Friday, 2 September 2016

A Full Day of Sight

The night was filled with the chatter of monkeys in the back yard. Sara wondered if it would be safe to have a window open with them around since it was so stuffy in our room. I chuckled and said no but the monkeys weren't the biggest issue, it would be the mosquitoes that turned us into the malaria buffet. She hadn't thought about that.
A good night's rest had us up in the morning to another mild day. We were due to start at the clinic at 8am and so we were up and at breakfast at 7. Our team has a deal that we all do our malaria pills with breakfast and Karen immediately looked at me and said "Did you bring it?" Of course not, I haven't remember it yet, why would I remember today.(sigh)
Bryan and I felt better prepared for the clinic today. We knew that about 40 people would be back from the day before and so our goal was to do 100 assessments for the day.
Sure enough as we pulled into the clinic the line up had already started. The agreement was that anyone from the day before would be given first priority and then anyone else woulbd be first come, first serve. When we ran out of registration cards, that would be all the people we would serve that day.
We had two lanes for assessments with Bryan and Karen working in 1 room and Jessica and I in the other and we were off.
It was a very smooth flow of care and everyone was so grateful for our service.
These are some of the interesting cases that I cam across today.
This is what I was saying about the rings of colour in the eyes.
Notice the irregular pupil in this left eye.
This lady was fit with a pair of my glasses. I made these as my final exam in my last Fabrication class. She thought they were so beautiful
This is Norman. He is 68 years old and has never worn glasses. When I asked what he could see on the eye chart, he responded with " I can see that there is something white on the wall" After doing an autofraction, I fit him with these -6.00 glasses. He could then read the whole chart. Today, Norman saw the world for the first time.
This man has something imbedded in his cornea. At about 5 oClock you can see the black dot. We sent him to the hospital
This 23yr old man has a scarred cornea. After a few questions, I found out he had been treated for achanthameoba at the age fo 6 but has lost the sight in this eye any way. 
By lunch time Jessica and I had complete 55 assessments and Bryan and Karen were at about 30. We were more than 80% at our goal!
At lunch we learned a whole lot more uses for peanut thickening gravy?
And we shared our dried mangos with our hosts who were shocked that we would do that to perfectly good mangos!
We then had the pleasure of presenting the head master Stanley Mpingizah, of the secondary school with 2 brand new Dell computers that our team had purchased for them. They were so honoured with the gift and acknowledge that they knew we could have given these to anyone and there are lots of places that they would be well used and they were truly grateful that we had chosen them.
Since it was a formal meeting, as women we were requested to wear chizentze wrap skirts.
It was back to work in the afternoon and I had an audience for most of the time
I also learned that to change an British outlet into a European one you just need a set of knitting needles! Who knew? Don't try this at home!
By day's end I had completed 81 assessments and Bryan had done 53....yup he heard about that. But it was a great day and we cleared the line and 134 more people can see the world more clearly.

We were done by 4pm and drove back to Zomba through rush hour traffic. People rushing home before darkness at 5:30
At home, I just needed a bath to wash the day away. I can't believe how dirty your feet can get wearing shoes.
I cranked the tunes and sunk into the tub and just felt completely relaxed. That was until I suddenly realised that I needed to get out and there wasn't a single towel in the bathroom. I decided just to get dress and deal with having slightly damp clothes.
We didn't have electricity yet so it was dinner by candle light. Tonight's feast was spaghetti with meat sauce, 3 different vegetables, potatos and papayas. It's awkward filling ourselves with so much food knowing that so close many people don't have enough.
The wrapping that the glasses came in is being sorted and used for crafts with the kids so everyone put on head lamps to do the work. We are hoping to have electricity soon so that we can charge the equipment and be ready for our third day of clinics tomorrow.
It's hard to believe that it is Friday and the first week is almost done. It is amazing how our group has come together so well. How smooth the work is going dispite the challeges of lost luggage and missing equipment. I am grateful to see the rewards of all the work and prep that has been done for the last year. It was time well spent.

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