Wheelsblog: Uganda (27.10.16)
We were greeted with clear blue skies and relentless sun and were very very grateful for the shaded veranda. The tent had been full on our arrival. One group had started out at 2am and arrived at 5am but to some degree we have gotten used to the waiting as it seems to be cultural.
We were conscious from the outset that we had swindling resources to offer people, in terms of wheelchairs particularly and we had to get creative with cardboard boxes and foam for the children who had sitting balance and potential. We also experimented with a tutorial class for parents with children to give them basic pointers on positioning, stretches and activities to encourage head control. The time invested in streamlining the triage and allocation of our clients paid off in that we were more accurately able to match the talents of the therapists with the needs of the clients.
A heavy rain shower freshened the atmosphere and we finished the day in good heart. Necessity being the mother of invention, we found the creative aspects of the day quite satisfying and trust that most people went away happy and with something to improve their lives.
We met some lovely people during the day. Suné worked with a 90 year old man who had come in hope of a wheelchair but walked away happily with a walking frame. He was fascinated that he could also sit down on it and afterwards enjoyed a very animated discussion with the Pastor. Kathy worked with a young girl who we thought we would be able to find a suitable chair for, but ended up prescribing her a child's walker. We had tried it unsuccessfully with various clients earlier in the week and it was great to see it with such a determined final owner!
Our final client was a six year old boy who Anj had to carry away screaming from the waiting tent, with his faithful granddad following close behind. We learnt later that the only white people he had seen before had been running vaccination clinics and so that's what he thought was happening! Tears soon turned to beautiful smiles as Anj and Philip transformed an adult chair into something that fitted him and enabled him to self propel independently.
As our distribution is drawing to a close, we are praying for a tangible presence of God to be understood by all and for His glory to be seen in the practical and personal.