9:02 pm

Tonight I am clean as I begin.  That is such a sweet feeling.  The door is open.  The fan is on (not exactly sure why, but the breeze is nice).  It has been raining steady since we got back here to the guest house at 6:15.  And steady is an understatement.  There have been long stints of downpours.  With strong winds and lightening and thunder.  It’s been a powerful storm.  Delicious in many ways.  Well, except to get to the rooms I had to get the keys (which Rob had already gotten, btw) and then run through the grounds in the heaviest portion of the storm.  I was soaked.  But hey, it’s just water. And then it got heavy again at 7 pm – just in time to trek up for dinner.

All in all, an adventure in rain.  There were even a few brief power outages.  Not sure why it is still on, actually, but perhaps they have a generator.  It is calm now.  No rain or thunder and lightning.  Rats.  While I’m lying in bed it would be wonderful.  Oh wait….some distant thunder.  There’s still some hope.

So how was the day, you ask?  It was great.  For the front office it was a bit slow.  I printed my first batch of labels today.  That used to be a daily occurrence.  But no longer, which is great.  What a change in my assigned chores.

There were a few minor fires to put out this morning.  Or upon second thought, perhaps not.  That was a lot of rain ago.  The day was pretty smooth.  For a while there was a little line for the injection room.  Some third dosages of Artemether (malaria meds) and Cephtriaxone again.  We haven’t seen any syphilis I don’t think.   We have a lot of injectables ready to expire before the next clinic – so we’ll be donating a bunch.  We just haven’t used them nearly as much as previous years.  It’s strange how things fluctuate from year to year.

I think I spent the bulk of my time outside today – in a couple of areas I now personally designate at “the city gate.”  When traveling through Israel, you discover that much of the business of the city and much of the interaction with leadership took place at the city gate. I understand that as a concept – but today I understood it in practice.  If I would just stand around at a couple of the big intersections I can generate a lot of smiles.  I can solve some confusion among the patients. And, I can get some feedback as to the integrity and impact of the clinic.  I feel a bit like a Walmart greeter.  But the smile I received back were amazing.

It’s like people were just looking for an excuse to be friendly – and my smile and greeting provided the exact excuse for them to react and interact.  I got a lot of warm smiles – a lot of “well done’s” – and tons of smiles.  It was amazing.  I redirected some folks when they were a bit lost or confused. It added to general tenor of the mission. At least I think so.

I got a couple of great compliments today.  One older man was so encouraged by the mission that he wanted to make sure that we returned.  He thanked us profusely for the clinic and even wondered if it would be possible for us to head up all the medical care for the nation of Uganda.  I assured him that was above our pay grade.  We couldn’t and wouldn’t do that.  But he thanked us again for the mission and will see us next year.

Another father/son couple stopped me in “the city gate” and thanked us for the clinic.  He was genuine and gracious and profuse in his words. That was another blessing.  The day was full of such moments.
The rain is falling once again, btw.  Oh, and the thunder.  And it is raining hard.

We closed the outside gate to the camp by about 12:30.  If my memory serves me.  The line was not long, in fact after they let everyone inside, it was basically done by 10:30 I would guess.  I have to get the numbers from Noah in the morning.

Other than that, it was a calm day.  The cooks made us Rolex again and everyone loved it.  I passed.   Just not that hungry.

Now, I can’t stay awake.  Ugh.

By 5:30 pm, the pharmacy had processed every record card and filled every request.  The goal has been reached.  Mt Everest attained.  It was a monumental task which took teamwork and extra hours of work.  By a bunch of people.  What’s best is that we get to start Friday with no backlog whatsoever.  That’s a huge hurdle we’ve crossed for a busy Friday already.  Yes!

It hadn’t rained all day at the clinic, and it was hot this afternoon.  Pretty hot. But Pastor Alex predicted no rain since it was not humid – and the clouds were not building at all.  I lost track of the sky for a while.  As we got on the bus to come home (5:30 pm) the sky was getting pretty dark.  We left right away (this group is amazing at getting on the bus when asked….yay).  It was cloudy all the way north to Luwero (about 40 minutes), but it didn’t rain until we got into Luwero. And then the heaven’s opened and the wind blew – and rivers formed quickly.

It is pouring again right now.  Wow.

But this was a great mission so far. Some sick folks for sure.  Malnutrition in some children.  Malaria.  But some of the other things we’ve seen were not around this year.  Not major burns or wound issues.  Well, there was one today, but nothing like previous years.  I think we enter Friday as well as we ever had.  We are organized and ready to count and count and check and recheck our inventory.

Oh, the surgeons have been getting slow starts each day (not sure why….not my issue).  But their concern and compassion for the patients have kept them operating until 9 pm most nights.  That’s a long day for the patients – and really long days for the surgical team.  But they are making progress each day.

Most of the rest of the day was without indent. At least as far as I know. It’ll be nice to do a final inventory and celebrate God’s goodness at a brief closing program.  Then Rob and the Lums will be off to the airport, for flights I the wee hours of Saturday morning.  On Saturday, nine will head to Entebbe and nine will be off on the safari.  The team will be heading home – or at least sort of in that direction.

Thanks for the prayers – keep them up until we all get home safely.  God’s been so good and we love to serve the people of Uganda.  Just not as the department of health.

And yes, it is still raining.

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