S: Nurses for Africa - June 21 - July 3, 2012. Malenga, Zambia
1: Zambia | The team met at O'Hare Airport in Chicago On June 21, 2012. We flew from Chicago to London, then on to Lusaka, Zambia Our journey had begun! | Chicago | Lusaka
2: We loaded the 34 bags and the team into the bus for the 5 hour drive to Kitwe.. We stopped at a roadside market on the way.
4: WA three hour lunch at Tusker's introduced us to "African" time! TIA -" This Is Africa"
6: We arrived at the farm- where we were staying. This is the bunk room where seven of us stayed. The other four stayed in two other bedrooms. The farm is a great place to stay. Lizzie and Weston were are hosts. Lizzie served excellent meals! No Giant Mice were served!
7: Church in Malenga on Sunday morning with Pastor Blessings and his wife, Prudence. It was a touching service. Gail introduced the team and Jamie shared her dream of coming to Africa. Jayme, from Hands at Work, also gave a message. The team loved meeting the care workers and the kids! Especially, the kids!
8: The school in Malenga - also the church, clinic and meeting place!
10: Organizing donated supplies for "New Baby Bags". The supplies were donated by wonderful people from all over the US! We made 55 bags but had to stretch them to 64 because of the huge response to the Pre-Natal Classes.
11: The team with the "New Baby" Bags The next morning we were off to Malenga for Home Visits!
12: The school children sang for us when we arrived.
14: Home Visits The CareWorkers took us to the homes of the ill. We assessed them, encouraged them, did laundry and learned about their lives.
15: The kids loved to follow us through Malenga, shouting "Mulashawni!" (How are you in Bemba) and laughing when we answered, "Bweeno!" (Good in Bemba)
16: Playing with the kids after home visits while we wait for the rest of the teams to return to the church. We taught them the Hokey Pokey and they taught us "Aye Pe Peta".
19: Counting and packaging medicine in preparation for our clinics.
21: Clinic We had three clinic days. We were able to see nearly 600 people.
22: Pharmacy | De-worming and anti-malairal station | Assessment Areas | Assessment Areas | Assessment Stations assessment Stations
23: Eyeglass Station eyeglass Station | Assessment Stations
24: Eye glass Clinic
25: Clinic | Clinic
26: The nurses examined each patient and made their recommendations. The Zambian nurses reviewed their suggestions and ordered medications, etc. One of the men that attended the clinic said, "This is a true clinic - when you are greeted with a smile - you already begin to feel better!"
28: BONDI BEACH | Female Health Class Led by Jamie and Lucie. They educated the girls on their bodies work. They distributed the Days for Girls Kits - that contain feminine hygiene supplies The girls were thrilled with the education and the supplies. | Jamie and Lucie taught the Female Health Class to the girls of Malenga. They educated them about their own bodies and distributed the Days for Girls Kits. These kits contain feminine hygiene supplies. The girls loved receiving the information and the kits!
29: Jamie and Lucie sonducted the FFemale Health Classes. They educated the girls and distributed the Days for Girls Kits. The kits contain feminine hygiene supplies. The girls were thrilled with the education and the kits.
30: Jamie demonstrates how to use the Days for Girls Kits amid giggles from the girls about the panties and surprises about how their bodies work!
32: Pre-Natal Classes Lucie and Jamie conducted these classes. The response was amazing! We used all of the 64 bags, but the ladies still came. Women that already have children were so thankful for the information too. They thirst for knowledge about their own bodies.
34: Kid's Day! Pools, Face Painting, Lunch and FUN!!!!!
36: Each child was also assessed by the nurses Each girl got to choose a Pillowcase dress and each boy received either a pair of Britches for Boys or a shirt! The girls check out their new dresses. Then the Goodie Bags!! The kids LOVED the silly sunglasses - with or without lenses!
39: Last clinic Day and saying goodbye to the kids! We were sad to leave - we had learned so much from everyone here.
40: Care Worker Appreciation Day The Careworkers had worked the same long hours at our side - interpreting and helping us. We played games - Bingo, Fruit Salad, etc, had lunch and gave them Life Saver Kits with training.
42: And then we DANCED.......
