May 12th (Monday)
*WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES INCLUDING BLOOD AND WOUNDS*
The struggle is real when it comes to setting one’s alarm. Airplane mode = no updated clock. I just set my alarm for 11:30pm Monday, because that means 6:30am Tuesday in Uganda. It takes a lot of effort to go back and forth through the hours!
We were planning on the kids for the outreach house to arrive today, but they came yesterday instead. This means we planned a clinic for 9:30 this morning. Naturally, we didn’t begin until 11. Because African time.
Rovisa and Alewas are sister and brother. They are the older children in the group.
Pious (we called him ‘Little Man’ and ‘Sweetness’ because of all of the name confusion!) and sweet Viola were siblings as well.
All of them had jiggers in their hands and feet. We began the clinic by washing their feet, and setting them in peroxide to bring the jiggers to the surface. (If you don’t know what a jigger is see here) Then, the removal process began. I didn’t sit with the Alewas and Rovisa who went first. Rovisa’s face was like stone as they removed the jiggers. There were tears and an occasional grimace, but she hardly said a word. It was a huge contrast to the screaming and occasional thrashing coming from Alewas. Some of us took Pious and Viola into their room to distract them, but we could still hear the screams for ‘Mama’ from inside. Teddy and Moses were incredible, working quickly and efficiently so these kids could being living as children again.
Each jigger is removed with a straight edge razor blade or a safety pin. Often times, if the jiggers are removed in villages, safety pins are reused. This can lead to even greater infections, including HIV/AIDS.
After the clinic, each child has their feet bandaged accordingly, and they get their first pair of shoes!!!
Aggrey is also staying at the Sole Hope Outreach House. He doesn’t have jiggers, but severe burns on his head and the upper portion of his face. He has epilepsy and fell into a fire. The seizures are seen as a result of witchcraft, and his burns were not being cared for properly. Ann, another guest at the Sole Hope Guest House has been teaching Aggrey to write and count. Today, he wrote his name and 1,2,3 on the chalkboard!
See here for how Aggrey is doing now! (He LOVES baseball caps)
Dixon brought his Arise Talent kids to sing and dance for us. They were wonderful, and the live music was amazing! They stayed and had a traditional Ugandan meal with us cooked by the incredible Betty. Chapati (Which is basically the best thing on planet earth right now), posha, some sort of plantain dish, pineapple, and gnut sauce made up a portion of the feast. It was exactly that – a feast. I don’t know how Betty does it!
Dixon and Arise Talents could take up a whole other post, so I’ll just leave you with a few pictures.
Until next time. 🙂