Every Wednesday here in Potter's Village we have a senior staff prayer meeting. It's a time to bring the project to God with all its joys and challenges. One of the things which I have come to admire in this prayer meeting is the spirit of thanksgiving which flows so naturally from the national staff. I am often consumed with all the challenges and all the things which still need to be achieved here but their prayers are overflowing with thanks for God's provision, for his grace, for his love and mercy.
It's so easy to look at something and see how it can be developed and improved and this is important in any project. However, it is just as important to see what has been achieved, to pause in the striving and be thankful for what is, to see how this project has been blessed and, as such, is such a blessing to the community, and to thank God for it.
So, continuing on this line I'd like to tell you about some of the things for which I am thankful!
I have been here for just over 2 months and feel settled now. I know the ins and outs and have created a little routine for myself. I have been blessed with good health and am continually amazed at how much I am learning.
One of the projects which I have taken up in the last month is staff education in the medical center. Jovia, the senior nurse, and myself agreed that it is important to equip the medical staff so that if the Muzungu (foreigners) had to leave, the medical center could still function smoothly. We have started small with education on a few new pieces of equipment (a syringe pump and suction machine), management of babies on CPAP and neonatal resuscitation but the response has been incredibly positive. The staff are eager to use their new skills and knowledge and I have been humbled by their appreciation.
A few weeks ago Dr Mike Hughes, Beth, a medical student and I went to the rural clinic of Rutaka for the day. It is technically under the Diocesan umbrella but has few resources, few medications and few staff! We were only supposed to be going for the morning, taking a box of medications to treat what we could. Arriving at 11am, we finally left having taken no breaks, at 5pm and having seen 59 patients! Beth and I triaged the patients, obtaining all their details and symptoms with the help of the local vicar as my interpreter and then sent them in to Mike who treated them. Many of them had been struggling with symptoms for months and unable to afford to travel the 1 1/2 hours to Kisoro for treatment. Though exhausting, the day was very satisfying, to be able to achieve so much in so little time.
For a bit of humour before I sign off... A language quirk I have learnt since arriving here is in talking about time. If you ask someone to do something "now" that can mean anything from sometime soon to in the next few hours/days! If you want something done immediately, you have to ask for it to be done "now now!" ... Guess how I learnt that!