S: Nurses for Africa, September 2011
FC: September 15-27, 2011
1: Our Team met at Chicago O'Hare airport on September 15, 2011. Our flight took us from Chicago to London Heathrow. After an all day layover there, we boarded the flight to Lusaka, Zambia. Our journey was underway!
2: We arrived in Lusaka just in time for a beautiful sunrise! We are in AFRICA!!!!!
3: We loaded our luggage in the bus and headed to Kitwe - a 5 hour drive from the airport. We stopped along the way for water and soda. Onto Kabwe, where we stopped for lunch and a visit with Charles and Alan from Hands at Work.
4: We had lunch at Tuskers, then walked over to see the Big Tree. The Big Tree is a huge fig tree where the city market was held in the past.
5: We got to see a little of Kabwe before we boarded the bus again. Claudia expressed everyone's excitement as we sat under the tree at Tusker's during lunch. " We are in Africa, sitting under a tree!"
6: Roadside Market
7: We bought some of these bananas - they were delicious! | We stopped at the roadside market for tomatoes. It was so pretty with all the different colored vegetables! We also bought some of the white vegetables in the green pan on the right- they tasted like potatoes.
8: We arrived at the Hands at Work farmhouse. The property was originally owned by a copper mining family. The grounds were beautiful and so peaceful. We loved the huge Bamboo tree. There were avocados, tomatoes, lemon trees, mango trees and a vegetable garden.
10: The couple that took care of the farm had these four girls. The Kachele farm was named after a Kachele tree on the property. | Casie's senior picture
11: The Kachele Tree
12: On Sunday, we attended church in the Malenga slum, outside of Kitwe. We were amazed by the beautiful singing and how joyous the congregation was in their worship. Jayme gave a message about Faith, Hope and Love. | Gail introduced the team to the congregation and thanked them for inviting us to their church and community. After church - we got to meet the congregation....and of course, the children!!!
13: Resa | Claudia | Jessica | Sage
14: Blessings and his wife. | Beauty
16: Sunday evening, we returned to Malenga for our community overnight stays. We were breaking new ground- we were the first Nurses for Africa team to stay overnight in the community. At dusk, we divided into groups of two and met our hosts for the evening. Our homes varied from having no electricity and indoor plumbing to homes that had those luxuries. The sleeping accommodations varied from having a queen size bed to sleeping on the floor with a family of 10. We had dinner with the families, met their neighbors, and played with their children. Regardless of where we stayed and the social problems that we saw - we were all touched by the families we spent time with that night. We were humbled by how little they have, yet how freely they gave whatever they had to us. But most of all, they made us feel like we were their family.... It was truly an amazing opportunity! Every team member was touched by this experience. The debriefing , when we returned , was filled with laughter and many tears. | The home Casie & Eliza stayed in | View from the window where Gail & Sandy stayed
17: Gail and Dorothy's family | Making Nshima | Bucket Bath | Casie and her host - he changed his shirt for t the picture to look his best!
18: Home Visits took us into the homes of the Malenga slum. It also gave us the opportunity to see more of the compound and the people that live there. | Home Visits | Kapenta
19: On Home Visits we divided into teams of two and went to several homes with the Volunteers. We saw people with many different ailments - including HIV/AIDS, an above the knee amputee in great pain - the bone was exposed on the amputation, etc. We did whatever we could to comfort them and help their family. We prayed with them, danced with them and sang with them! Sage and Claudia returned two more times to the home of the amputee to change his dressing and give him medications for pain and infection. The baby in the top picture was crawling through the street covered in trash....
20: After home visits, we were able to help serve the kids their lunch. For some of the children - this would be their only meal of the day... The kids must all wash their hands before they eat. They do not use silverware - they use the nshima to scoop up the chicken and cabbage.
21: The kids looking in the window do not get to eat because they do not attend the school.
22: It was amazing to watch the little kids rolling the nshima into a ball to use to eat. The little boy with Casie was rolling a marble sized ball of nshima! Resa and Natasha had a special bond...
23: We needed to stay at the farmhouse on Tuesday because of the Zambian Presidential election. We walked around the farm in the morning with Jayme. That afternoon we counted the pills for the mobile medical clinic on Wednesday.
