To summarize and amazingly productive trip–in spite of all the frustrations we got it done.
To start out with, because of fears for our security we were forced to pay for a 20 man security detail.
But-inspite-of taking a big chunk out of our budget, they turned out to be very competent, we had NO security concerns with them around, they were nice, polite and helped us a lot with organizing patients at the clinic. The peace of mind was worth it!
Then we got hung up in the nightmarish bureaucracy of customs floating between a system that totally discourages any kind of import or export and corrupt customs agents trying to make a buck you never know what the truth is. As a result we still have not gotten the silicone necessary to fabricate panels, but Dr. Komp, used to dealing with developing countries’ challenging systems, instituted a new and less expensive method of fabricating the panels without using the imported silicone, taught the students to install the systems without actually having all the equipment.
So-inspite of the fact that we got none of the solar materials while Dr. Komp was in country, he adapted and when some of it did arrive they were able to install it without him–and probably learned it more thoroughly that way.
The midwife training and been cancelled twice because of security concerns and visa issues, but that allowed for more thorough preparations so that when we finally were able to proceed, Dr. Bob was really prepared and it went of better than we could have imagined.
Themedical clinic treated 479 patients in only seven days, with half of five of those days on half staff because of the midwife training. But we ended up with satisfied patients and our reputation increasing. There were more arriving as we left that Ali is still treating.
Our new Toyota pickup broke down at the clinic leaving it impossible for us to do the planned 3 day mobile midwife follow up.
So instead we had a very productive one stop visit to Foudouk, where we had a typical warm Wodaabe welcome
decided to install some of our solar equipment at their school,
Bobbecame a hero, not for his medical achievements, but for his balloon distribution.
Wesaw the progress on our newly funded (in part by Thacher school microcredit association) Women’s co-op house
Wehad purchased a new motorcycle for our nurse Ali for mobile missions, but in the first week, he had an accident after which he could hardly walk for the duration of the mission, but in spite of this set back, he courageously worked throughout the mission and the motorcycle was not hurt so he will be able to start the mobile follow up next month when he is fully healed.
Our change of plans allowed us to visit the garden where our Moringa is happy and ready to start supplying the clinic with nutritional supplements and our onions will be ready for harvest in December, when the price is expected to reach its highest in a year.
Andfor a little visit to the desert,
where Bob and I hike to the top of Tiguidit
Fromthere we could see the barcan dunes which signify the beginning of a desert.
Andon the way home, we had the good luck to see a caravan on its way from Timia, to Zinder and then back to Bilma to make a three month circuit to trade millet for salt.
And HARD WORK is always rewarded. To see all that has been accomplished in these pictures is so telling. The Sahara is still such a place of beauty and intrique…ONIONS….Gills Onions will be proud!
Bodie(my grandson) asked me the other day if he could have his vitamins from that “eating tree”…..My Moringa is still growing too.
Well done seems so small for ALL THAT HAS BEEN DONE!!!!!!
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