44: In my application to Nurses for Africa I expressed that I wanted to experience a different culture and make a difference in at least one persons life. Could I truly make a difference? We were privledged to be a part of something that few others have experienced. Seeing first hand the hardships of devastating poverty and the effects of having a whole generation of people infected by HIV. Having hungry children in the street coming up to you asking quietly and politely for food. Tearing your heart apart. I was humbled by the appreciation shown to us by the community of Mulenga. They expressed genuine happiness that strangers would travel half way across the world to see them and care for them. I learned that it was not our "excellent level of skilled nursing" that would make a difference, but that we simply showed up. We reached out and gave of ourselves. And that is what made a difference in more than one life in Mulenga. Gail, Linda, Cristie, Lucy, Jamie, Brittany, Stephanie, Kristin, Tiffany, and Laura, you all helped bring hope to the beautiful people of Mulenga! And for that I thank God (or whatever you call our creator and life force!) Namaste. | nita | Anita
45: "Packing my bags for Zambia, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I had a feeling the trip would have a profound effect on me but I never dreamed the trip would be life changing. Being in Zambia has given me a new appreciation for the most simplest things in life. The patients we saw were so appreciative for the basic care we provided. I feel truly blessed to have worked with such an amazing and selfless team of women. Being in Zambia has deepened my faith and encouraged me to help others and spread love through Christ everyday." | Brittany
46: have always dreamed of being involved in medical mission trips and knew that one day I would make it to Africa to serve the people. When I learned about Nurses for Africa and the great work they were doing, I knew I found the perfect organization. Before leaving on this trip, I had hoped to be part of a great team of nurses who would provide care and stimulate hope and strength in a community. I wanted to create bonds with my team and the people of Malenga. I wanted to empower my friends and family to become more involved locally and to open their eyes to the world as others know it. I never imagined that the moment I stepped onto African soil, my life would be forever changed. I saw the world in a whole new way and learned to appreciate things that I once took for granted. I thought I was going to Africa to make their life better, but I had no idea how the experience would change me. The people of Zambia, specifically the people of Malenga, already had what I thought they needed. They are a community full of hope and strength. They have a passion for life and for their God. They are friendly, welcoming, and grateful for what they have.. regardless of how little it is. I witnessed many things that will forever be etched into my memory. I saw men, women, and children without enough food, without shoes, without clean water. I saw children alone, orphaned, and caring for each other. I saw families desperate to provide for their children in a world where opportunities are scarce. When I returned home, many people asked me if it was like it is on TV. It's not... it's worse, because these people are my friends, my family, my heart. Malenga will forever be a part of me | Christie
47: This team was amazing! They worked hard, did whatever they were asked without complaint and were always ready for the next challenge! The health classes were wonderful and really made an impact. The clinic was long and hard but the best! We made a difference!!! Towela told me' "This team must return!" I want to thank each and every team member for everything they did this week. This is what Nurses for Africa is all about! I will miss all of you! | Gail
48: Zambia is a place full of laughter, love, poverty, darkness and humility. This mission was a dream of mine since I was a little girl. God told me He wanted me to go to Africa and see His heart. I have been through so many obstacles in my life and never thought I would live to see this dream come to pass. Going to Zambia was a life altering experience. It showed me how blessed my life in America is and how much God loves me. The poverty was almost unbearable to see, and I am still trying to process the depths of darkness and sadness I witnessed. The children are so full of life and the love of Christ. Their laughter fills the streets. Their smiles fill my heart. They have an unspoken loyalty to one another and are always on guard for each other. They are a family of many parents and live as if there is no darkness around them. They give themselves to love so willingly and without hesitation. I know they make God smile. It is difficult to put into words the depth of emotion felt for Zambia. I keep reflecting on this scripture from Philippians 3:10, "I must know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death." I feel I have seen the face of God in Zambia, in the faces of the children in Malenga | Jamie
49: Words could never begin to describe the amazing and life changing trip to Zambia, and the village of Mulenga. The people, the smells, the sounds and the environment all add to the story of our journey that could never adequately be expressed, until you actually experience it yourself. The people of Mulenga have changed my life forever by their kindness, love, joy, and faith. I will always be grateful for the blessing of meeting them and I will never forget or cease to tell the countless stories that came from this mission. The friendships that were made among our team will last a lifetime because we all share a wonderful and beautiful experience that will forever tie our hearts together!! - | Kristin
