"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen."
1 Peter 4:10-11 (NIV)

Saturday, Sept. 3- Monday, Sept. 5: Travel, work on the way and arrival at New Day Orphanage

**This is the first of many blog posts about Prosthetic Promises' 2016 Trip to Zambia. New Day Orphanage hosts us for our trips to the Mapanza, Zambia area. You can check out more about New Day at www.newdayorphanage.org.

The trip to Zambia is a long one. We started on Saturday, Sept. 3 at DFW airport, from there to Washington DC---to Johannesburg, South Africa (with a 1-hour stop in Accra, Ghana to let people off, people on and refuel)---overnight Sunday in Johannesburg---flight to Livingstone, Zambia on Monday---then finally about a 4-hour bus ride to New Day Orphanage. These trips remind me how very huge Earth is. 

Our group getting checked in at DFW

18 bags to check in. (With only a little rearranging to stay under 50 lbs each)

L to R: Jacey (volunteer staying 6 months at New Day), Rochelle (Suzanne's cousin), Suzanne (prosthetist), Cole (Suzanne's son), Jason (doing solar install at New Day), me (prosthetist), Chris (engineer doing solar install), John (ocularist)

In Johannesburg, we had to get all of our checked bags and store them at the airport since we had an overnight layover, and then we were picked up by the van from the Airport Game Lodge where we stayed overnight. It was nice sleeping in an actual bed and a breakfast before flying to Livingstone. 

Morning view of the lodge. We had a nice breakfast with ostrich egg omelets!

Landing in Livingstone

Chelle and the Livingstone airport behind her

All 18 bags made it to Livingstone. Praise God! We got everything loaded on the New Day bus and then headed to Olga's restaurant in Livingstone for John's first patient. 

While Blu and John went in to the restaurant, we all stayed on the bus. Here's the bus parked outside Olga's.

This is Sophia, who works at Olga's restaurant. When Blu's family was eating there one day, Cason, their youngest son saw that this lady had only one eye. Blu then talked to her about John's work and us coming. John evaluated her in Livingstone and then gave her money for transport to get to New Day the next week for fitting of her prosthetic eye. 

Our next stop was the Zimba Eye Clinic on the drive to New Day. John had made contact with this eye clinic in 2014 to let them know about our yearly trips. There is a missionary opthamologist from California who makes trips to this clinic. He happened to be here at the same time we came, so we stopped by so John could meet him in person.

John and Blu talking with the new opthamologist at the Zimba clinic and the opthamologist from California. 

Contact info was exchanged, and they will help notify patients about John's work and our yearly trips to the Mapanza area to provide prosthetic services. 

When we started to leave the Zimba clinic, the bus wouldn't start. Everyone out of the bus except our driver, Blu, to push the bus to get it started again. Thankfully that worked to get us the rest of the way to New Day. 

On the way to New Day. All the luggage and bags in the back with everyone sitting up front. 

We stopped in Choma to get gas and for a bathroom break. Here's a glimpse of the street across from the gas station. The streets are very busy with cars, motorcycles and people walking everywhere.

Jacey and Chris enjoying conversation on the ride. 

This was an in depth conversation about marriage customs in Zambia. Quite interesting. 

The wonderful Jacey. She is amazing! She just graduated high school in May and is taking a gap year before college. She's spending 6 months at New Day Orphanage as a volunteer. I'm just in awe of this girl. It was wonderful getting to spend a few weeks with her and getting to know her.

John and Maxwell.

When we arrived at New Day, all the kids and staff were gathered to greet us. This was I think the only time I got to hold Justin (Jason and I are his sponsors). Otherwise, he was scared of me and wouldn't come to me. 

The electricity was out when we arrived at New Day, so we ate dinner by candlelight and then sat outside to enjoy the stars while having orientation with Blu and Darbi. 

A long and already eventful few days to get to New Day....we were excited to get started at the clinic first thing on Tuesday. 

*Next post: Tuesday, Sept. 6--Clinic set up

Tuesday, Sept. 6- Clinic set up

Since our supplies and equipment were in several different places at New Day, we dedicated Tuesday to setting up the clinic before patients on Wednesday. 

We stored supplies and equipment from last year at the guesthouse. 

Loading supplies onto a trailer to drive up to the clinic. Thankfully we had help with all the loading and unloading.

The arts & crafts room had other supplies and equipment that arrived on the shipping container earlier this year. This included the generators we needed in case of power outage. Waiting on the generators to get there was the reason our trip was moved from our usual Spring date to September.

We were happy to see a box with the sewing machine. There was still another container that hadn't arrived yet, so we were assessing what was there and what was on the container on its way.

Then...it was off to the clinic. Jason estimated the walk from The Ark (guesthouse) to the clinic is about 1/3 mile. 

Front porch view. The covered porch is a great area for patients to sit in the shade while waiting.

First look at the inside of the clinic. The clinic is still in construction and needing outside doors (which will be metal garage doors), finished interior walls, ceiling, plumbing and some electrical. 

Another first look view.

Strategizing how to set things up. This picture shows my initial thought..."Oh my!". I was a bit overwhelmed with the clinic still in construction and how to set up, but Suzanne sprung into action with a plan.

Sweeping and shoveling out dirt before moving equipment in. 

Suzanne and I set up workbenches and equipment where things would flow smoothly in fabrication, John worked on setting up his room with all of his equipment, Cole, Chelle and Jacey helped organize supplies and Protashow installed light switches and electrical outlets.

Introducing Protashow. We are very excited to have him join the Prosthetic Promises team. He will be paid staff “on the ground” in Zambia. Protashow has been assisting PPIHN since the first trip in 2012, acting as a translator. He was able to work with us more this year to help with repairs and fabrication of prostheses as well as translating and transporting patients. We will continue to train him during each trip for prosthetic care and plan to pay for his tuition for him to go to school to learn prosthetics in the near future.

