Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Least of These

On the way back to Moshi after our safari we stopped in to visit Hai Vocational Training Center. This is an amazing Lutheran outreach where students go to learn the trades of tailoring, carpentry or masonry.  These students create exquisite pipe organs from gorgeous local woods back there in the forest. They also build fine guitars, wonderful handbags and all kinds of other handcrafted items. Oh, and they also build the buildings in which they attend class!

Today was a very full day. We began in busy Moshi Town exchanging currency and visiting some great shops.  From there we made our way toward Machame and walked through the local market in Kwasadala. The sights, sounds, smells and vibrant colors of this sprawling local market can be a bit overwhelming for first timers. Our group marveled at the nearly perfect looking fruits and vegetables for sale. Many of them seemed unrealistically large compared to what we are used to. I will have some pictures to post of the market when I get the chance to download them from my video camera.

Next it was off to the Neema Orphange Centre and Helen Mcnulty School in Kalali. Both the orphanage and the college are run by the Lutheran sisters of Ushirika wa Neema and the campus has matured under their care with beautiful landscaping. As usual, our group was drawn to the children and spent the morning moving from house to house to interact with the different age groups. I will let the following pictures tell the story.

 We departed from the orphanage to move further up the mountain where we visited Machame Lutheran Hospital. While the skilled doctors and nurses provide excellent care at the hospital, this place is a striking reminder of how good we have it in the US compared to so many places in the world.

Our group got a kick out of learning that a "private" room in the hospital means only one roommate and your family must provide all your meals and even some of your care!  A "regular room" puts you in a large ward with about twenty beds.

Next we visited the nurses college on the hospital campus. We were greeted there by dozens of nursing students all gathered to express their deep gratitude for the donation of "Inspiration Hall" by members of our group, John and Carol Zillmer.

A group of nursing students sang for us. Their singing was so moving and powerful it would have been worth this whole journey just to hear them! Two students were chosen to speak words of gratitude on behalf of their school. John also gave some heartfelt remarks. It was a moving and emotional time in that wonderful new campus center.

After the nurses college we climbed back into the bus with a new guide, Mr. Muro. Muro is a scrubby looking little guy who would be easy to look past if you didn't know him. Muro is a palliative care nurse. He visits patients scattered all over the lower slopes of the mountain in that region.  It quickly becomes clear how important Muro’s work is on this mountain.  

Mr. Muro on the left
There are fourteen hundred such patients scattered throughout the area surrounding Machame Hospital and Muro knows exactly where each one of these people is to be found. You probably know flashier people than Muro, but you don’t know anyone doing more necessary or meaningful work than he is doing, day in and day out.

We visited both of the Houses for Health homes that were provided by the 2013 Vision Trip group. Both families were so proud and grateful to welcome our group to their safe, dry new homes. We also visited a family suffering from chronic illness and living in a terrible house not conducive to health and healing. I believe our Vision Trip 2014 group will have something to say about this situation.

We wrapped up this very full day with a great German dinner at a cool lodge hidden back in the forest. Tomorrow will be a long day at worship as we celebrate the retirement of Rev. Urio. Everyone in the group is doing well. Our teenagers are doing a fantastic job representing Prince of Peace!

No comments:

Post a Comment