Sunday, July 12, 2009

Update - 12 July, 2009

The entire medical mission team arrived yesterday. As usual, there were some unexpected complications.

Let me back up to the nurses who arrived on Friday. All American nurses have to be interviewed by the Zambian nursing authorities in Lusaka before they can work on the medical mission. Their flights on South African Airways were scheduled to arrive in Lusaka on Thursday evening, and the appointments for their interviews were on Friday morning.

BUT South African Airways had a computer failure in the US and the delay caused our nurses to be late arriving in Johannesburg, thus missing the connecting flight to Lusaka on Thursday. The airline put them up in a hotel in Johannesburg and got them out in two flights on Friday. The Friday morning flight got them into Lusaka in plenty of time, but many government offices in Lusaka close early on Friday, so there was great concern that the nurses on the afternoon flight might not be able to be interviewed. Elizabeth Halale, our wonderful liaison with the nursing council, explained the situation and the interviewers graciously agreed to conduct the Friday afternoon interviews. Whew! One major crisis averted.

The rest of the American team arrived in Livingstone on Saturday. The plan was to transport them to Namwianga on two very nice, rented Coaster buses, and the plan almost worked. Unfortunately, one of the buses broke down! Blame it on bad fuel, says the driver, as there was water in the fuel line. The big yellow bus from Namwianga had to make the trip down to Livingstone and bring back those who were on the crippled bus. The good news is that everyone arrived in time for dinner and got settled in on Saturday night.

At our house we have Kelsey Smith, Teri Heger, and Jackson Heger (all from Brentwood Christian School in Austin), plus Toni Lindsey, Ryan Maxwell, Mark and Michele Broadway, and Sara. And Jason. He is still sick with fever, cough, and congestion, so I couldn't send him home just yet.

Today we will finish up last-minute preparations for the medical mission. Tonight there is a pot luck dinner with the community, and tomorrow we will head out for the first clinic at Simalundu.

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