GO Team visit!

The hospital recently had a group of seven people visit for just under three weeks.  This group was a GO (Global Outreach) Team. They are coordinated and sent by CURE headquarters, and the Global Outreach Office Mission Statement says, “To mobilize short-term volunteers with excellence to serve the agenda of our hospital staff and to engage as long-term advocates raising awareness and funds for the healing of disabled children.”

This group was comprised of medical students, future medical students, a physician, and a woman about to move to the UAE, where her husband will be working for the CURE hospital in Al Ain.  Many of the visitors were eager to watch surgeries, so they took turns observing in the OT (Operating Theatre), and helping with the work projects.

After an early-morning arrival, they moved into a Guest House, unpacked and rested a bit.  An orientation and hospital tour were conducted in the afternoon, and then a trip to the grocery store.  The next morning, their “real” visit began – hospital devotions, followed by 4painting the pillarpainting.  Each building has a set of pillars at each entrance.  The paint was fading and peeling and looked awful.  In addition to being decorative, the colors help identify which building houses which service – this building is the Out-Patient Department – so we steer clinic patients to the orange pillars.  The team painted 3 sets of pillars for the OPD, and 2 sets for the children’s ward, as well as the storage building.  What a difference!  We are looking forward to the U(university) Team finishing up the pillars in the other buildings.

Afternoons were spent playing with the childre5playing beachballn.  Numerous games2balloon done of rolling the mini-beach ball were played, and a couple of the GO Team made balloon  animals for the children.  This is a picture of a giraffe, made during a practice session, before heading over to the children’s ward.


Weaving was another skill that was shared by our visitors –7weaving 6visitingseveral of the guardians were eager to learn technique that involved weaving the cord between their fingers.  Although many of the family members just sat on the beds, several had the cord stretched way out between the beds, using the whole length of their arms to weave the thread into a long cord.

After almost a week at the hospital, the GO Team went on an outreach to a small village south of Lusaka.  There, they lived in tents, were fed by the local women who cooked over open fires, helped with a VBS-type program, and showed the “Jesus” film.  After 4 days there, they went farther south to Livingstone, to see Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World.

Upon their return to Lusaka, and to the hospital, more painting occured – but this time it was more decorative – animals, flowers, and a beautiful sunrise (?or sunset?) were added to the children’s ward walls.  Some of this painting was done to brighten up the rooms, but IMG_0291some of it was to camouflage areas of wall that had been patched, repairing dents and scratches.  The sunrise behind the nurses’ station was a bonus piece of art for all to enjoy.

The GO Team brought many gifts for the children, decorated our hospital, left sports’ equipment, and memories of talks, singing, laughter and a lot of help – thank you!8group photo



From Zambia to America!

In late April, I made a trip back to the US.  My motivation was to see Jonathan, Heather and Lydia, to be present at our grand-daughter’s first birthday, and to see Peter shortly after he returned from Tasmania. I was able to accomplish all three goals, and to do much more besides.1Mima Lydia

Linda Jones kindly hosted an open house for me to visit with CMC ladies.  I really enjoyed catching up with some dear friends, showing some pictures, and yummy munchies. After just three days in VT, I took a six day trip to NJ, PA and NY to see my sister, Paula, and her family. Chip and Margie came, too. That was such a treat, to see so many of the Pardee clan, but we missed Roz and her family. From NJ I drove to PA, and got to see Andy, Judy and AJ Groop over a cup of coffee (too short!), and then Tim’s sister, Beth for only a couple of hours (also too short a visit!)

My next stop was Endicott, to see Tim’s mother.  I was able to spend a couple of nights there, so that visit was a bit longer, but also too short – are you catching on to the theme?

2Lydia's b'day partyI was back in VT for about 10 days, including Lydia’s first birthday.  She was given a backyard party, with a lot of her friends and relatives – a big hit, until she got scared of her birthday candle!  mpe_2013may05 105After a nap, Lydia, Heather, Jonathan and I went to the Burlington waterfront, where L had her first taste of ice cream.  It was a new texture and temperature, but she was willing to eat several bites, so I have hopes that she will be an ice-cream lover like me!  I was thrilled to spend Lydia with balloonsome time with  Lydia while her parents worked, getting to play with her.  Like both her parents, Lydia loves music.  Actually, she seems to love noise – turning the cd player on, starting each of her noisy toys, and keeping the pages turning in her read-aloud books – all at the same time!  She was quite the busy little girl, rotating through each toy and book, making sure each one was playing!

The next week, I flew out to Portland, OR, to visit Peter.5Peter's house He returned from Tasmania 3 days earlier, so the timing was close.  We went out to eat that evening, and then the next day, he had to work.  7Mt HoodI went sightseeing with Dr Michelle Vessely, who I had met during her visit to Zambia to do plastic surgery.  We toured a lovely rose garden, as well as a scenic lookout point in her snazzy red convertible.  4Michelle Vessely car6Portland rose gardenRachel came south from Seattle for the rest of the weekend, and we all met at a local Ethiopian restaurant.  Despite having skyped several times, I was so pleased to 9Peter and MPE on bridgehave the opportunity to meet Rachel, and feel like I’ve made a new friend.  8Peter and Rachel at BrunchThe three of us had a great time on Mothers’ Day – church, a delicious brunch, then a waterfront walk.  We returned to the house I was renting, and Rachel and Peter cooked me a delicious dinner – complete with mint chocolate chip ice cream – my favorite!!   Later in the week, Peter 3Peter in tasting roomand I visited wineries, including where 10Astoriahe works, and drove to the coast, to look around Astoria. Just like my other visits, this one was lovely, but too short.

Back to VT for the last 10 days of the trip, including an open house for RGC at Mary-Margaret Larson’s, where once again, I enjoyed catching up, showing pictures, and yummy desserts.  Tim’s sister, Catherine, and her whole family drove over for a day to see Lydia, & I got to enjoy the visit, too.  I also spent several days just shopping for items on my “to buy in the US” list, and packing.

12Merciers11lydia with Peter's giftI managed to squeeze in a bit more time to play with Lydia, and then, after just a month, returned to Zambia, where I happily rejoined Tim.