**This is the first of day-by-day recap blog posts about PPIHN's September 2019 trip to Zambia. Each trip I do these posts to give an in depth look at what PPIHN is all about--to see what amazing things God is doing through this ministry, to describe what we as team members cannot in just a conversation with you and to be accountable to those who donate to make these trips happen.
This trip we saw 57 patients total for prosthetics, orthotics and physical therapy, and we fabricated 26 new prostheses during the trip. And all of this happened in just 9 working days! Our prayer is that all the people we were able to help saw the love of Christ through our work, our words and our actions.
Our journey started on Saturday, September 14th, earlier for the guys than the gals. Andy and Graham traveled from Minneapolis to DFW airport in the afternoon, then Amanda, Traci and myself met them (and introduced ourselves for the first time) inside the terminal at DFW.
The Texas gals after check-in with 15 bags.
Group photo after meeting in the terminal.
Team Introductions (L to R):
First time team members Andy (prosthetist) and Graham (technician) from Minnesota. They heard about Prosthetic Promises through an O&P magazine article that referenced our use of the All-Terrain knee from LegWorks in Zambia and then contacted us to see about joining the team on a trip. Amanda (physical therapist) from DFW Texas, who was part of the April 2018 team. Katie (prosthetist/orthotist) from Gainesville, Texas, who is a long time team member and board member for PPIHN. Traci (prosthetist/orthotist) from Houston, Texas, who was part of the April 2017 team.
After meeting up with Andy and Graham and introductions, the British Airways counter paged Traci and myself about the container with resin that we checked in as luggage. After conversations with multiple people, explaining what resin is, MSDS sheet reference and tons of prayer (and panic on my end), they agreed to allow the resin onto the plane. It was absolutely necessary that the resin get through to Zambia, as we cannot make any prostheses without the resin to laminate the sockets.
After the extremely stressful resin issue, we left on our first flight from DFW to London. In London, we had a 9 hour layover so took advantage of the time to go out into the city for a little sightseeing and touristy stuff....saw Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, etc and had fish and chips for lunch before catching the Tube back to Heathrow airport.
London touristy selfie!
Our flight from Heathrow to Johannesburg left over an hour late after sitting on the tarmac due some luggage issue, which made us really close on our connection at Johannesburg. We got off the plane in Johannesburg when were supposed to start boarding the plane to Livingstone...so we had to RUN across the airport to catch our flight.
In Livingstone, we had 1 of our 19 bags total not make it. We filled out the necessary paper with contact info to get our last trunk sent to Choma by bus when it would arrive the next day for us to pick up. Protashow, our Zambian team member, was at the airport with the van and trailer from New Day to pick us up and all of our luggage.
After about a 3 hr bus ride, we arrived at New Day Orphanage and was greeted by everyone with handshakes, hugs and singing. We then unloaded our trunks of supplies at the PPIHN clinic before dinner and settling in at The Ark (guesthouse).
Lots of introductions!
Such a sweet greeting with all the New Day kids!
Our travel to Zambia was definitely not the smoothest our team has had, but we were thankful to be at New Day and ready to get to work first thing Tuesday morning with seeing patients.
Next post: Tuesday, Sept. 17: Patients from the Macha area