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RN volunteer trip to Uganda

A light in the dark

UGANDA | Thursday, 27 October 2016 | Views [264] | Comments [1]

Morning at Canaan is a perfect way to start your day out with a smile on your face and a hop in your step. As I cross the compound to our canteen everyone greets each other with smiles on their faces and the question how did you sleep? A sleepy eyed, king, walks by as he follows his mom to the clinic and mumbles okwagala nyo (I love you so much). No one avoids eye contact or allows a bad mood to shape their interactions with one another. I find myself actually smiling before I have had a cup of coffee. Proof that miracles do happen!


Today I finished passing out the food I had bought for the community. It is heart breaking to watch as an old Jaja (grandmother) kneels on the hard ground in front of you reaching out her hands repeating “God bless you”. My knees are raw and stained by the red clay from kneeling in front of those I go to visit. Most of the times when you walk to a person’s home they do not have seats to offer so will place a thin mat or bag on the dirt ground. The children are either quizzically staring at me due to my skin color or they are giggling and running up to me to touch my hand. No matter what their reaction to my presence is they all appear the same; tattered, stained clothing, bare feet, malnourished and neglected bodies. They did not make the choice to be born into such abject poverty; they had no choice in the life they now have to find a way to survive. I find it highly unfair that these children have to suffer so much.  My heart also breaks for the caregivers or parents who want so badly to feed their children but are completely unable to do so.


One of the Jaja’s we visited could not move from her filthy mat on the floor due to an immobile leg. She had suffered from a broken bone that never healed properly. When we provided her and her grand daughter with the food she couldn’t stop thanking God; they had no plan to eat for the next while since they had no money and her grand daughter was too young to find work. There was nothing I could do to help her at the time. The medication I bought would not heal her leg; she needed imaging and surgery, procedures that are quiet expensive even in a government funded hospital. This was one of those cases where I felt completely useless and hopeless; enough food for two weeks would hardly make a huge impact is what crossed my mind. I had to push that thought away and just pray with her that we may find an answer. After lunch I trudged on to finish the donations and to find people that could be treated with the medication I had at the clinic. We stopped at one woman’s house and were told she was on the list of the sickest of the sick but my eyes zeroed in on her tiny infant with a running nose and watering eyes, I could hear the child’s labored breathing from 5 feet away. I told her that I had medication for the baby who clearly was quiet ill and to bring her to the clinic, the mother then mentioned her other daughter who was very sick. She took me into her one room shack where I saw a tiny body curled up on a heap of clothing, I knelt down to touch her and was taken back by the heat I felt coming off of this small child. Apparently the mother had tried to take her to a hospital earlier that day but was unable to pay for any treatment. I got the mother to grab her toddler and while I picked up the infant and marched them to the clinic. The box of medications the donations have bought were able to treat all three of these people. If those two babies had not received the medication that they did today they probably would not have been in their mother’s arms much longer. While I held the infant in my arms in the clinic I was filled with that hope that no matter what every little thing you do to those in need makes a difference in some way.


Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent


Gypsy RN



Hi little sister,

I've just read through all of your posts. What an extraordinary experience -- thank you for sharing all of the details. I'm sure your care has made a tremendous impact; as I know the relationships you've formed have impacted you, too.
I'm really proud of you. I admire how committed you've been to this journey, and I'm sure this is just the beginning. Love you!


  Patricia Morales Oct 27, 2016 8:26 AM

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