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