Clinic Blog: 2012 South Africa Clinic Blog
February 6, 2012
Day One - Bonding and Braii
From Maxine Putz: The members of Team South Africa 2012 are preparing to embark on the journey of a lifetime. We are headed to Mtubatuba, South Africa to participate in a OneSight clinic there. Our advance team is enroute to South Africa and we wish them safe travels. The rest of the team is busy packing, repacking, weighing suitcases and preparing for the long flight ahead tomorrow. How exciting to participate in such a rewarding program and give quality eye care to our neighbors around the world. We have team members from all over the world that will be meeting, some for the first time, on Sunday evening in Mtubatuba, South Africa. We hope you will share in our journey and send messages from home by following our blog. And so our journey begins….thank you for sharing in this exciting and memorable event in Mtubatuba, South Africa!
Hey from Peter from Albany, NY. It was an adventure just to get to our beautiful hotel with 17 hrs of flying from Washington DC and then a 3 hour layover in Johannesburg before our flight to Durban and then our 2 hour van ride to the Protea hotel, Umfolzi Village. I hope we can get some photos posted of how wonderful our setting is. Everything is so lush and green. Our team shared stories about each other with the Mpilohnle team and the Peace Corps volunteers before we had our tasty lunch with traditional South African food items like pap (porridge made from maize meal) with a wonderful spicy relish and also boerewors (farmers sausage). After lunch and moving and organizing clinic boxes we had a grocery store adventure to the local chain “Pick and Pay”. Now we get some free time to enjoy the pool area at the hotel. Exciting that we will have four clinic sites and we start site 1 tomorrow. Wish us good luck and many patients. J
This is Anita saying Sawubona, which is hello. After a one hour delay before our first plane even arrived, we started out the gate late and when we landed at Dulles they were already calling our name over the pager. We had our exercise by running to the next plane. This was our 17 hour flight. If you have never have been on a flight for this length of time, I can tell you it is an EXPERIENCE!!!!! I won’t say any more. Of course, our team is the best. We have met such lovely people from places such as Turkey, Poland, France, and Italy. I have a lot of pictures that will be downloaded. Judi, you will enjoy the picture of Dr. Tosh. He was gracious to pose with me. You will all see how we worked as a team when we were packing the trailer for tomorrow when we start our adventures. Words cannot express how much this experience means to me and all that I talk to… I have been invited to visit with my new friends from around the world. You don’t have to ask me twice…. Tracy, you know I am having a wonderful time for you also. NO Tarantulas here, Greg! Check back with the blog for further updates as there WILL BE plenty for us to share…
From Abby - Peter and Anita have captured the essence of our day so well...I just have to add that I thought 17 hours of sleeping, eating and reading on the plane was actually paradise (not kidding - South African Airlines knows customer service!)...until I met the people of Mtubatuba and took in the beauty of the farm today! What a wonderful day of laughter and warm welcomes. Never did I imagine I would be sitting in the shade of a baobab tree, talking politics and Xhosa and Zulu history with the locals. What a humbling day of learning and fun...I can't believe our journey is only beginning!