Clinic Blog: 2012 South Africa Clinic Blog
February 13, 2012
Last day of Mtubatuba Clinic and Weekend Expeditions
We closed the week in Mtubatuba having served 3,866 grateful, happy South Africans. It is remarkable how efficiently we are operating, in both serving our patients as well as setting up and taking down clinic. We really are a busy little beehive (see the yellow shirts - it was only a matter of time before the bee analogy). We have detected detached retinas, diabetic retinopathy and AIDS related eye diseases and high numbers of glaucoma.
The old "gogos" (grandmothers) especially touch my heart. They are the most demonstrative in this somewhat reserved culture - I can't count the number hugs and praises such as "Now I can read my Bible!" or "You have made me a beautiful grandmother!" we have received. The beautiful babies and children certainly aren't lacking for attention with our group (Ellie is making me tell you that she is spending more time "squishing baby guts" than doing actual work - which if have been on clinic with Ellie, you will know what that means - and also that she never really stops working). While I was working the autorefractor, a group of school boys came through, and, as if on dare, the naughty, bolder ones would bashfully whisper "I love you!" as they passed by, causing a wave of giggles. So funny - kids will be kids in any culture!
Our off days provided much needed rest and recovery (we were dragging by Friday night!). We went on a game drive on Saturday, where we took in the vast expanse of South Africa and spotted elephants, giraffes, zebras...but no cats (sorry Scott!). Saturday night many team members experienced local culture and dance at the Bit by Bit, and Sunday there was choice of a Zulu village tour, shopping, beach walking (braver team members took a dip in the Indian Ocean) and a river tour (with hippos galore!). We ended the weekend with a silent auction fund-raiser amongst our team, where George, a veteran with 21 missions under his belt, (who claims he is "retiring" after this, although I, for one, don't believe he will be able to give this up!), outbid everyone for the coveted OneSight crystal.
We are en route for our third site, and just passed giraffe, zebra and buffalo literally on the side of the road - what a country! Wish us well as we embark on four more days of helping the world to see!