Team Photo with the U.S. Deputy Ambassador to Uganda
Dr. Paul with United States Deputy Ambassador to Uganda Virginia Blaser
Lisa teaching oral hygiene
Dr. Sally's Team
A long day at the dental camp
Mackenzie with two patients and their new dresses
One of our Patients that would smile on queue

Safely Home

We arrived safely home Saturday afternoon after a long day of travel.  Friday we finished our clinic with 29 patients, making our total for the clinic 526 patients seen.  Our unofficial goal is 500+ so we were glad to make it to 526.  We were able to wrap up clinic by noon and begin packing our supplies and equipment for next year.  We finished packing by 3 in the afternoon and had time to pack our clothes and relax before going to the Entebbe Airport.  We were given an appreciation dinner by Mildmay where they thanked us for all of our hard work.  We in turn thanked the staff at Mildmay because without them, we couldn't do our mission trip.  At 7:00 we left for the airport where we waited for our 11:00PM flight.  It is always warm at the Entebbe Airport and once again we sweltered while we waited for our flight, making the showers we took before leaving obsolete.  Our flights both to Amsterdam and Minneapolis were without incident.  We said our goodbyes at the airport and will now face a long week of adjusting to jet lag.  Thanks again to all family and friends for supporting us on our mission.

Preparations for going home

Thursday was a Ugandan National Holiday and a day of rest for our team.  Most of us will do the difficult task of packing for our long ride home.  Tomorrow will be a busy day with patients being seen in the morning, packing up of our supplies until our return next year (it will be our missions 10th year), and catching our flight to Amsterdam late in the evening.  We will surpass our unofficial goal of seeing 500 patients sometime tomorrow morning.  Wish us luck for our return journey.  Thanks to all of you who have supported us on our mission.  We appreciate it and will see all of you loved ones soon.

Busy Wednesday in Clinic

Wednesday in clinic was another busy day.  We saw 74 patients and were hosts to the Deputy Ambassador to Uganda.  The Deputy Ambassador was a very friendly woman that seemed genuinely interested and appreciative of our mission.  After a photo op, she took the time to talk to many of us one on one.  We took the opportunity to express our appreciation for our hosts at Mildmay and express to her our gratefulness for their hosting of our clinic.  In the evening, many of our group were able to attend the Robert Burns Supper in downtown Kampala.  It is a time when Scots from all over the world get together to celebrate Scotland's national poet.  There was bagpiping,  "The Ode to a Haggis" and other great Burns poetry read,  a very good meal including turnips, haggis, potatoes, Cock a Leaky soup, awesome desserts, and cheeses; and Scottish country dancing.  It made for a great time though a late night.  Fortunately Thursday is a National holiday and a day off.

Tuesday, January 24th clinic

Tuesday started with an inspirational message from our very own Janelle in chapel.  It was very moving.  We saw over 50 patients on Tuesday but it seemed like more.  We have determined that it is not just the number of patients seen but also the amount of work needed on the patients.  There were some particularly tough cases.  Dr. Justin had a patient who's teeth were so bad that all 32 teeth had to be extracted.  Dr. Sally had a patient with an unusual lump under her chin.  My wife Lisa was assisting Sally and had a suspicion of what caused the lump.  By gently trying to manipulate the area on the outside, Lisa was able to express a Bot fly larvae from the wound.  The Bot fly bites a victim and lays an egg under the skin.  After it hatches, the larvae continues to burrow under the skin until it forms a home under the skin until it matures and emerges as an adult fly.  Before you think this is an "Africa Thing", you should know that we have Bot flies in Minnesota too.  (We had a cat a few years ago that had one.)  More later.

Second Monday in Clinic

For the second Monday in clinic we had a reduced staff due to the part of the team that had gone on safari would not return until late afternoon.  Because of this 11 recalls and 9 patients were scheduled.  Even with the reduced number of patients, it became an arduous day of work.  The recall patients all required more extensive work and we ended up working until 2 in the afternoon without a pause.  After the safari group returned safely (about 5 in the afternoon), we were invited to Caroline Macleod's house for an American-like dinner.  We were served burgers, potato chips, and chocolate muffins.  It was a good time.  Today will be a busy day with 80 patients expected from upcountry.   Also today,  Janelle from our group will be giving the message in chapel before we begin.  We are looking forward to it.  Hello to everyone back home.  (By the way, my son Zac returned safely to Minnesota yesterday.)

Awesome Weekend.

