setting up

whew!  it has been one busy week!

we started setting up the dental clinic this week.  a few of us actually went out and saw it last week.  we immediately knew that we were going to be spoiled for all other outreaches.  nobody has ever had such a nice facility.  it is a beautiful 3 story building inside of a secure compound.  it even has air-conditioning! (bearing in mind that it is african a/c in africa.  it’s still hot.)

the one thing that it needed was some benches for the patients to wait on.  as we were standing in the street thinking about how to remedy this situation, a guy walked by with 2 benches on his head.  we asked where they came from and he said he made them and was selling them.  we immediately placed an order for 15 and he said they’d be ready for pick up on monday.  so i started my monday at 0630 going to pick up keys and benches.

it takes several africans, some rope made from braided plastic, a couple of white people taking pictures, and not much time to get 15 benches loaded on the top of a landie.  then we returned to the ship to load up a few more land rovers and a pick up with most (or so we thought) of the clinic’s necessities.

only after the 100th trip up the stairs with chairs and lights and autoclaves and tables did we realize how much of a burden a 3 story clinic really is.  however, having realized this, we called in the big guns for tuesday.  you see, we still had 4 generators, 2 compressors, and 5 suction units to move.  so we asked for help and extra muscles.  a couple of engineers were nice enough to come help us out (even though it was their day off) and they came up with the genius idea of bringing along a hoist/pulley.

it still took pretty much all of us to get them upstairs, but it would not have been at all possible without the help of these guys.  we spent most of wednesday unpacking and getting everything hooked up and plugged in.  but things are finally starting to come together.

(this is actually a picture of the not-quite-finished sterilizing room.  the room where procedures will be done is about 4 times the size of this.)

and it’s a good thing that it’s coming together because we open for patients on monday.  the next few days will be full of tying up loose ends, training local volunteers, and trying to find time to sleep.  but i’m really excited for what is going to happen!  let’s do this thing that we’ve been talking about for so long!


1 Comment

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One response to “setting up

  1. Sheila Porter

    Ah yes, the African/Mercy Ship way of doing business. Gotta love it!

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