Awesome day! We left western province at 4am!! Got to see an amazing sunrise and the most magnificent clear sky full of stars! We arrived in Livingstone around 1230 and checked into the hotel! Some of us went swimming while others explored. We met back up around 4pm to catch a ride to go on Zambezi Sunset Cruise . We saw zebras, giraffes, Cape buffalo, hippos, baboons, elephants and lions with Cubs at a distance! And such an amazing sunset!!!! What a great and wonderful gift God has given us in his creation!!
Tiny people matter team taught their 4th and final HBB class in the western province. The total for here was 85 Helping Babies Breathe graduates !! For the trip the total was 111!!!! So very blessed to have had such a positive response from the provinces and for the team to have made such a significant impact!!
Our class was wrapped up with graduation, individual Photos (snaps) and the opportunity for the class to offer their feedback and words of encouragement , appreciation and gratitude. We presented the provincial officers with the HBB teaching equipment we were donating. There were 35 clinics that sent midwives and nurses to take our class within the western province.
We then washed up and headed to the orphanage to help with VBS! That was both fun and exhausting!!:) Leonard gave a speedy message on the hope of the lord and how he has a plan for all people !! Even these orphaned children deep on the bush!
We left there feeling recharged and then were given a tour of the hospital! Quite amazing how resourceful the nurses are! And ONE doctor to cover all the wards of the hospital!!! YIKES!!
We will be leaving the western province heading for livingstone tomorrow at 4am!! Pray for safe travels!!
Melissa for TPM team
Started with another beautiful day in Zambia. After breakfast we headed to our 3rd HBB class at the local midwifery school. We taught 19 excited nurses, doctors and midwives. Some traveled as far as 150 kilometer to attend our class. Many were the only midwife for the entire clinic but they were also responsible for emergencies as well as in patient care and all deliveries . Sounds a bit overwhelming!!!
After the graduation ceremony and photos were taken and distributed we offered a reading eye glass clinic. It's truly amazing to be a part of helping to improve people's ability to see, read, suture and do their job with better quality because they now have improved vision.
After a brief rest, water splashed on face, reapplication of deodorant , potty break and putting on a somewhat clean Tiny People Matter t shirt ....we were off to see the wizard... The wonder King of western province !!! We actually got to visit the royal museum and saw the palace behind gates. Pictures were not permitted 😪
We did boost the Zambian economy by purchasing MANY hand woven items at the gift shop. We had the unique opportunity to meet some of the young rowers of the king . When the low lands flood the King moves to his palace on the higher ground. He and his family and precious belongings are loaded into a row boat manned by 150 row men. They showed us the royal bow and special hand clapping! On our way back to our temporary home, we had the rare opportunity to see a native dancer in ceremonial garb ! Kinda freaky!!!! At first we thought we were being cursed by a witch doctor but not so!! However he charged us a few kwatcha to snap a photo! It was a packed day!!!
Lotsa Love from Linda and Melissa and TPM team Zambia
The team is in top gear with the training as a class of 18 is game on today. Our breakfast is served just-in- time as the hospital bus driver Fred pulls up for team to load up.
After training a graduation is graced by the principle tutor for school of midwifery . 17 in total managed to graduate and speacial donation is made to Lewanika General hospital of various hospital equipment . These donated items , I learnt , are in memory of one of TPM team member's friend's mother who died. This was so emotion as team kathie watched on.
Today we had pizza for lunch but more excitement was brewing in the team as we headed out to kids alive orphange for a visit. Lord help us see these kids in your own eyes. Not all these kids are orphans , some are abadoned, abused but all tiny people really matter in His eyes. A donation of various medicaments is done for the orphange clinic and team is loading up back to the lodge. Time well spent today.
All things bright and beautiful
All creatures great and small.
All things wise and wonderful ,
The Lord God made them all.
We arrived at the Provincial Medical Office where we were greeted by Matron Catherine who is the head of the maternal-fetal ward for the local hospital and Dr. Andrew who is the lead physician.
The room was filled with polite uncertainty by both parties because we were one of the first American teams to be permitted into the western province to provide education. However after a few minutes the mutual hesitation was lifted by humor and recognizing that our ultimate goal was to help the tiny people of Zambia.
Our first class was a group of midwifery students who were filled with nervousness, however an eagerness to learn. With some encouragement and yet again humor, their nervousness dissipated and lead to a very successful class. We ended our day by shopping in the local market where we received many curious and confused stares however we were always greeted with smiles and kindness.
We bought chitangas (traditional Zambian skirts), laughed and walked throughout town. We all ended the day exhausted and eager to see what the next day held for the team.
After a grueling 14 hours in the team van yesterday, we were rewarded with a day of rest and reconnection today.
We have settled in to our new accommodations at the Country Lodge in Mongu in the Western Provience of Zambia , and had a chance to connect with our new local coordinator and her community today by attending church and holding a mini-clinic for the congregation.
When we arrived on the grounds of St Francis Catholic Church in central Mongu for Sunday Mass we were welcomed by a boy, Emmanuelle, who is 7 years old and in Grade 1 in school. Upon first look at Emmanuelle you can’t help but to notice his extremely misshapen head, likely caused by some type of cranionsynstosis that was not able to be fully treated ( this is a condition in which the cranial sutures are fused at birth instead of open). Since his condition was not able to be treated it has resulted also in some mild disabilities in speech and muscle control of his limbs. Despite his physical limitations and differences, Emmanuelle is a bright and happy child who was an active participant in the church community, the church service and our after church health clinic activities. He loves to sing and dance and play games. He was also very intrigued by Marcus’ camera and the two of them became fast friends. Meeting Emmanuelle was a good reminder of the important work we are doing here in Zambia and the limited available resources to provide for children who are born needing specialty care and interventions; which we can easily access and take for granted in the US.
