Clinic Blog: 2011 South Africa 2 Clinic Blog
October 20, 2011
Stories from Mtubatuba
In the first three days of our South African Clinic, we've helped over 1500 patients! This is an amazing feat since our clinic location is in a more remote part of town and isn't the most accessable. However, the need is great. We've seen patients as young as 3 and as old as 92 and some that don't know their age. In the short time we've been here in Mtubatuba, every team member has stories to share about that one patient that touched their heart, made them smile or made them cry. Here are more of our stories.
Shreena Shah, Optometrist from London, UK.
Seeing the prescription of -11.00 dioptres in both eyes, I wondered how someone had coped with their life until now without the use of spectacles. With this prescription, one could only, see clearly without spectacles, up to a distance of 10cm only. Recognizing faces and getting an education would have been an enormous struggle. I only hoped that this person would be able to adapt to the spectacles and not reject them.
Because of the generous donations of used (and then refurbished) spectacles, we had an appropriate prescription to provide this person with. The reason why I am on a OneSight trip is to use the skills that I have as an optometrist, to make a real difference in someone else’s life -- and now I feel that I have. The feedback received, was that this person was extremely happy to be able to see with the spectacles and adapted well to them.
Steve Losey, Lab Manager from Buffalo, New York
What touched me the most today was meeting the Peace Corps volunteers. These young men and women commit 2 years of their lives and live with a host family individually. Gives me a new perspective into my 2 week commitment. My aches , pains, and homesickness are trivial compared to their sacrifice. Their families should be very proud of them. Thank you Peace Corps
Richard Nicholas, Optometrist from Virginia Beach, Virginia
Today I saw a young boy with tattered clothes and no shoes. He didn’t have much to call his own. Even though he did not require any prescription eyewear, he still benefited from a pair of sunglasses. I never saw a bigger smile on anyone before in my life when he put them on. You could tell it meant the world to him and that meant the world to me.
Ann Rice, General Manager LensCrafters , Glendale, Arizona
The long journey to Mtubatuba, South Africa seems so insignificant when you see how easily we can touch the lives of others and how impactful that connection is to us. The little boy who walked in with his class and was grinning ear to ear after seeing his image in a photo for the first time, The elderly woman who was barely 3 ft tall that couldn’t stand erect, but was so proud of the vision she received. I had the opportunity to dispense glasses to several people today and each one smiled with the excitement that they could see and read. These people came to clinic wearing their best, they were ready for a special occasion- it was special for us because they left touching our hearts.
Paula Edmondstone, Laubman & Pank, Australia
Hiya, it’s Paula Edmondstone in Mtubatuba, South Africa. We headed out to a regional school this morning and today I was lucky enough to be stationed at dispensing. I met the most amazing young boy and was able to dispense his glasses to him. He needed a minus 11 prescription and had never worn glasses before. When he put on his new glasses and looked around his eyes lit up. He was very shy, but you could see the excitement in his face. Check the gallery for his picture!
Christine Laughlin, Sunglass Hut, Tampa, Florida
Hey all, it’s Christine Laughlin, we have the most amazing trip into clinic and home each day. Without even going on the safari yet, we have seen elephants, giraffe, water buffalo, impala, baboon, spring boks, warthogs, and zebra right along the side of the road. It makes the hour long journey to our clinic site more like an hour and a half with all of us stopping to take pictures, but the trip only feels like 20 minutes because we are so excited to see all of the wildlife.
Dipti Patel, Sunglass Hut, London, England
Hi all, it Dipti from England in Mtubatuba experiencing my first OneSight clinic. There was a woman who came to my station at Quick Pick where we dispense ready reads and sunnies. She was unable to read her own name. Once I handed her her new glasses and gave something to read which had her name on it, she was extremely excited. She simply couldn’t stop smiling and laughing that she could finally read her own name. It was amazing how something so small could change someone’s life.
Christine and I also had the honored opportunity to help a mum who had a small baby with her. Not only were we able to give his mum the glasses she needed, but we also had some infant sized sunnies that we were able to fit on him. His mum was so happy that her baby son’s eyes would be protected from the sun that she told us that “we were stars”.
Susi Gobbi and Barbara De Mario, Luxottica, Italy
Ciao a tutti, stiamo vivendo intensamente questa missione in Mtubatuba ( Sud Africa) dove le parole non trovano il giusto senso per le emozioni che in ogni istante viviamo per ogni occhiale regalato.E’ incredibile come la gente cosi’ povera riesca a rendere ricca la ns. Vita! Passano ore ed ore in fila ad aspettare il loro turno senza mai lamentarsi cosi’ pure i bambini che per una caramella ti regalano un sorriso. In questi giorni siamo in piena missione, domani cambiamo luogo con la clinica per aiutare un’altra parte di popolo Sud Africano. La lidership e il Team e’ fantastico!!!! Siamo multinazionali nel gruppo ma parliamo una sola lingua: quella di ONE SIGHT !!!!!!! Ciao ITALIA da Susi Gobbi e Barbara DM.
Estelle Pires, Luxottica, Nice, France
SAWUBONA la France,
En direct de MTUBATUBA voici quelques nouvelles de cette clinique après 15 heures de vol, 3 avions et 1 heure de bus!!! L'équipe est formidable et en totale symbiose, nous sommes tous enthousiastes et content d'être là. Notre chef de mission Leona Dockeri, ainsi que l'équipe de supervision sont très touchés par l'énergie et la bonne humeur ambiante; nous somme motivés plus que jamais à donner le meilleur de nous même pour offrir des examens de la vue à ces populations, et chaque sourire et remerciement et un pur bonheur. Nous soignons essentiellement des enfants et des personnes âgées, étant donné que nous travaillons dans des écoles et des zones retirées.
Cette mission est vraiment différente puisque nous travaillons sur 3 sites différents: Fin de la première clinique ce soir dans une école rurale à plus d'1h30 de route de notre hôtel; nous voyagions chaque jour à travers la savane à la rencontre d'animaux sauvages (girafes, éléphants, zèbres, babouins,buffles,...)un vrai Safari quotidien!!!! Plus de 1500 patients ont bénéficié d'examens de la vue en à peine 2 jours et demi de travail. Demain, nous installons une nouvelle clinique dans une école à 45 minutes de route, et ce weekend , un peu de détente avec au programme, Safari, visite d'un village ZULU, shopping dans un marché artisanal, visite de Sainte Lucie et enfin si le temps nous est favorable, une beach party dans l'Océan Indien!!!!quel régal!!!!
Les Sud Africains, sont vraiment très sympathiques et généreux , et les partenaires avec qui nous travaillons au quotidien, nous choient comme leurs propres enfants.....un partage et une découverte culturelle vraiment terrible, et l'apprentissage du vocabulaire ZULU un grand moment de rigolade!!! Je passe une excellente mission et une nouvelles fois, j'encourage mes collaborateurs Français à s'inscrire eux aussi et de vivre cette formidable aventure au moins une fois dans leur vie.
C'est vraiment un moment fort et inoubliable à partager avec des une équipe Internationale ou chacun apporte de sa personne, un vraie fusion et un travail d'équipe vraiment impressionnant.
Promis, beaucoup de photos à l’appui dés mon retour et encore plus de choses à vous compter....
PS: Petit clin d’œil aux copines pour ce vrai moment de bonheur à la lecture de tous ces souvenirs, mais désolé j'ai enfreins la règle de "UNE HISTOIRE PAR SOIR", trop touchant et trop tentant!!!
C'était Estelle Pires en live pour One sight South Africa Blog!!!!
Pictures from Mtubatuba
Pictures from Mtubatuba Clinic