Sunday, We began our adventure on Thursday afternoon and after 3 flights and over 27hrs we made it to Benin on Friday night. We were greated with 30 degrees temp, and I’m sure 95% humidity, I’m not complaining I love the heat but somehow my feet have another opinion and think they must swell to the level of not being able to recognize where my ankles should be.. lol., Saturday was a day of visiting the grounds some of the workers and the OR. It was nice to see that they have kept the OR clean and keep with the teachings given thus far. The hospital has expanded on the grounds they now have a 3rd OR and lab where they can do routine blood work, this is so important as they have so many cases of Malaria that get diagnosed.
The afternoon was nice especially for our newcomers, we were able to walk then “canoe” to the village of Lokpo. The kids,, what can I say… they are stunning and so so happy. I only wish that our kids could appreciate and be half as happy as what these children are. The soccer balls have given lite up those little faces and they played and played for hours. We danced, ran and sang with them I honestly don’t know who was happier at that moment, the kids or myself… I keep saying and will keep saying it, as much as we teach them and bring them a smile they teach us happy with the basics of life, being outside, playing and laughing.
Later Saturday evening an emergency came in and a little 13-year-old boy needed his appendix removed. Todd, Vanessa and I went into the OR, to my surprise I was reunited with my longtime friend Emilienne, We hugged for so long, so happy to see each other. I have not seen her in 3 years it was amazing to see her and as always she tells me I have to stay here, God loves her. I also reunited with Epiphane and Hospice other OR employees, our reunion was amazing. The connection or bond that is created with these wonderful people is so special and so dear to me. All I can say is that I will forever be thankful. On another note, the little boy did well and is recovering.
Today Sunday, woke up exhausted.. the time change and the trip caught up… Today is a rest day for the hospital workers, no emergencies to see. Some of us went to mass then we packed up and went on a little adventure to the village of Widah. This is the village that the slaves were traded for work in factories or personal slaves. nothing, These people were traded for nothing,, beads alcohol.. they were kept hostage until they were ready to be sent by ship. This journey would take 12 weeks and many died during this journey. We walked on the beach where they embarked the ship this is called the gates of no return, for many they died on the journey and others never to return home. The beach was nice, sand was orange and some jump in the ocean to freshen up and play in the waves. We finished the day at the school were Irma Monique congregation has done an amazing job building schools with donations from Canadians and Italians. We were greeted by the nuns, did a visit of the grounds, had supper and made our way back to our Home for the week. All is well, I think everyone enjoyed there day and appreciated the fact that we had the time to visit and learn more about the culture and history of this country.
Tomorrow we start surgeries and see what awaits us for the week.
Good night, Judy