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Published: October 11th 2010
I must apologize for the lack of recent posts... nothing new and exciting has been happening here recently. It's funny because now that I have been here for over a month, it really feels like I live here, so it isn't BRAND NEW anymore. But that isn't to say that I am not still loving it here.
Now I am going to say something and you are all going to read it and think "you're a nut Erin", but I feel the need to share anyways. So you all know how excited i was for this experience and how long I have wanted to travel to Africa for. Well on Monday a few of us were taking Meaghan to the airport because she was going back home (sad face), and I was looking out the window, and suddenly, out of nowhere it actually hit me that I am IN Africa. I know that i have been here for 5 or so weeks now, but the concept of residing on the continent of Africa never fully sunk in. And so of course I got all excited and giddy all over again, 5 weeks later.
Last Wednesday Meaghan and I took Bryson back to KCMC hospital in Moshi. This time it was just one baby so it wasn't that bad. We were taking him to see an Occupational Therapist who works with children to try and work on a program geared towards Bryson's development, both mentally and physically. The Occupational Therapist seemed to know Bryson's condition even before getting to know him, which of course made us feel really good about him working with Bryson. He came up with a course of action, and I have been trying to work with Bryson everyday. He has been progressing fairly well, and we have a follow up appointment in 2 weeks. It makes me sad to think about what will happen when I leave, but I just need to continue to be really hopeful that another volunteer will come and love him as much as I do. I know I am not the first, and I know I am definitely not the last, but it is still an unsettling feeling.
This past Tuesday I had the pleasure of taking 4 of the older kids to the eye clinic. This time it was here in Arusha, so it wasn't a trek on a bus, thank God. Three of the kids needed a follow up, and one of them needed his glasses fixed because he broke them playing football... aka soccer. Two of the kids needed eye drops for conjunctivitis (the doctor was really impresed when I knew what that was, Thank you daddy.) And it turns out that one of the boys wasn't doing well in school NOT because he needed glasses, it turns out he can't read! Imagine my surprise when the doctor started grilling me about why he couldn't read. I had no reply, of course, I had just met the kid earlier that week! But when we got back to the school I spoke with the headmaster, and he too was surprised and thankful to know what was going on. The last boy, the one who needed his glasses fixed, was the sweetest. Apparently they don't "fix" glasses here, they just make you pay for new ones. He was really sad because he needed glasses and clearly couldn't afford them, so I went back the next morning and got them for him. I even tied a string around them so that he wouldn't crush them. I couldn't sit there and do nothing, i mean who knows the importance of eye care better than a visually impaired daughter of an optometrist??? He was so happy!! But I made him promise me that he wouldn't run or play sports wearing them.
I feel like that is all I have to say. Surprising, i know. Wanda is coming to Arusha tomorrow and I am excited to show her around. She may even make me do that horrific waterfall hike again. Pray for me.
LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!
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