Today half of the team went with the staff of Mercy Hospital to a local village near Bo to conduct a mobile Malaria clinic. The other half of the team will go to a different site on Tuesday to conduct the same clinic with Mercy Hospital. It was an eye-opening and rewarding trip that I will remember for the rest of my life.
We woke up to another delicious meal from Fudia to get the day started. A delicious spread of mangos, bananas, fresh bread and hot porridge was laid all across the table. It was a wonderful way to start the day. I have come to realize that Sierra Leone has the best fruits and vegetables that I have ever eaten. I am really going to miss them when I head back to the states.
Soon after breakfast the team assembled to head out by 9 a.m. Gordon, Katie, Sarah, Lauren, and I all piled into the car to drive to the village. It was a short drive from the CRC to the center of Bo. Once we got onto the side road we drove seven miles until we took a sharp left hand turn onto a dirt road. We traveled on this for about 15 minutes until we made another left hand turn onto a side road that was covered by overgrown grass to the point that it was almost invisible. There was tall grass on either side of the path that blocked the view on the outside of the windows. We drove the distance of about two football fields until the grass cleared and we pulled up onto a small village. We could immediately see that there were about a hundred women and children waiting to be registered and helped. The group sang a few songs and prayed before the day began.
Our team was divided into different jobs during the day. Lauren and I were placed at the table to help women and children get tested for malaria. Mohammed, one of the Mercy Hospital staff, took us under his wing and guided us through the procedures of calling names, testing, and reading the results. At times it was a hectic job but it was extremely rewarding and it felt amazing to be needed and to serve God. We worked non-stop for about three hours in the sun until we were given a short break before getting back to work. Overall the day was overwhelming at times, but I am so grateful to have experienced how the healthcare system in Sierra Leone works. It opened up my heart and my mind to not only appreciate how healthcare works in America, but to be more willing to serve others.
The rest of the day was spent with the children playing soccer, telling family stories, and going to vespers during an incredible thunderstorm. We fell asleep to the rain and prepared for our day of speakers on education and child trafficking and VBS.
Submitted by Allie Broadus