab back to Mwandi, and when the cab driver asked if we knew him, he said he was going with us to the wedding! Soon, the cabbie realized we didn’t know him, and kicked him out so that we could get on the road. All in all, it was a very eventful trip.
We got a tour of the village from Gertrude, one of the women who lives in Mwandi and works at the hospital here. She showed us the main street with all the shops and the buildings in the village where the people live. Most of the homes here are made from wood, mud, and thatch. We got to see the where the chief lives and the riverfront where the boats are stored and people set off to fish. Right across the river is Namibia, and we may go there eventually, but we are not sure about that yet. After the tour of the village, we met with the reverend and ate lunch and got ready for our next adventure of the day.
Our next adventure was going to an even more rural area. In this area, we were buying goats for the home health association started by the people in that area. We got to see multiple areas and play with cute little children as Brian ,the clinic and home health leader, and Eda picked out the goats and haggled the prices down. The goats are going to mate and be given back to the community as a way as raising money for the community. The idea is the the community is picking themselves up and are slowly becoming sustainable. It was so cool to be apart of that and get to meet all the new people in the villages. We even learned a little lozi , which is the local language.
After an 11 hour bus ride, and Tyler almost having to “go” in a water bottle, we made it to Mwandi! Mwandi is a very rural village in southern Zambia, located along the Zambezi river. Where we are staying, we have an excellent view of the river, where hippos graze and fishermen fish out of little boats like gondolas. Frolicking around are cows, dogs, and other assorted animals.
There is a lot more sand here than we were used to in Lusaka, and we are not kidding when we say it is rural. Eda and Keith are the hospital administrators here, and they have given us a very warm welcome. We almost didn’t get off the bus at the right stop because we stopped at a dirt parking lot in front of a small store, and we thought this couldn’t be the right stop. Eda soon came and got us off the bus and assured us that we had the right place. She gave us a ride to the mission center where we ate a very nice dinner and talked about the hospital and other projects for the village. We are at the mission center tonight, and we start working tomorrow. We would definitely appreciate all the prayers we can get, and we will tell you more about what we are doing once we get started!