Clinic Blog: 2012 South Africa Clinic Blog
February 14, 2012
We are driving (through the Game Park – hello elephants!) from our second and final day at the Hlabisa Clinic, where we served 1090 appreciative patients. We have so much to share - as you can see from the following 12 comments, from representatives of 7 different countries! As for my day, Dr. Jackie patiently taught Roger and me how to dilate patients using eye drops and to use the handheld tonometer – I am grateful to our wise leaders for providing such learning opportunities. To give you an idea of the weather conditions here – it was so hot that we could not leave the dilation drops on the table (in the sun), for they would have become too hot for use. Feeling like a hot mess – but with a BIG SMILE! Without further ado, I give you the good stuff from our team…did I mention you may want to use Google Translate?! Please keep the comments coming, but please know that internet access is a challenge, and we may be unable to respond.
From Berrak Onal (Turkey): izmir - KSK Herkese merhaba…Ilk klinik deneyimim ve katilan ilk Turk benim. Cok sansli biriyim Bugun 10. Gun zamanin nasil gectigini anlamadim inanilmaz keyifli bir deneyim. Hergun yuzlerce insana yardim etmenin bana kendimi bu kadar iyi hissettirecegini tahmin edemezdim. Cok yorucu ama insanlarin yuzundeki gulumseme herseye deger. Birisi bana yurtdisina ciktiginda gidecegin ilk ulke Guney Afrika olacak dese kesinlikle inanmazdim inanilmaz guzellige sahip bir ulke ve hayatimda belki birdaha hic goremeyecegim hayvanlari gordum cook keyifli. Ayrica hint okyanusunu gordum ve yuzdum demek isterdim ama yuzemedim cunku inanilmaz dalgalar vardi cok tehlkeliydi. Ama yinede kiyida takildimTurkce bilen kimse yok ve benim ingilizcem cok yeterli degil ama gruptaki kimse bana bunu hissettirmedi ve yalniz birakmadi ,herkes cok sicakkanli ve her konuda birbirine yardimci oluyor. Bir anda bir suru arkadasim oldu Birazdan hastalar gelmeye baslayacak . Bebekler ve cocuklar inanilmazlar . Bu klinikte onlarla daha fazla vakit gecirme sansimiz oluyor. Bol bol fotograf cekiyorum. Insanlarin yuzune gozlukleri taktigimiz zaman yuzlerindeki ifadeyi gormenizi cok isterdim. Okuyabildikleri anda dunyanin en mutlu insani siz oluyorsunuz. Afrikali insanlar cok sicakkanlilar herkes bizi inanilmaz bir sevgi ile karsiliyor. Burda cok unluyuz
From Melanie (USA): Yesterday my Peace Corp volunteer and I had a wonderful lady come for her exam. She immediately told us we were her friend, and that she would make us bread and we would eat together until we would nearly explode, just because we were here for her. After her exam she was so happy, she wore her sunglasses for us and danced a little happy dance to show us how happy she was to get her new glasses and sunglasses. It has been a great clinic as the patients here really love to show appreciation in a way that just energizes the team! Thanks to all who support our OneSight missions.
From Marion (Germany): wir sind hier in the middle of nowhere, auf der Fahrt zur Klinik haben wir heute Affen, Elefanten, Zebras und Impalas gesehen. Es gab schon so viele beeindruckende und tolle Momente… Fuer die “Gogo’s” (aelter Damen) ist es das groesste, die Bibel wieder lesen zu koennen. Gestern habe ich mit einer uebergluecklichen Gogo ein Taenzchen gemacht, sie war fast nicht mehr zu stoppen :o) Auch die mitgebrachten Kleidungsstuecke fanden glueckliche Abnehmer. Mir wurde es im Vorfeld oft gesagt, und ich kann es nur bestaetigen: es ist ein unvergessliches Erlebnis! Thank you Luxottica, thank you OneSight.
From Bill Mullin (USA): Yesterday my good friend Ellie was working the dilation tent and made a little 4 year old boy cry by putting drops in his eyes. He was inconsolable, so I brought him a goody bag full of toys and candy which made him feel a little better. Later we herd crying at the scoping area and it turned out to be the same little boy. I brought over a cool pair of sun glasses which made him happy once again I think he even cracked a little smile. Awhile later I felt a tug on my shorts and looked down to see my little friend, He wanted to say goodbye which got me a little choked up. It’s moments like that which make the experience real and that’s why I keep doing missions, to keep having those great little moments. Also - I successfully wrangled a spider out of the clinic today! No spiders were injured in any way! For all those people that know me know how incredible that is!
From our Lead Doc, Dr. Tosh (USA): Hello from South Africa! Wow… what an incredible experience this has been so far! South Africa is a beautiful place with beautiful people. Yesterday, a patient with severe eye pain came through the clinic. She had been battling the pain and infection since December. With the support of the local Optometrists (Simphiwe and Lindy) we were able to refer the patient to the local hospital for proper treatment and care. Go OneSight!
