Diary for thursday 30th feb
Up early.. No car alarm birds here .. !! Hooray !!
Quick up & shower , the bus is leaving at 8 am for our first clinic in a Mbale slum.
We arrive in the bus at the crossroads down to the church in which we are having our clinic. This is the church that Leonard, one of the Ugandan team of dentists goes to and on the door the dental clinic has been advertised for some time , announcing the arrival of the dentaid team.
The clinic is all,set up from the equipment in the bus very rapidly.
Jo is literally doing "tree-age" ( triage , sorry !! ) with Steven so all have an identified dental need by the time they get to the dentists on duty.
We are very lucky today to have for the first time the new Rotary international sponsored dental chair which cost £2000, and is complete with led light and basic suction ..... Wow !! This chair compared to the majority of the " private clinics " and government clinics that I saw in the hospital is state of the art !! Dentaid have done an exceptional job of packing the wheelie bin in which It was all delivered with journals , materials etc !! Well done to them !
The team on today consist of Barbara, Jo, Mitchell , mark , Leonard , Gilbert , Joseph and Louise.. Good job ... We've got 100 pt's to see in 30 deg heat !!
I felt sincerely humbled when I was treating some of my patients, they may all have no material possessions but their manners and respect simply put the woeful standards in the UK to shame. One girl of 16 I saw today had had a 3 hour walk to get to us , had to have a very difficult extraction of her lower left second molar and faced a 3 hr walk home in increasing sunshine . I will never forget her and gave her some crayons , for which she expressed such gratitude you would think I have given her vast sums of money . She was one of the nicest 16 yr olds it has ever been my pleasure to treat . I will not forget her. She was called Ndegemu Nata and I will post a picture of this incredible girl on my return to the uk , or on finding reliable wifi . and here is the picture .... ( shame i look like mr burns from the simpsons !!!! )
I found the clinic very hard work due to the working position and have to say my back ached like I can't describe when we'd finished but I felt very satisfied with the teams achievements during the day as many many People who simply can't afford treatment we got out pain due to Barbara's long term efforts in amassing a superbly high quality range of forceps, materials etc. I got so much pleasure in using the gloves and local anaesthetic I had brought out from my patients donations and valued every item due to its finite nature, unlike at home where it is easy to be complacent about things like sundries . Thankyou to all of my patients and Skegness round table for the funding to be here, making a difference to people's lives.
The end of the clinic, brought welcome relief and a tired team. One of the local elders assured Barbara her mass of highly valuable equipment would be safe overnight in his church as it would be guarded ... After some discussion we packed the equipment into a corner and went back to our hotel , wondering what the next day would bring! ( a local man slept on the mud floor all night to e nsure it's safety as the elder did not want to break his word , which is incredible as the equipments valued we left was probably more than most of the People who live here would amass in a lifetime ) .
Mark and I found a local hotel which gave us free wifi and uploaded some pictures etc to Facebook and then an excellent meal ...... Which. I have to say felt somewhat less easy than at home as people who hadnt eaten anywhere near that quality of food , or amount where not thousands of miles away but within earshot... Scary indeed.
Through the wonders of Skype I spoke to my children, mya and Megan at home Mya was crying as she was missing me as it is the first time I've been away from her for so long ... I'm not ashamed to say I shed a tear after the call as their lives are so different to those here and I am missing them terribly.
The funniest thing happened whilst walking home as mark and I shone the road ahead with our phones To avoid being run down , but mid conversation mark vanished in silence. ..his light vanished and I turned to my right to see he had simply dropped into a 6 ft hole at the side of the road Into mud and water ( well at best water , it was very brown !!!!! ) .. Obviously I found no humour in this and actually my ribs hurt from laughing myself to sleep at the hotel once we,d got there on a motorbike taxi !!!!! Sorry mate , I shouldn't have laughed so much !!!
Bed and rest , ready for another busy day tomorrow.