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 painting. 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 children. Numerous games 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 – several 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 some 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.