The priest and congregation gave us a warm welcome and said a blessing for our work in their community this upcoming week. Although the service had many familiar parts for the Catholics in our group there were some parts that seemed completely unique to Africa. I especially enjoyed the dancing altar boys who had moves like the Temptations, the step-dancing choir with incredible voices and it wouldn’t have been complete without the live drummers who put an African beat in every song.
After the church service our team offered a mini-clinic on the church grounds where we tended to the needs of adults by offering blood pressure screening and fittings for reading glasses; and for the kids we offered ear cleaning and basic first aid. Since the kids from the Mongu Parish didn’t have the same acute needs as the kids in the rural villages we spent most of the time with them playing games and singing songs.
We made it back to our hotel around 2PM (a pretty early day for us) and were able to do a bit of shopping at the local convenience store and then had the whole afternoon to relax and hang out together and learn more about each other by playing a guessing game. I learned who in our group was almost kicked out of nursing school, who has 6 brothers, who has cliff dived, who was crowned prom queen, who can’t speak Spanish, and who vomited while skydiving.
Less than a week ago we were a group of complete strangers but when you choose to put your passion in to action and join an adventure like this, there is no way to stay strangers for long. I’m truly looking forward to the next week in Zambia with these amazing people!
Kathi Randall – from California
Today the team packed up, said our goodbyes to all our old and new friends at FCE and began our LONG journey to the western province in a village called Mongu. Shine is our driver and he did an amazing job navigating around goats, trucks, bikes, oxen and the occasional baboon and Impala that would cross in front. We traveled for 14 hours to reach our final destination . Many many giggles and some very dicey potty stops!!!
We have now reached what will be our home for the next 6 days. The village of Mongu is ruled by a King and we will be the first group to bring the program of HBB a to this part of the country . We are excited about being the first to break ground here as a medical/nursing educational team. The province has been somewhat closed to "outsiders" and the King has approved our Coming. We will join in a local church service tomorrow and will be dressed in the village garb. Hoping to send many pics tomorrow!! Keep the thoughts and prayers coming!
My team is working so well together and we have had many blessings along the way!
Melissa and the Team
A few of us found that we could be on time in "5" minutes - flat. We started our day with a hearty breakfast and headed to our first encounter. We were on our way to meet a member of parliament "CK" who thanked us for our time in Zambia, wished us safe travels and we were on our way to our next destination.
Our first stop was with the Roan general hospital of midwifery. We received a tour of the labor and delivery area, peds, infants, pre and post labor ward and the NICU. Although the nurses were extremely resourceful with the little supplies they had I felt overwhelmed and saddened with the lack of equipment and for these fragile infants and children. I felt so much respect for the inguinity of these nurses and thanked God for the opportunities I've had to work in a bountiful environment.
After a filling lunch we were off to K block where we ran a mini medical clinic for about 150 children and several parents. We were greeted by warm eyes and smiling faces . The kids were singing and so happy to see us. We provided an eye exam and blood pressure clinic for the adults and mini medical exam for all children. Topical medications were applied and referrals were provided to address more serious health concerns. The entire visit I kept thinking how fortunate and blessed I am to live in the U.S.
The last stop we made today was to child life touch which is an orphanage of 19 children that is run by 2 women. Ages range from 3-19 years. The house is run more like a family and the love in that house was palpable.
The children were happy and welcoming and wanted nothing more than to share songs and stories with us . The entire TPM team had a great day - Cel
We awoke at 0615 to start our day after a relaxing night in kitwe. Our plans for the day were to teach a HBB (helping babies breath) class at Lifesong school to nurses, midwifes and birthing attendants . The purpose of this class was to provide essential training to women who are directly involved in the birthing process and are able to implement during an emergency.
The HBB class was to start at 0800 and slowly women poured into class . The excitement filled the air and you could tell the women were excited to learn and to share. 30 women in total attended and were of all age ranges and backgrounds but came with the same goal of "helping babies breathe".
This HBB training is essential to prevent premature and unexpected infant deaths . These skills and knowledge can be used to save infants who would otherwise not survive.
Class started at 0900 and continued until 1230. The purpose of class and TPM's mission was explained, educational booklets and pamphlets were reviewed and class began . Contents of the emergency birthing kit were examined by the women and most had seen the equipment but were unsure of how to use . These items included the bulb syringe and ambu bag used for resuscitation . The women were able to practice using the equipment until they were proficient and felt comfortable enough to implement in an emergency scenario . For the duration of the HBB class TPM nurses taught 2 emergent birth scenarios and 1 typical birthing scenario . Women were able to role play as the nurse, mother and helper. Questions were asked and answered, further instruction was given and knowledge was shared among attendants and nurses alike . The women were proficient in emergent birthing scenarios by the time class was through.
The women enjoyed learning and continued to express gratitude for being afforded to opportunity to learn and interact with TPM. After hands on training the women were able to take an exam to test their new found knowledge. All 30 women passed and were given a certificate to prove completion of the course!! Pictures were taken and the women couldn't have been more proud!!
Following HBB class TPM team members completed eye exams and blood pressure checks for the HBB participants . We were able to provide eye glasses reading and medical advice for blood pressure concerns . The feeling of providing information and interacting with these women was indescribable.
TPM made an impromptu visit on the way home from teaching HBB class to visit Chilabula farm. TPM visited last year and wanted to conduct a follow up visit . We were able to visit with the residents of the farm , spend time playing with the children and give donations to the village residents . Lots of love and hugs were given as well !! This was a great day with great new and old friends -Alyssa