Digesting Life...

Zambia Pictures

I wanted to share some pictures from my trip to Zambia.

You can click on each image to view it full screen.

Driving From The Aiport

Driving From The Aiport

Outside the door to the dining room at the Ashland Lodge where we stayed for 6 days

Outside the door to the dining room at the Ashland Lodge where we stayed for 6 days

Dr Snyder giving medical attention to a man who was having a seizure on the street the first day

Dr Snyder giving medical attention to a man who was having a seizure on the street the first day

Dr Snyder

Dr. Snyder

Pastor Doudy who also served as our driver

Pastor Doudy who also served as our driver

Zambian Life

Zambian Life

University Teaching Hospital

University Teaching Hospotal (UTH)

UTH

UTH

UTH The Conditions are quite different

UTH The conditions are quite different

UTH Lobby

UTH Lobby

UTH Lobby

UTH Lobby

Entry into the psychiatry unit

Entry into the psychiatry unit

Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis

One location where we taught

One location where we taught

University of Zambia
Shopping with some team members

Shopping with some team members

May 31, 2017 .... Last Day

Today is my last day in Zambia. I started off with some tearful goodbyes to team members who are moving on. Two are making their way to Livingston today for some adventures and the rest are going into the rural villages where they will be experiencing a minimalist existence (like camping) while teaching.

This morning I teach at the University Teaching Hospital for the last time to 6th year medical students who are doing their psychiatry rotation and the rest of the day I get to listen to Dr. Byler teach on psychopharmacology. Our flight leaves at 930 this evening so if any of you are prayer warriors, please keep us in your prayers for everything flight related.

I must say it will take a while to fully recognize all that has occurred on this adventure and the growth for me as a clinician and a person. The students took the time to give us heartfelt cards, Zambia flag pins and individually crafted bracelets. The leaders in the group were readily identifiable and our hugs goodbye were warm and meaningful.

I have been able to not only identify but also started working on a research project focused on the need for the medical students to have counseling available to them. The ethics committee on ground here has provided me with all of the paperwork to complete and turn in so there will be some busy days ahead.

The Zambia team is playing in a World Cup tournament and there is much passion for the team – such cheers altogether.

I am surely grateful for this trip and hope that others will be inspired to join me in the future!

May 26, 2017 .... Tear Gas

I have been involved in organizing a role play for the medical students in diagnosing mental illness, asked to assist with a therapy session at the teaching hospital by a neuro psychology student at the teaching hospital, continue to do therapy with students and experiencing the hand of God in all of this. On May 24, 2017 I had my first experience with tear gas as we were teaching in the lecture hall with all 160 students. All of a sudden the air became toxic and our eyes watered. We left the hall for a time until it subsided. That stuff is no joke as the eyes water, the sinuses drain and the breathing is strained. The reason for the gas was that a verdict was expected on a trial for treason- political – and they expected some riots. Preventative measures by the police, who were stationed on streets around the campus. We quickly recovered. It seems the experience is quite usual for the Zambians.

We experienced the first Celebrate Recovery meeting. I was able to give the information to a young man with an addiction and he actually attended with his mother. The Celebrate Recovery team were also instrumental in the follow-up calls to his family. There are so many prayer needs here and I am honored that people have entrusted me with the knowledge of those needs.

Our team is solid and I have made some long lasting friendships. Today are prayer needs include the disaster drill that Dr. Snyder is staging – we get to act like victims – and an outreach to the Zambian students and the public.

May 21, 2017 .... Rewards & Blessings

Our driver is also a pastor of a small church that we attended today. How different the surroundings but the same gospel is taught. The Africans break out in song, A Capella, and make the most glorious sounds. I was able to record their songs and would be pleased to email them to anyone who wants them. Twenty minutes of worship – African style.

The last couple of days have been rewarding as I have had the privilege of counseling some students. On Saturday evening Dr. Snyder gave the fourth though seventh year medical students a party, after they learned how to suture trotters (pig’s feet). Zambian parties are great – always games and plenty of food. It was a time to get to personally know some of the students.

My blessings this last week include being able to stretch myself - I actually taught 160 students – observing some mental health needs of the medical students as well as learning how to truly love on people who are in need. One of the stops this week was at Mother Teresa’s orphanage where Kate and I met with the widows. Well, they were so grateful for the yarn I brought them and even more excited about the wash cloth I left for them to copy. When I returned today to hold the babies and play with the children, they were so proud to show me the many wash cloths they made – prototypes of the one I left for them. If it is on anyone’s heart to donate yarn and crochet needles, I invite you to contact me as I plan on keeping them in stock!

This upcoming week will be busier than before. My goal is to remain flexible and willing to do whatever is asked of me. Prayers for all of us are needed in the area of flexibility and understanding that the Zambian schedule is not going to meet our expectations every day.

I did get sick with some kind of stomach ailment and was so glad to be in the presence of medical doctors. Dr. Snyder did a brief assessment and delivered medication to me that expedited a recovery. All the while I was not disabled from meeting my assignments. God has definitely been with us all the way.

May 17, 2017 .... And more teaching

This day was another day of teaching medical students – future Zambian doctors about forgiveness and mental health issues. There had to have been over 75 students in attendance. I have never taught with 75 people engaged in one location about what I had to say. After, one student informed me that he had never heard anyone speak about the issue in this manner and he thanked me for sharing my perspective. He also indicate there is a need for counseling assistance for the medical students – and of course my mind is already thinking about implementation of such a program to assist them with their sometimes grueling schedules as well as substandard conditions in the hospital.

Tomorrow we are offering counseling for any students who want to talk. Please pray that they will trust the process and take us up on the offer to help them with any problems they may be facing.

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