Today was the end of the clinic for the week. We were expecting 40 patients from Mildmay and another 30 from outlying regions. To our surprise, the 30 turned into 70 and we were facing a long day. We were able to reduce the 70 back to 30 and ended the day at 66 patients for a total of 285 for the week. It was a comfortable day and a good week of work. It was a long day for us, but an even longer day for the children from the outlying area. The 70 kids arrived in two vans intended for 15 people each and traveled three hours to get there. Some of our group have gotten sick with illnesses from being in a foreign country but are recovering. My daughter Mackenzie was one of those but with the help of two i.v.s she is recovering and is going on safari with us tomorrow. My wife and I both offered to stay back with her but she is feeling better and wants to go. We leave tomorrow morning at 6:45 and will return late Monday evening. I will right more on our return.
Today was a typical day at Mildmay. Mornings start at 7:00 with breakfast followed by chapel at 8:00 with drums and singing. At 8:30 we have our talk about what to expect for the day followed by prayers for safety and strength. Patients start to arrive before we trek up the hill to our clinic. (Their day starts much earlier as some of them come from 3 hours away to attend our clinic.) A good day in clinic will have 60 to 100 hundred patients with 100 patients being our maximum. Today we saw 69 patients for a total of 219 so far. For a treat we had the cooks make us pizza and brownies from supplies we brought from home. It was a treat. Looking forward to the last day of the week for clinic tomorrow. More later . . .
Today was not your average Wednesday clinic at Mildmay. We usually have a hard time filling up with patients on Wednesday because the rest of Mildmay clinic is closed on Wednesdays. Because of good scheduling by the staff at Mildmay, we saw 59 patients with the last nine being from a very poor region of Kampala. The last nine patients took three hours + with many extractions, etc.. One girl that we saw (about 8 years of age) had 10 extractions and several fillings. Because of the sugar content of the anti-retroviral drugs that these children take and the lack of a consistent water supply, the tooth decay is rampant. This girl in particular was close to our hearts, she had wood sticks in her pierced ears so we gifted her with earrings from donors back home as a token gift. All in all it was a good day.
Last night we were guests of Paul's sister-in-law Elizabeth in Kampala. It was a wonderful traditional Ugandan meal with rice, potatoes, steak,soda pop, and ice cream. It was a welcome treat. We returned to Mildmay around midnight. This morning we woke at 6:30 to go for a half day trip to Nganza Chimpanzee Sanctuary. It was a relaxing hour boat trip on Lake Victoria (Africa's largest lake and the second largest lake in the world, behind Lake Superior). It was a very informative visit and it was an eye opener to see the Chimpanzees up close in a natural environment. We followed the trip with a good meal at the Botanical gardens and returned to Mildmay by 6:00. We are now ready for three marathon days of 100 or so patients each day. It will be hard work, but that is what we are here for. More later . . .
We arrived on Friday evening at 9:00 after two very uneventful flights! (Not complaining) After setting up clinic on Saturday, we had Sunday for ourselves to relax and adjust to time change. Some of us decided to go to a resort with a pool, a welcoming relaxation. Monday started with a bang. We usually have a slow ramp up of patients in clinic with our first day being a light day of 50 or so. But this year the staff at Mildmay had prepared for us and we were met with over 90 patients, a very hectic day. We ended our clinic at 8:00, very exhausting. Tonight we are going to Dr. Paul's sister-in-laws so we will have a late night also, but she treats us well. Tomorrow is an off day due to a national holiday. We will have a chance to regroup and do some sightseeing. Some of us are going to the Sese Islands Chimpanzee refuge. More on that later.
Down to the last week before we go and preparations are winding down. From a personal viewpoint, our luggage is packed and are at the 50# limit. We have Christmas tinsel to tie on everyone's bags so that they stand apart at the airport. Our shipped supplies have arrived safely. We depart Minnesota and Colorado on Thursday and will arrive in Uganda late Friday night. Set up our clinic on the weekend and see our first patients on Tuesday, January 26th. Now one of MY biggest concerns is where to get the Vikings game in Uganda at 2:40AM Monday morning.
GO VIKES ! !! ! !!
GO VIKES ! !! ! !!