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.