Sunday, 11 September 2016

A Sunday of Celebration and Preparation

Most of us had recovered from the drive by morning, except Bryan who's head decided that a migraine was in order. Understanding the effect of that condition and hoping he could be ready to be back to work the next day, he made the wise decision to stay home and drug and sleep it off for the day. It is always a good call to look after yourself.
The rest of us loaded into the van and headed to church and our official welcome service at the Chikondi congregation in Chipagala. This is the same church that we are using it's back building for our eye care assessments. 
Greeting us this time was the church bell. Where availability meets necessity, it is made from an olde tire rim and has a great sound to it!
Instead of just being in the congregation, we would be seated with the clergy and the elders at the front so we started at the vestry meeting before heading into the sanctuary.
We also took time to visit the Sunday school classes that were meeting in the rooms where Bryan and I do our assessments and dispenses.
Yes, all of these children in one room patiently learning and listening.
As we entered for worship, we looked out to over 800 people who were there for worship. This is their regular attendance.
The team did the same skit of The Good Samaritan for the Children.
I did my reading, sans Pig Latin. And once again we were proud to present a hand made banner for the church to hang in memory of our visit. Also, Jonas, the abusa stated during his introduction of us that we are giving the community great care and an opportunity that they may not have again. He emphasized the dangers of buying glasses at the market(these are often used or donated glasses that have been stolen and get resold or cheap readers) but instead encouraged them to do everything possible to come and get assessed and get glasses if needed. This is like a community leader standing up and saying "You don't have to buy your glasses on the internet. You have the opportunity to get good care"
After church, we participated in a meeting with plans for the updates for the Timvane center including painting the building and playground equipment. Also they are going to go ahead with what needs to be done to update the Sunday school building to be a official primary school. All of this will be funding by the support we raised for this trip. It is so exciting to see these projects in the works and moving forward.
After the meeting, Sara, Cathy and Jessie stayed to work with the youth for the afternoon while Karen and I went back to Canada House to reorganize the glasses and supplies to start the clinics again on Monday morning.
When we got there, we were so happy to see the front door open and Bryan up and around. Rest and meds had done there job and he was functioning again. So much so that he was seeing some patients that afternoon! Janet's mom had been having some problems and had gotten glasse but still hadn't been able to see properly. Bryan had check with the auto refractor and gotten a reading 1- That was way different than the glasses she had just bought 2- showed a big difference in RX between her eyes. He asked if I could check with the other machine to see what I got. Sure enough, I got close to the same reading. I said the only thing we could do was to start trial lensing her and see what we could get. Sure enough, our readings were close but we didn't have a pair of glasses that had a low minus in one eye and a really high one in the other. While we had been doing this, Karen had started the job of sorting out the glasses from the mess that had been made over the last few clinics. Suddenly, it occured to me that we had groups of similiar frames donated and purchased just in case we had this problem. I asked Bryan what frame the -5.25 was in and what size. Karen and I then started hunting for a -0.50 in the same....No luck. When we did find something close, it wasn't close enough to give clear sight. I thought we had lost the battle but then I noticed we had a -0.25 in the same frame but a larger size. I asked Bryan if he could find the larger size in a -5.25? He found a -5.00 and we decided to give it a try. Bryan switched the lenses. 
and Fatima looked at the chart and finally got 20/20 vision! We were proud and happy to find a solution to a complicated problema and she was thrilled to see clearly for the first time in a long time!
Xander had been sitting waiting for the time to go back to collect the rest of the team and aksed when it was finally going to be his turn. I laughed and said right now. I got my refractor and checked the results. UMMMMM -1.50 and -2.25.....FYI not legal to drive without glasses. I looked at him and said "Dude, you need glasses!" Now he has been translating for me for a few days and has started to understand what some of the numbers mean so he asked to see the results. When he looked at the RX he said "NO WAY! Do it again!" I'm not doing it again. That is probably right. It's not like I entered it in myself! Ok he said but get me nice ones from Deborah or Rachel! I laugh and said OK.
Yes, Deborah Perry came through again
And she had sent a pair of sunglasses with the same RX so Xander got a bonus. Sure enough when he put them on and looked at the eye chart and said"Wow, clear."
He's going to be wearing his glasses from now on. Lesson learned. Test your driver's eyes first.
Xander left to get the other half while Bryan, Karen and I finished the sorting, organzing and prep to start another clinic tomorrow.
Dinner was ready when the team was together again. After dinner it was just a typical quiet Sunday evening with some people reading/journaling some people catching up online and I switched out the beads in my hair that had become quite disgusting with the special type fo grime that only builds up on the back roads of Malawi and doesn't come out with soap.
Tomorrow will be a full long day at the clinic and I think we are ready. So far we have done over 600 assessments with almost all of them needing glasses. Our last full day, we fit 164 people and that was with me going into the community for almost 2hrs and changing assistants and translators. Tomorrow we have full team all day and everyone has a good flow and routine. Bryan thinks we will see 130 people tomorrow but I'm optomistic. We've done more each day so I think we can hit 170-180. Aim high.

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