24: Mobile Medical Clinic
25: We saw 654 people in two days
27: This lady is 106 years old | This lady is 106 years old!
28: The election for the new Zambian president took place on Tuesday, September 20. By Thursday, September 22, the results had still not been released. We set out that morning for Kitwe. We were going to the AquaPark for Children's Day. We were about halfway there, when Mabeen, our bus driver, told us that we had to go back to the farm because there was rioting in Kitwe and Malenga. We felt totally safe, but were very disappointed because we could not have Children's Day. Our fear was that we would not be able to return to Malenga. Later that day, we heard the sad news that 5 people had been killed in the rioting in Malenga. One of the men that was killed, had shared dinner on Sunday evening with Resa and Sage during their overnight stay. | We did go to the market in Luanshya - but found only two stalls open in a normally bustling market. However, we were able to purchase chatangas in one of the stalls. The election results were announced at 1am Friday morning. Michael Sata was the new president. He took office at 3pm Friday afternoon. The Zambian people were happy that the new president had been elected and the change of authority went smoothly. We were happy because we were able to go to the AquaPark in Kitwe for Children's Day. And we were able to return to Malenga on Saturday for the mobile medical clinic. The team wore their new chatangas to Children's Day in celebration of the new president. | The Election
29: Wearing our chatangas for Children's Day... Kids at the market in Luanshya.
30: Children's Day took place at this park just outside of Kitwe. We had a GREAT time! | Children's Day
31: The Aquapark had three pools, a bouncy house and a pavilion.
32: Pure Joy!!! This was the first time that most of the kids had seen or been in a pool! It brought tears to everyone's eyes to see the kids having so much fun!
33: Peggy | Tuwela, Jayme & friends
35: We all had a wonderful time. We had face painting, jump rope, soccer, kite flying and, of course, swimming. It was a great day!!
36: We gave all the kids dewormng medication and they each got "chicken and chips" for lunch with a bottle of soda. We handed out toys, prizes and a bag of goodies to each child. The kids sang a song thanking us for the day and two of the children recited a verse for us. The kids were then taken back to Malenga on a bus - we were sad to see them go!
37: After the kids left, we went to a restaurant for our Appreciation Party. We played Bingo and Fruit Salad. It was SO much fun. After dinner, we presented the volunteers with a new pair of shoes from Soles4Souls and gift bags. The volunteers work tirelessly n their community and receive no payment for their service. | Volunteer Appreciation
38: After the Clinic on Saturday, it was time to leave Malenga. We had come to know the people and the children of this poor slum area. We said our good byes and hoped to return again. | One last picture of the nurses, volunteers and the people of Malenga.
40: Dinner at the Indian restaurant in Luanshya with Kay, Katherine, Phebby & Mabeen | Fish Face!
41: At the airport in Lusaka waiting to board our flight to London.....
42: Nurses for Africa- Web Team 2 We were a great team! We learned so much about the people of Zambia, about each other and most of all, about ourselves. The team members were so brave and ready for anything - even when political unrest threatened our schedule. Thank you for being such an awesome team - we did make a difference!
43: Gail, Team Leader | It was a privilege to be the team leader for this team. Every nurse was compassionate, smart and so caring. This was my third trip as team leader and it never fails to amaze me how joyous and happy the Zambian people are amid so much adversity. They are so faithful, kind and welcome us with open arms and hearts!
