Clinic Blog: 2012 South Africa Clinic Blog
February 15, 2012
First Day at Makhasa Clinic
We just finished our first day at the rural Makhasa clinic, which is a little over an hour from our hotel, across the vast expanse of South Africa. It is astonishing how far patients walk in order to receive this care. The themes of today’s blog are the depth of camaraderie amongst our team, the excitement of our patients, and our gratitude for the generous support of the donors who allow all of this to happen. I am typing this on our drive “home”, and only two (of 12 of us) are awake – fortunately the other one is our driver (who proudly got his eye exam and new OneSight glasses today, by the way)!
From Filippo Frati (Luxottica US, Wholesale – New York): at this point we have gone through six days of clinic and there are two more to go. Being here and having the possibility to change other people’s life is already very rewarding. However what fascinated me the most is the “chemistry” in our group. We are thirty people coming from many different countries, languages and cultures. Starting from day 1, without knowing each other, we all started “dancing the same dance, singing the same song, living the same life”. It is truly surprising how thirty people that work together and help each other can turn every challenge into an easy task. So what I will bring back at home with me is a clear awareness on how far a real team of people can go in accomplishing something as long as they are determined to do so. And I close with one confession… during our Saturday night’s party for sure we danced the same dance, sang the same song and also… drank the same beer (a lot of it)… ;)
From Ellie Reitmeyer (Optician, Lenscrafters Store 327, Wayzata, MN): My 13th International Clinic is almost in the books. There are so many stories I could share about the rides to clinic in the Quantum (a type of passenger van )where we saw giraffes, zebras, elephants, etc. in the mornings, or the wonderful group of people who make up the team. But what I will never forget is the smiles on the faces of the people we helped, the gogos dancing a jig in appreciation, the Peace Corps workers who sweated and laughed alongside us, and the babies. Oh, the babies!!! Our partners went out of their way to secure great sites, entertain us and help the people they will continue to serve after this clinic leaves. I am leaving this country loving the people, the wildlife, the food, the farm animals, and I look forward to the day when, God willing, I might be able to return and visit my South African friends and family.
Sending my love to Rex, my family, friends and customers who donated their glasses and money to OneSight. A special hello to Carla, Talita and Chantal in Capetown. (the nougat was marvelous and well-appreciated by the team). And hello also to my “play” friend Annette!
From Max (SGH 5541, Panama City Beach, Florida): Thank you so much to my team for taking such good care of the store and to all in Region #121 for all their support. Without you I would not have been on this amazing journey. We are almost at the end of our clinic time here in South Africa and I have many emotions. Every one of the team has had a “special” moment during our two weeks here. This is a beautiful country and the people are so appreciative and wonderful. From the babies to the Go Go’s we saw an immediate result of all the efforts of OneSight. Please….please continue to fundraise….to recycle…..to share the PASSION of OneSight!! It is so rewarding to know we have given a child, a mother, father or grandmother and grandfather the beautiful gift of sight. One of my favorite sayings is ….”My cup runneth over”- it sure has on this clinic. My heart is full…..an amazing leadership team in Scott, Odette, Julie, Steven and Tosh and Peter, and all of the super team….we clicked together so well and have had so much fun. I am deeply honored to be a part of South Africa 2012. As special thanks to Abby Houtman…..she rocks, everyone has shared so many stories on the blog thanks to her hard work.!!! Keep reading our blog and sharing…..we love you. Go OneSight!!!!!!!!