Zambia Day 7: Return from Kalomo

We had a good night at the house in the Namwianga mission compound. The mission appears to be well funded and the buildings all look relatively new and well-maintained. After breakfast with the 20+ group from Harding University, we went to visit the Haven (the orphanage where their students work). There are three separate Haven houses – one for babies on formula, one for toddlers and one for medically fragile babies who are HIV positive or have tested positive for TB.

One of the Haven houses:

Harding faculty Dr. Dan Tullios, Alfred Mwamba, Jenn, me and Dr. Beckie Weaver:

 Water tank: these dot the countryside – water is not necessarily always readily available – again a la India 

Alfred and baby:

We visited many of the babies at the orphanage. The Haven was very well kept and maintained, and well-equipped and the babies each had a crib with their names listed. There were several twins! These are babies who have either one or both parents who have passed on, or are too ill to care for them. One thing I did notice – despite the lerge number of babies, there was little crying. In fact I did not hear a single baby cry – just a couple of whimpers. For the sake of privacy, we are not posting any pictures with the baby’s face.

Jenn and baby:

 Haven inside

We observed some of the Harding students working with the babies on oral stimulation for swallowing, as well as some language enrichment groups doing circle time and singing songs with the toddlers. We have learned so much from this trip to Kalomo – it was worth the long drive over the 2 days and we owe Alfred and Dr. Weaver many many thanks!!You can see their class blog at http://hizpath2012.wordpress.com/

We also visited the Rural Health Center run within the mission compound and Alfred discussed the primary ear care services available there – which are basically non-existent. Ear infections, both bacterial and fungal are a huge problem and seeing draining “pus” from ears is very common. The treatment used at the centre: gentamycin drops – which with repeated treatments can of course be ototoxic. Alfred discussed with them how one of their medical professionals may go up to Lusaka to receive training in primary ear care and also examined the ears of a couple of babies at the Haven before we left. From these discussions we learned a lot about the lack of specialty care available for common ear diseases that we would treat very easily in Western countries.

We left Kalomo around 11:30am for the 5-hour drive back to Lusaka. One thing of note regadring the drive – the highway was really quite good!!! So although certain roads within Lusaka are quite poorly maintained, the highway was great!

One mission I had on the way back was to try and get a picture of cows along the road. I missed many times and here is the best I could do! 🙂

Another excitement during the journey was that we had an oncoming wehicle carrying a large load that passed us and just before it did, a chair fell out of the vehicle into the middle of the road! Fortunately, it did not cause anyone any harm and we were able to avoid it.

Back to Lusaka – the city:

And vendors on the street: they sell anything from fruit and veggies, to clothing and trinkets, to even talk time for cell phones (cards)!!

Town:

We got back to the Palmwood Lodge to a different room, but when we tried one of our adapters to charge the laptop, we could not make it fit!!! We were quite upset and asked for our old room back because it had a power strip with different kinds of outlets. The receptionist Lindiwe was very sweet and checked out the other room and said that she understood the problem, and shifted us back to our old Room #25 – “home sweet home” I guess! 🙂 Later we found out from Alfred that the way to put in a 2-pin plug to fit the 3-pin outlet is to push in the top pin with a pencil!! Warning: Don’t try this at home – outlets here are turned on with a switch and there is no power on when using the pencil in the outlet!! 🙂

Jenn and I decided to venture out to Manda Hill mall in the evening. So our lodge had given us a reliable cab driver’s number and we called him to get there. We wandered a little and checked out prices for groceries and food (somewhat in preparation for our visit next year in case we decide to have food in the place where we decide to stay). We had dinner at a small Indian restaurant: Curry in a Hurry! 🙂

Tomorrow we have a few more meetings and we are almost to the end of our trip!

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