44: If I had to sum up my experience in Zambia it was be in two words, life changing. I feel so honored and blessed to have been a part of Nurse’s for Africa. During my 2 weeks in Zambia I met some of the most amazing people I think I will ever meet in my life, this includes the people of Zambia and my team members. It was nice to be with people who all had the same goals as you and that was to care for one another, to give back, to offer our services. The thing is though I felt like I was going in offering all this, but the people I met were able to give me so much more then I could ever give them. It wasn’t just about offering a service; it was about sharing with each other and showing each other the love that we have within ourselves. This trip woke me up inside again, it rekindled my spirit, it showed what it means to be apart of a community, what it means to be thankful and trust your faith. It made me realize all over again why I am a nurse and what it means to be a nurse. That being a nurse is so much more then a service, it’s a gift, a blessing and I am so happy to love what I do and that I am able to share that with others. I will always be so thankful for the opportunity I was given to be a part of Nurse’s for Africa | Casie
45: MAYBE Maybe life will change in Africa. Maybe someone will dig deep wells for fresh water. Maybe someone will develop a better sewage system. Maybe someone will figure out how to dispose of packaging and clean up the garbage. Maybe the AIDS virus will be obliterated. Maybe corruption will cease. Against all odds in a country where there is such suffering, there is also an abundance of human kindness. I found it in Zambia. written by Claudia Long 10/2011 | Claudia
46: The trip was amazing. We went to Africa hoping to help people and came home with a new meaning of life. Meeting the children and the volunteers was wonderful, I learned what I wanted to bring home with me. I learned that I wanted to teach people here the sense of community that the people in Zambia had. This trip gave me a new sense of family in more than one way. I met people who treated me like family and welcomed me into their home as if they had known me forever. I also met a wonderful group of nurses who I hope are life long friends. | Eliza
47: Traveling to Zambia to participate in a medical mission trip was an amazing experience! I had the opportunity to work with individuals that epitomize hope, faith and love, as they cared for those in need within a community that faces extraordinary challenges. Everyone I met impacted me and left imprints on my heart, and for that I truly feel blessed and grateful. Volunteering has really strengthened my belief that it is better to give than to receive...though I received more than I ever could have imagined! | Jessica
48: I had no idea what to expect when I left Arkansas for Africa. I knew it would an adventure but I didn't expect it to fall in love with the country and people. I needed a reminder of why I went into nursing. My trip to Africa helped me have compassion for people again. It helped give me humility and respect again. It was eye opening to see people who had.nothing try to give us everything. I am so blessed to have met the people I did. The other nurses that went on this trip were amazing as well. They helped me be open to the whole experience and feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations. I'm so blessed to have been chosen to go on this trip. I have thought about Zambia every day since I have left and probably will until I can get back. This truly was a life changing experience. | Resa
49: My Time in Zambia It is hard to express in words what I have taken away from this trip. I went with a certain idea of what I thought it would be like, and what I learned and saw there was something I could have never predicted. I went anticipating I would be helping the people there, but in return found myself doing some serious soul searching myself. The people there don’t expect much from you, just a smile or hand shake gives them more hope and strength than we can even imagine. I loved smiling, laughing, and playing with the kids, allowing them to just be kids for a moment. There is no language barrier when you are communicating with your heart. I had an amazing time in Africa with Nurses for Africa and would not think twice before going again! | Sage
50: Relecting on my experiences in Zambia with Nurses for Africa and Hands at Work evokes so many different feelings. To summarize the experience in one paragraph is impossible to do, but I will try to share some of the vast spectrum of emotions I experienced in the course of 12 days. I felt maternal concern when I saw the absolute fear on the faces of two young nurses as they were led to a home in the community of Mulenga, were they would spend the night with a local family. I was frequently moved to tears during my time in Zambia, but never more than when I witnessed total joy on the faces of children playing in the pools of the park and with the trinckets we had brought for them. The fun I had playing "fruit salad" at the volunteers appreciation dinner reminded me of the fun I had as a child. I was humbled by the devotion and faithfulness of the Volunteers. And I was ashamed that I had ever complained of being hungry, tired or sick when I saw first hand what true hunger, exhaustion and chronic, untreated illness looks like. I shared in the heartbreak that one of our nurses felt, when she realized she was running out of chicken and there were still hungry little faces looking for more. I felt a kindred spirit with the women ( Catherine, Kay & Febbie) that cooked, cleaned and taught us about Zambian culture. There are so many special moments I remember about my time in Africa that it is sometimes hard to believe that I was only there for 10 days. I consider myself a little high maintenance because I enjoy the comforts of home. But I didn't miss any of it while I was in Africa. Well, maybe I missed having a hot shower. Even so, I can't wait to go back a see my friends Sukai, James, Jayme, Robin, Tuayla, Blessings, Dorothy, Ruth, Mercy, Nathan, Hangy, Chongo, Rowantha and all the children that have a special place in my heart. | Sandy
51: Jayme, You helped us debrief everyday - even when it was hard to discuss the things we saw, heard and felt. Thanks for your help and guidance! You were such an important member of our team! (And you take wonderful pictures!) | Jayme