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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

day 6


The prayers started early this morning, 5:45 to be exact. With my good buddy, Ambien, I got a great nights sleep though and I was ready to go! We decided to just eat bars this morning so we could head out quickly. We were going to visit several proposed projects around Tercha today.

Our first stop was the hospital in Tercha. It services 800,000 people. 2 full time medical Drs. Yes, 2 to 800,000. They live at the hospital and average about 3 hours of sleep a night. We had a meeting with the Drs and a few of the administrators of the hospital where they discussed their most pressing needs. A huge need is for a new maternity ward. They said that if a woman came to the hospital with a very difficult case, the closest hospital that could treat them is a full days drive, on the bumpy roads. I have given birth 4 times, in a hospital, with an epidural and I just can't imagine that scenario. These women deserve better. We saw a beautiful woman that had labored for days, her uterus ruptured and she lost her baby. So tragic.




From the hospital we headed to the Dawro Development office for a wonderful celebration and special ceremony for our group. When we pulled up we were greeted by lovely dancers performing traditonal dances from this zone. They also had a Dinke which is supposedly the worlds largest wind blown instrument. The entire performance was incredibly entertaining! The shoulder shaking continues to amaze me!

Tameru said some very nice words about our group and time together and then I was asked to say a few words. :) Nothing I love more than a little public speaking!! It really was a great opportunity to thank them for their incredible hospitality and let them know how much we love their country. We were then presented with gifts from Ato Domani. So kind of them.



After the ceremony we went to visit the local high school. We had MANY pens to hand out and what started as an orderly line to pass out the pens got out of hand really quickly! We put a stop to the pen giving and went to tour the campus.

The kids were sweet, wanting to pracice their English. The head of Education for the area was there and gave a passionate plea for a new lab for the high school. He said how are they to compete with the other students for a place at the University if they have to take Chemistry without a lab. He was very charismatic and you could tell he loved these kids.



We then stopped by a Primary school. The property was lovely! We walked in and the kids were so precious, standing in 2 lines, clapping and singing for us. The conditions of the school were terrible, classrooms that were falling apart. We were able to pass out lollipops, pens, and a few soccer balls. They were so amazing!





One final school stop on our way out of Tercha was by far the worst we had seen yet. No child should have to attend school in these conditions. They have no water source nearby either. The kids were very sweet and presented us with flowers.





We made a little pit stop along the way and just taking in the view was so overwhelming. I loved these moments, not planned, where you got to connect with the local people. We passed out some fingernail polish and other goodies. It brought us so much joy. A highlight for sure.



We made it to Soddo where we spent the night. Another yummy pasta dinner, really cold shower and lights out!

5 comments:

Deena / TEAM MARQUIS said...

Thank you so much for writing about your journey. I LOVE to read about it. It breaks my heart to think of those sweet children going to school in such conditions...and 800,000 people to 2 doctors - incredible! We wanted so badly to visit the regions that you did - time did not allow on our (first?) trip. Thanks you for allowing me to see some of the beautiful regions that we were not able to visit in person.

Lisa Peterson said...

Your post was amazing....the pictures were fantastic. I lived in Sierra Leone West Africa for years and taught school (with the Peace Corps). Our school (which we walked 2 1/2 miles one way to attend)looked much like yours did but the children who had the funds to go to school and buy the uniform, and sit in the simple mud structure - were so thriled. I used to take my carbon battaries (could not get alkaline) and cut them open. Then smear the icky sticky black contents on the white washed walls (white washed from a white clay/sand on the bottom of the river). It made a rudimentary black board. I had brought chalk from the states. Oh the JOY when they saw what the chalk did on the board! For years, they talked about how exciting that was to them.
Such a beautiful area you are in as well. God's hand everywhere.
What you did there was so important, it's just what life should be about - serving our neighbors. Good for you, may God Bless you.

J Gutwein said...

Wow! I showed the top part to Luke; the 2/800,000. Love, J

annie said...

Beautiful, just beautiful!

Shonni said...

Jace did call and tell me about meeting ya’ll. That is just the coolest thing!!!
And this post is such an eye opener. I would have loved to been there with you!!

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"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from becoming polluted by the world." James 1:27
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