Day 7 – Third Day of Clinic

In case you’re wondering, “Where are the pictures?” We have them – hundreds of them! But we haven’t been able to email the photos since we’ve been here because of bandwidth issues. However, we promise to inundate you with pictures and videos when we get back home. The pictures will do such a better job in showing what it’s like here, how we set up the clinic and mostly – how beautiful these children are.

For our last day of clinic, we started with the large 5th grade class and then moved to the little children (K/1 grades.) Several of the K/1 parents came to accompany their children, demonstrating once again what a strong community this is here. While we were doing the clinic, Janice did her hand washing class with the two remaining grades, and was even assisted by some of her “alumni” students from yesterday.

Malaria continued to the constant health concern and hygiene issues were more prevalent with the younger children. Since we finally got to the clinic early today, it was a long day of seeing patients and more time consuming with the young ones. It was more painful today than in previous days to not have medications to treat those in need, but we could only do and bring so much in one visit … it just begs the question of “What now?”

After we got through the kids, we broke for lunch. Some of us got to “help” the school cooks make lunch for the kids – which was basically stirring nashima over a hot fire. Nashima is their staple food source which is made from maize/cornmeal and eaten with a relish (generally a cooked down green vegetable.) It is filling, but lacking in nutrition. On days when there isn’t enough for nashima, the children eat porridge. Every day – same thing.

After lunch, Mat taught a First Aid clinic for all the teachers and walked them through the many supplies we were able to leave with them. (Tomorrow we are also transporting more supplies to the nearest clinic.) They took notes and asked many questions. Then, we did the clinic for the 11 teachers. After watching and listening all week, the teachers were eager to spend some time with JR and Mat and discuss their medical issues. Overall, they are a very healthy bunch – which is a great thing as they have an enormous task here at the school. We complain about large class sizes of 30 kids, but here – the classes are 70-100 children! Beth then taught the teachers how to use the blood pressure cuffs we are leaving with them (as hypertension is an issue in this community.)

All told we saw about 350 kids out of the 600 school population. We learned today that many parents kept their children home from the clinic out of fear. Fear that we would find something wrong with their child, and then assume it was because they were bad parents or unable to care for their child. Only more clinics in the future will help to dispel that myth, and so … there is so much more work to do …

Tomorrow, the medical folks will be touring a medical clinic here in Chipata in the morning. We will head out to the school after lunch for Beth, Missy, and Janice (the DH staff) to debrief with teachers. We’ll then set up the cabinet with the medical records and first aid supplies at the school, and say our goodbyes to the children.


  1. Finally home from Florida and abble to read the blog. So proud of you guys and wistfully wish I was back “home”. The african children are so beautiful and praise God you are there to help. I have to admit reading the blog made me teary and homesick. Take care and enjoy your days to come. Colleem/Mom

  2. Linda Cutshall says

    Dearly beloved,

    My prayers are with you in the deep sorrow you will experience as you say goodbye to these beautiful and very loved by God people. May His hand of blessing rest upon you as you share in their suffering and also remember their joy of life.

    With you in Spirit and Heart,

  3. I am deeply touched by the work you’ve done,… I’m sure your minds are racing with how much more there is to do, and what is to come. Thank you for giving of your time and talents, and being a blessing! Can’t wait to see the pictures and here about the experiences. Have a wonderful time during your safari!!! You are an inspiration to my daughter Olivia. Sunja

  4. Chris Robbins says

    You have all been doing alot of good work for these children. They are going to miss all of you. Can’t wait to see pictures and talk with you, JR. I miss you!

  5. Lynne Faris Blessing says

    What beautiful pictures you are painting of coming together with the community there! I’m praying for a good time of debriefing with the DH leaders. Can’t wait to hear more! lynne

  6. Dori Rutter says

    You are doing some amazing work and you know these children are so appreciative of any help that comes their way. It sounds like there is still so much to do. Keep up the good work!! We can’t wait to see the pictures!!

    Jeff & Dori Rutter

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