Monday, October 14, 2013

Kangama Village

by Heather Quinn

We woke up at 7 to eat a warm breakfast and get packed up for our day in the new village. We did some sorting and packing of supplies and meds the night before. There is a possibility that we may stay the night in the village at the Chiefs house. We each packed up a bag of our personal belongings in case that happens including our mosquito nets. Phebian, her father, Pastor Joshua, and Junior meet us in the morning to load the truck. On the way to the village we stop to exchange money at the local bank. Unfortunately, they only take 100's and 50's and we only received equal exchange for the 100 dollar bills. The 50 dollar bills we received half the exchange rate. We were disappointed but it's okay. We have more than enough so we are grateful. On the way, we stop for gas and some baguette bread. The bread is so fresh - crispy on the outside and light and fluffy in the middle. As we were stopped, I asked a young boy his name. He said 'alphamatata' and he's 12 years old. I told him my name and he said 'Thats a beautiful name. I love you as a friend.' I smiled and said 'I love you as a friend too.' That just melted my heart. His smile, laugh, and pleasant spirit. We continue on our way, windows down, listening to Caribbean music, and dodging puddles. It's a beautiful day - partially cloudy with sub peaking through and cool, humid air.

Children in Kangama Village

 We stopped in Jaiama village on the way and saw the Aha-Mass clinic run by an RN. There is a men's ward, women's ward, lab with microscope, and reception area. There is a student nurse in training. We also met the first man who received a hernia repair. He was so grateful and had a big smile on his face when we met him. We met the chiefs wife named Masbona and she showed us around the clinic that she helped start. They have 2 SECHN's, 2 CHO's, and 2 MCHA's. On our way out, we met the mother of the young boy who also got a hernia repair. He's doing well. Phebian tells us that Jaiama was the first village to have medical missionaries and primary schools. The VP's wife is from Jaiama as well. It's primarily a mining village of gold and diamonds. According to Phebian, the paramount chief gets a portion of the profits and puts that money back into the community. It shows because it's a well kept and organized village with a water pipeline coming from the damn to homes, the school and medical clinic. 

Me and a young lady in Kangama
As our bumpy drive continues, we came across two others - one man and one women who received hernia repairs. When they saw the truck pull through their section of the village, they ran out to meet Phebian. We arrived in the Kangama village after 2 hours. Upon arrival, Phebian met with the village elders. We met a few and one of then named me SaKangama. Sa means first and Kangama is the village name. They had a community meeting for us and welcomed us to their village. Some of the elders gave us a tour of the entire village including the medical clinic building, the primary and secondary schools, and the world vision office. We played with children, talked with village leaders, and did our community health presentations. The turn out was about 50-60 people who attended. We did a CPR, helping babies breathe, and birth birth kit demonstration. They seemed engaged and asked some good questions. There was an RN, CHO (community health worker), and two TBA's (traditional birth attendants) at our presentation. We look forward to working with them at the medical clinic tomorrow. Our clinic starts at ten and we plan to leave Uncle Bens at 8am. It's an hour and a half drive. 

We had a great day today and our team is still in good spirits. Please continue to keep us in prayer.

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