On Saturday part of our group were the "guinea pigs" in a new weekend adventure.  Before I left for our trip I was looking for a shorter, less expensive option for our in-between week.  I came across horseback riding safaris with a company named Nile Horseback Safaris.  It is located in Jinja which is 1/3 of the distance from Mildmay compared to the safari.  We arrived Saturday around 10AM and were introduced to T.J. and Natalie who are the owner/operators.  After getting suited up we were matched to horses and were on our way.  Jodi, Shelley, and Mayra took a two hour ride so we had to say goodbye to them until Sunday afternoon (Later finding out that they had a great time).  John, Sally, Lisa, Mackenzie, and I opted for the overnight trip and started by learning our horses and how to trot and cantor.  We road through local villages, seeing tea plantations, bananas, coffee, and beautiful countryside.  However none of us had ridden for many years and some of us had never ridden English.  It was very enjoyable and all the village children greeted us with "Hi, Mzungu, how are you?".  They very rarely see white people.  By the end of our ride to "The Haven" we all had to be peeled off our horses and had difficulty walking.  The Haven was very beautiful right on the Nile with thundering rapids that some of us had rafted down in past years.  It was very good food and very nice accomodations.  After a nice overnight, we mounted our horses again for the return trip.  Some of us opted for shorter rides and were picked up by TJ and were taken to base camp.  The others soon arrived later and we were treated to a nice box lunch where we talked for quite a while with the owners.  We have made good contacts and will be returning on our future trips.  Clinic today, more later.

Last day of work for the week

We had a great day of camp for the week and ended up seeing 89 patients.  It went very smoothly because we triaged the kids from smallest to oldest, making for a quieter afternoon.  Everyone finished the week with healthy with only a few intestinal issues (to be expected).  Tomorrow our group will separate into groups that are going on safari,  going on horseback safari by the Nile, and a group that is visiting an orphanage.  We will meet back at Mildmay on Monday.  Some highlights of the week are : 349 patients seen, a good number that will put us well over 500 for the trip;  two "runners",  the first kid was a local kid that just decided to get on the bus with kids from 3 hours out of town.  He was returned safe the next day.  The second runner happened today.  He was the last to be registered and after hearing the noises of the other children, he decided to get on the first bus out of town.  Unfortunately the bus went southwest and he is from northeast of town.  He was found out and made it home safely without treatment.  My next post will be on Sunday evening.


Our new phone numbers are as follows:  Jodi (staying in Kampala this weekend)  011 256 788 664 923 and Julie (going on Safari this weekend)  011 256 792 849 161.  Dr. Paul's number has not changed.

Thursday in Clinic

This morning my family received news that my son Zac had to have emergency surgery to repair a ruptured colon.  He is alright and will be released from the hospital on Friday.  He will get 2 weeks leave to recuperate.  My Uganda family prayed for him and I know he will recover.  Today we saw 44 patients as Dr. Paul had to leave for the afternoon to do a lecture.  We were able to finish by 2:30 and relax before we go out for the evening to learn Scottish dancing.   Another day of work before we break for the weekend.  More tomorrow.

Day Three

Day three was  a good day with 72 patients seen.  All of the equipment worked well with very few  hiccups.  We had the few patients that were difficult but everyone is safe and well.  Bob and Jim say "Hi" to family.  Looking at tomorrow we will see approximately 50 patients with Dr. Paul teaching a seminar in the afternoon.  Tomorrow night is Scottish dancing at the Latino club in Kampala.  More on that later.

Good Second day of clinic

Today was a good second day.  We saw 65 patients and had a. good mix of heavy work (many extractions, crowns, etc.) and just a toothbrush prophy. Tomorrow promises to be a busy day with 80 patients booked.  Some highlights today... one of our Sterilizers went down for the count but fortunately we were able to borrow one from Mildmay for the duration which is as quick and holds more instruments,  because of this we were able to learn the conversion of PSI to KPSI (Jim knew it was KiloPascals per inch).  Bob was able to repair one of the children's trikes with a hacksaw and J.B. weld.  We also had several great photographs that will be posted on our return.  More tomorrow.

Arrival and First Day of Clinic

We arrived after a thankfully uneventful flight.  All of our bags arrived and we were ready to begin.  Saturday we set up and got our bugs worked out of the equipment leaving Sunday to rest.   Some of us started the day with worship at Watoto Church and then went to a pool to relax while others chose to go shopping.
Today our group was introduced at church and had to go in front of the church to be thanked.  We were very greatful and moved.
Clinic started with a bang as we saw 86 children and weren't finished until after 7:00PM.  We are all exhausted and will sleep well tonight.  Tomorrow and the rest of the week we have an average of 80+ patients and will look forward to a relaxing weekend.  More later.

We're in Amsterdam

We arrived safely in Amsterdam after an uneventful flight.  Eight hours to here, a 3 + hour layover here, and another 8 hour flight, 1hour layover in Rwanda, and then 1.5 hours to Entebbe.  By the time this long day is over we will have traveled for 23 hours.  I'll update you on Saturday morning.