11:30 pm was when we ended our day yesterday. Last night we attended our driver’s (pascal’s) neice’s wedding send-off (wedding reception). It encluded everything from a Catholic mass, a DJ playing Michael Jackson & INSINC to dancing, and mooing cows…… Dr. Shriner told us NOT TO EAT ANYTHING!!! The food was served from 5 gallon paint buckets and from what we were told it was “chicken”.

Pascal and his wife gave the ladies in the group tonga’s so we could “fit in”. Being the only Unzungu’s (white people in Swahili) the tonga’s made us feel special but fitting in wouldn’t be the words to describe us in a crowd of 300 plus Tanzanian’s. We arrived back to our room at 4:30 from clinic leaving us 30 minutes to get ready, I bet Ryan didn’t think 7 senstive women could get ready so quickly……

Over breakfast we had our pre-conference to discuss the days plan. We split up into groups to tackle the 40 patients already waiting to see the American Doctors. One group was Dr. Shriner, Jody, and Lesicar(our driver, translator, friend)who saw patients. In another room was Dr. Murasi, Ann & Dr. Edward. Allison, Stella (the clinic nurse) and I were busy in triage while Ryan was attempting to complete the shelving in the med room in between power shortages. Lyn was the runner, she was packing up meds for us and the doctors and assisted Ryan in his building efforts.

After looking back on our days adventures, I think back and smile….. I picture the glow in the womens eyes when she received a picture from Ryan that he took and printed for her on the spot. I saw how happy Lyn made a young child holding a ballon that she blew up. I heard a patient tell Jody in broken english “you are pretty.” I saw how Stella got the “I got it look” when Allison was teaching her. I enjoyed how Dr. Murassi had to be creative while looking at an xray by putting it up to the sunlight from the window. I loved to see the excitement that Ann got as she spoke Swahili to patient. Most of all, I saw a patient look at me when I placed my hand on top of his, as if this was the only comfort he received since 2002 when he found out he was HIV positve. I know in the short amount of time he had with our group, he received many smiles, a picture of himself, a complete exam from a wonderful doctor, and finaly a touch of love that was lacking due to the stigma placed from this terrible virus……… Much love, we miss you-all…

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