Day 5 and 6 – Exhaustion set in on our long travel day so I’m trying to catch up on our daily updates.
After our first hour bus ride to Moyo, we stopped in Atiak at Sister Rosemary’s second campus. It is a vocational school for women, but it also has a Children’s Village for vulnerable children. What we thought was going to be a short tour turned into a full dance party (thanks to my fun friend, Paula). It was a much needed celebration for us and especially for the children because they haven’t been in school for two years or have had any visitors!
The rest of our journey to Moyo became quite challenging. Although some of the roads are under construction and being improved, much of the way is on terrible roads with potholes and bumps. The Ugandans call this the “African Massage”.
Once we reached the Nile River where we have to use a ferry to get to the other side, we found a large number of vehicles in front of us. It was 3:30 PM and the ferry was on the other side. We knew we wouldn’t make the 4:00 ferry but hoped to make the 5:00 one. To make a long story short, we didn’t arrive to our hotel until around 9:00. This was due to two huge buses bribing the ferry attendants and cutting our space in line and navigating carefully on the treacherous roads in the dark. Spending hours at the ferry site, fighting the extreme heat, crowd, and roads helped us understand how difficult it is to reach Moyo. Everyone was tired, hungry, and hot, but we made it safely and were happy to retire to our comfortable rooms at the Penthouse Inn.
Morning came quickly, but I was renewed from my cold shower and a good night’s sleep. We spent the morning at Moyo General Hospital getting a tour of the facility and all their departments. It was rewarding to see the neonatal unit with all of the equipment we donated and having Donna and Julie assess the needs. The head of that department came to the hospital today just to meet with them, and they were encouraged with the opportunity to improve infant mortality in this community.
The post orthopedic surgery ward was packed! Most of them had some sort of long bone femur fracture and were being treated with traction because they don’t have an orthopedic surgeon or supplies. The recovery from this type of treatment is very long and the economic impact to family is most likely devastating. Although this was difficult to see, Tony and Ken believe we can implement another SIGN Fracture Care project here which is what we did at Lacor Hospital. This program would train an orthopedic attendant using SIGN nails (implants) for treating femur and tibia fractures. They can receive a lifetime of nails as long as they send in their films for each of their cases. This would be an absolute game changer for this hospital and community.
We recently funded remodeling a 6 block housing unit for the healthcare staff at Moyo General Hospital. Avalex, our general contractor, started the beginning of December and worked through the holidays to expedite the schedule. We got to see the nearly completed project which was very rewarding. Although there are a number of other units that need remodeling, this project will help the hospital attract and retain good healthcare staff, and most importantly, it will allow for staff and their families to have a safe, comfortable, and dry place to live.
In the afternoon we took Tony and Ken to the airstrip for their departure. Whenever a plane arrives, all the kids from the community show up to see the landing and takeoff. This was the perfect place to hand out suckers and bouncy balls!
We headed to the market to buy some vegetables for dinner including tomatoes, avocados, onions, green peppers, and papaya. Apollo taught us to find green peppers that weren’t tired!😂
Our last stop was to Moyo Babies Home which is always a favorite place to go. We donated blankets and handmade baby caps from my friend, Nancy McClees. Sister Maureen was so happy because she said they were having so many challenges with keeping their babies warm during the rainy season. The kids sang to us, and we played together with their bouncy balls. Charles, an older boy at the home, even received a soccer ball. His story is sad. He was abused by his father, and recently his brother committed suicide, so he needed protection and always ran to the home for a safe place to stay. He found solace there and since he was such a good helper and really good with the kids, he has been able to stay. The sisters are hoping to get a sponsor for Charles so he can go to school.
At the end of our visit, we received a live turkey. Sister Maureen said the most important thing to do is to share. That is how we show God’s blessings. It was humbling to receive such a special gift especially from a place that has so many needs, but they share what they have because they believe that God will always provide enough. Wow!
We ended the evening with a dinner at our hotel with Avalex (our general contractor) and Bernard (the hospital administrator). Bernard also brought two of his children, Faith and Edin, who are starting school next week. Pipeline Worldwide is sponsoring their school fees as a token of appreciation for our partnership and all his hard work. We gave Faith and Edin new backpacks with school supplies which made them officially ready for school. Avalex received the turkey as a token of our appreciation. Their team deserved a great meal after the last month of hard work. These past few days have been tiresome and long, but we all love Moyo and are grateful to be here.