Workbenches set up and organizing supplies.

John's work area. 

Setting up the Trautman sander.

Jason bringing more supplies up to the clinic for us.

While going through all the totes and boxes, organizing and arranging we discovered that the sewing machine and sewing machine motor were there, but not the table. This is an industrial sewing machine with table. I was really disappointed right about then. The other sewing machine we have is so frustrating to work with. Right about that time, Blu received a call that the other shipping container was in Lusaka (capital city about 280 km away) and would be traveling to Choma, the nearest city, overnight. Blu would be able to pick up the contents in Choma the next day. We were excited the sewing machine table, garage doors for the clinic and other workbenches and storage would arrive! 

We got the clinic set up for patients on Wednesday. It was great having the time to clean up, set up and organize the clinic before the rush of patients arriving. 

Day 1 of work for Jason and Chris with the solar equipment at the dining hall for the orphanage. They got some of the equipment put together and the pole cemented into the ground that will hold the solar panels. 

Workday 1 complete. So happy to be back in Zambia!

*Next post: Wednesday, Sept. 7 --Patients from Macha

Wednesday, Sept. 7- Patients from Macha

Wednesday started with Protashow driving John, Suzanne and I to the Macha radio station to pick up patients. The 3 of us went with Protashow to screen patients at the radio station in order to only bring back the ones we could help. There were so many people waiting when we got there! We had Protashow tell everyone to split up---eye patients on the left and leg patients on the right. We then screened each person to see if we could help them. There is a lot of confusion on what services we are actually providing, especially with John's ocular prosthetics. 

This little guy could have used some braces, but we don't have the ability to make plastic braces since we don't have an oven. 

This man had elephantiasis of his left leg. He knew we couldn't do anything about his leg, but he just came for new crutches. His forearm crutches were in disrepair. We sent a pair of crutches back with Protashow to him. 

Patients loading on the bus 

There were many people that John evaluated that just needed eyeglasses. He had Protashow tell those people that he would send glasses back later in the day when the patients that we were taking were brought back from New Day. There were also several people that were blind who still had both eyes or were not candidates for being fit with a prosthetic eye. John ended up with 8 people who were candidates to go back to the clinic. 

Suzanne and I had several people who needed a prosthetic leg or repair to their current prosthetic leg. There were 3 or 4 children who were brought by parents that had neurological disorders. This was just heartbreaking...several could have benefited from orthoses that we just don't have the ability to make since we don't have an oven or plastics. It was very difficult to tell these parents that we could not help their children. 

With the bus full of patients and their family members, we headed back to the clinic at New Day. When we got to the clinic with the bus full of patients, we saw a huge group of people waiting. 

I was officially overwhelmed at this point. Protashow talked with everyone to figure out what each person was there for. Most people were there for eyeglasses. 

We don't actually do eye exams. We just let people try the glasses until they find a pair that help them either read up close or see far off, which ever they need.

John gave the glasses to Jacey to spread out on the table and help people with finding a pair.

Jacey did a wonderful job helping everyone with the glasses! There were so many people, and I'm sure it was a bit hectic.

While Jacey had the eyeglasses set up in the center of the room, John, Suzanne and I started taking patients into exam rooms to get started evaluating and casting. 

Jessica came back this year for new supplies for her leg and got a new pair of shoes. Her prosthesis was made in 2014 and is working well for her. She seems more confident with the prosthesis now and is trusting it more when walking.

Suzanne and Jessica

Joel came for repair. He got his leg last year after being seen in 2014 for casting and not getting the leg until 2015 because he didn't come back for fitting. He got new supplies and a new foot since his current foot was broken. 

This is Morrice. He came late during our trip last year, and we didn't have time to see him. I was SO glad to see he came this year. It was so heartbreaking that we didn't have time last year to make him a leg.

Morrice lost his leg in an accident when he fell into a fire.

This is Pilford. He had a prosthesis that was broken. We kept the broken prosthesis and used the socket to make a new one for him.

This is Rhoda. She has clubfoot, so has never walked. 

Suzanne casted her for a bent knee prosthesis. Even though she has not had an amputation, she can wear this prosthesis with her knee bent to be able to walk.

John saw this patient last year, and he came back for follow up this year.

Checking out his prosthetic eye using a hand mirror.

John talking with a patient with a translator.

The guy on the left is Melvin. We first saw him in 2014, he came for follow up last year and needed repairs this year. His prosthesis was in disrepair, so he had to leave it with us for a few days for us to get it repaired and new knee and foot put on.

Lots of waiting. There were so many people it took most of the day to see everyone.

Hachoompwe came for follow up this year. He needed new parts including the fabric "sail" for his socket. He had to come back for the new parts to give us time to make the custom fabric sail.

Suzanne also saw a 16 year-old girl who had a prosthesis that was broken and not fitting well, so she was casted for a new prosthesis. And I saw Osia for follow up and new supplies. I had made her a new prosthesis last year, which just needed some adjustments and new foot.

For day one, we had 9 prosthetic patients---3 new people and 6 repairs. Three of the people for repairs would have to come back. It was so helpful to have Protashow translate with patients and assist with repairs! We were also so thankful for Chelle, Cole and Jacey for helping get us parts or tools as we needed them during the busy day. 

During the day, Blu had gone to Choma to pick up the contents of the shipping container. So the garage doors, workbenches, shelves, more supplies and the sewing machine table were all brought to the clinic. I was so excited to be able to put together the new sewing machine to use this year! It was a busy first day seeing patients.

*Next post: Thursday, Sept. 8- Patients from Choma