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Friday, July 20, 2012

Medical Check-Ups - Ethiopia

My good friend, Kristin Roach, was recently in Ethiopia (in June) to work with Kebron, a CarePoint that she coordinates with Children's HopeChest and she was able to visit Trees of Glory along with a medical team from the USA.  Kristin was part of our volunteer team back in November of 2010, and she was thankful to be able to see the kids at Trees of Glory, the progress at the CarePoint and Simret (the director).

Each year, Bob Ruzicka from Colorado, leads a team of nurses to Ethiopia to conduct check-ups and medical care for the kids.  Kristin and her son, Dalton, were quickly shown the ropes and took part in the medical check-ups for the kids.

There were a few kids with ear infections or eye infections, and a few kids with fungal infections which were all treated by the medical team.  The CarePoint staff was provided with instructions and a full course of medicine for each child that needed antibiotics.  A few children required follow-up care and thanks to our medical fund (provided by sponsor families and donors), that care was provided immediately.

Here is a note from Kristin, about her experience at Trees of Glory:

When making my itinerary for my trip to Ethiopia, it had to include a return visit to Trees of Glory!  I just fell in love with the children there, the beauty of the location and of course Simret (the CarePoint director)!  I was especially excited to find out that we would be able to visit with a medical mission team.

The kids line up, waiting for their medical exams.

We partnered with Bob Ruzicka who has made previous visits to Children's HopeChest CarePoints doing medical exams.  We were fortunate to also have Yewbi with us.  She is the person who started Kebron CarePoint.  She also happens to be a nurse practitioner. 
When we arrived at Trees of Glory, the kids were all waiting for us.  They greeted us with a beautiful little song.  After introducing the team, we got down to work. 
We set up stations for the kids to come through.  Bob and Yewbi were at the first station.  They listened to the kids’ hearts and lungs, checked ears, eyes, nose and throats. 

After that, they moved to the station where I was working.  I was doing skin and feet exams.  I checked arms, legs and torsos for any rashes, sores or infections.  After that, I checked their feet.  Working on their feet was such a humbling experience.  Their little feet were smelly, dirty and often had calluses on their toes from wearing shoes that didn’t fit. 

The kids are always most excited about getting a sticker!

We would take wipes and start scrubbing their legs and feet.  Often it would take a few wipes to really get their feet clean.  The best part is when we would get a little giggle from being ticklish on the bottom of their foot!  We checked for any fungal infections around their toes and used anti-fungal cream when needed.

After they were all clean, we sent them to the next station to get lotion on, including a little hand and foot massage, nails painted for the girls (and even some boys!) and a sticker.  The children really loved the special attention and pampering they got.  As a matter of fact, some of them would take off their stickers and hide them so they could try and sneak back through the line again!

There was such a sweet spiritual aspect to cleaning their feet.  When I was praying about my trip and making plans as to what to do with the kids, I felt God was prompting me to wash their feet, as Jesus did.  I didn’t really know how to go about doing this.  Their isn’t ready access to clean water still in many places and it didn’t seem right to me to use bottled water to wash their feet.  I just rationalized it to myself to not do it. 
God is so patient with me!!  Even though I had convinced myself that it didn’t make sense to do this, He provided a way.  So, I picked up their little dirty, smelly feet and tenderly scrubbed them clean.  The smiles on their faces were precious to me.

1 comment:

Apryl said...

Wonderful post! What a great opportunity for Kristin, love seeing the familiar faces and hear that they are getting much needed medical attention. Spotted our little family in that first picture :) Thank you for sharing, Karen!