50: Broken Beauty My heartbreaks For all I've seen For all I've heard For all I've touched Experiences Life lived Africa A place where brokenness Is beautiful But Pain remains. I felt the hurt In the hands of the children In their tears In their silence In their eyes My eyes are open I have seen them Deeply seen Eyes that pierce That offer glimpses Of Abuse Of Loss and Death Of Hurt Of Stripped Innocence Of Distrust Of Loneliness | And yet glimpses Of Hope Of Love Of Joy Of Possibilities Of Resillence As Life goes on They Search for hope They Smile. . . Anticipating. . . Yet there burden is heavy Many forced To mature quickly Faces and hearts older Than age betrays. So many stories So many memories They need to be heard They need to be told. That many may know Their life May share the burden May Love Bring Hope Bring Peace To this Broken Africa. | Laura
51: There has not been a word to come to mind as of yet that expresses what effect the trip to Africa had on me. For the first time in my life I felt as if what I was doing made God proud. The people who have nothing have everything. I thank them for their kindness, I thank them for their giving spirit, I thank them for their care and concern but for them I thank God, for only God can make a people have so little yet have so much. They make you truly understand what David meant when he said I was glad when they said unto me let us go into the house of the Lord. Therefore I thank God for the opportunity that I was given to make this trip because it has changed many things in my life but most of all it have given me God's plan for my life and the reason He allowed me to become a nurse because of such a time as this and for such a people as those I met in Melinga | Linda
52: Going to Zambia was not my first choiceI wanted to go home to Kenya. But as the Almighty would have it, Zambia was it and I was on my way with an incredible group of women. By the end of the trip, it was evident that Zambia was right for me. I was reminded of Bishop Tutu’s wise notation that “In a happy family, you don’t receive in proportion to your input. You receive in relation to your need”. My adopted Mulenga family, in Zambia, had a greater need at this time because they had very limited access to education, social services and a hunger for basic knowledge we take for granted. I had seen poverty and displacement but not to this extent. The children had such deep, dark sadness in their eyes no child should ever know. The women, both young and old, wanted their children to have any information that, as they put it, “will help them when I am gone”. Our team leader, Gail Kimmle, volunteered me for a position that would cement my belief that as women we must educate, support and encourage one another. In many African families, it is a taboo for girls to talk about maturity or sex openly with their parents or elders. As a result, many girls mature without knowing anything that is happening to their bodies or health matters that affect their health and education later on. I had a humbling duty to my Mulenga family to initiate open dialogue about the 28 day cycle. With the Days for Girls hygiene reusable bags, a very visual demonstration from my partner in crime Jamie Hornyak, we embarked on a giggly journey of self-awareness and freedom from the stigma that comes with not understanding your maturing body. Imagine the surprise and pride I had when a few girls, smiles and all, showed off their new walk past me, shoulders back and heads held high! The following day, Gitness a Care Worker in Mulenga, said she had learned a lot from her daughters the previous night. “I have 5 children and what they learned in your class, I did not know and now they can tell their sisters, cousins and friends”. My grandmother grew up in this era where a boys education was considered more important, but always proudly said “when you educate a girl, the whole village will benefit”. Her belief was strongly rooted in the simple understanding that a girl’s role as a sister, wife, mother, friend and neighbor would benefit those around her in their interaction at the market, at the farm and in their homes. I only hope I did her proud. I didn’t do much, but I pray that my family will continue “Girls 4 Girls” and “Women 4 Women!!! | Lucie
53: Our time in malenga was great but it went by so fast! I felt like we had just started to scratch the surface when it was time to go. My time spent in malenga will forever impact me both as a nurse and a person. Not a day has gone by that I haven't thought about what the kids or care workers are up to. I can't wait to travel back and see everyone again | Stephanie
54: Zambia was a very moving experience for me. It is hard to put into words exactly what the experience meant to me. It was eye-opening, fulfilling and heartbreaking. The people in Mulenga touched my heart, especially the children and the careworkers. I was amazed at how joyous, giving and sincere everyone was even in the face of such terrible poverty and disease. Being there really put into perspective the things that are important in life and the things that aren't. I feel that I did very little for them while they did so much for me. I am so blessed to have had this experience and just wish I could have done more. | Tiffany | (Squirrel)