From Jeanine (South Africa): One thing I have learnt from this trip is that a smile is universal! We have had many challenging language barriers, but the first sight of clear vision always starts with a smile! Today is Chabella day for me! (For those who do not know what Chabella’s are, it is a pair of “John Lennon” looking glasses which we make on site and dispense) This means I’ve had to dig deep for the math skills I’ve lost somewhere between primary school and now, but it has been EXTREMELY interesting and dispensing your first pair of Chabella’s is rewarding! A little Sunglass Hut joke: The Americans are calling the Gogo’s, Go-go’s as in Go-Go units. The Sunglass Hut OneSight bags have almost sold out, bringing the grand total raised for OneSight South Africa to **DRUM ROLL PLEASE*** R3350!!!!!
From Tim Webb (Pearle Vision -Greater Chicago/Milwaukee):
WHAT MAKES ME SMILE………..
+ The thumbs up of a Gogo, an older South African lady, who just received her reading glasses that will allow her to do her weaving and sewing which is so important to her.
+ When a young lady, or Sissy, smiles because she has just received some beautiful sunglasses that will protect her from the sun’s harmful UV rays as well as allow her to be fashionable in the village.
+ The random spontaneous dancing of the Italian OneSight clinic volunteers.
+ Little girls getting their first set of pink sunglasses.
+ The oohs and ahhs of the clinic volunteers followed by the clicking of shutters as a team of wild baboons cross the road in front of our bus.
+ The joy of a Peace Corps volunteer who just assisted in the delivery of a large and much needed prescription for someone who has done without for a long time.
+ And of course, the presentation of an ice cold Coke Light at the end of a long, fun and rewarding clinic day near Mtubatuba South Africa!
From Dalila Gout (France) : Un bonjour en passant vite fait depuis South Africa, les journnees sont tres emouvantes, extraordinaires, interessantes, ……je tremble de l`interieur Aujourd`hui, j`ai soignee une fille de 18 avec qui a un petit garcon de 8 ans. Dalila depuis, Mtubatuba
From Anita Reed (Home Office, Mason, Ohio): We are in our second week of this amazing experience. The African people are warm and smiling and so happy we are here. To watch someone put on glasses and then watching as the realization of seeing the world around them clearer or for the first time is breath taking. We are working nonstop but the need is great and our passion is greater. The team here is amazing. Working side by side in harmony as a well-oiled machine. This is one of the top things I will miss upon leaving. I have seen elephants, zebra, baboon and giraffe by the side of the road driving to our destination. The Silent Auction was a big hit bringing over $2,800 in donations to One Sight. Today, we will break down the clinic and move to a new location tomorrow. Have a great day, I know I am!!!!!
From Marinella (belluno Italia): Siamo alla seconda settimana di questa bellissima e indimenticabile esperienza. Abbiamo fatto gia’ tre cliniche e domani ci aspetta l’ultima . Ogni momento che trascorro con queste persone per me e’un momento di gioia nel vedere un sorriso o un abraccio ricevuto da persone che non vedro’ piu’ ma che resteranno sempre nei miei ricordi. Il team italiano (tutti alla prima esperienza) sta andando alla grandeSembra che abbiano fatto gia altre missioni veramente ma veramente bravi. Ringrazio ancora Onesightper avermi fatto questo bellissimo regalo e sopratutto ringrazio tutto il team. Sawuubona.
From Roger (Norway): I dag var jeg ute og gjorde eye drops med Abby. Det var den beste dagen hittils paa clinicen da vi virkelig fikk prove paa nye oppgaver. Arbeidsoppgaven bestod av aa droppe oyet med en veske for aa utvide pupillen saa vi igjen kan faa fram rett styrke. I 35 graders varme maa jeg si at det var en provelsen men som sagt kjempe morro. En lite notis som maa med er at Abby var livredd til begynne med men ble dronninga paa dette etterhvert, jeg hoppa I skrekk da jeg horte det rasla I grassa bak meg da jeg trodde det var en slange (jeg saa aldrig hva det var)!!
From Jacqueline Armani (New York): Sawabona!!! For all those that do not know Zulu, that means “we see you” and is also a greeting equivalent to hello. I really am working on my Zulu here; along with my Norweign, Italian, and French. The days are amazing with thousands of patients walking through, thousands of smiling faces, a few crying babies who really don’t like drops or lights, and a group of great people always willing to help. Not only have we grown together as a group here, but have learned from the Peace Corp to appreciate so many things we take for granted on a daily basis. Today, I had a mother holding her child, then puts on her -8.50 glasses for the first time ever, and say that this is the first time she has seen her 2 year old boy. It was definitely a moment of joy for all of us! On a funny note, a go-go came up to me to ask me if she looked good in her glasses. When I responded, “beautiful go-go”, she goes, “No, today I am ma. Not go-go. I am young!” Loving South Africa!!!!