It’s early September so I guess if you are reading this in the UK, summer will soon be drawing to a close and autumn is on it’s way. Here in the tropics, it’s still hot and stormy!
After the hectic days of July where the whole team arrived and we got the eye clinic open, we have settled into a bit of a routine with everyone finding their feet in their roles. Sophie is constantly up to something with her friend Michelle and Sammy and Hannah are enjoying school.
The clinic has been busier than expected during the first month and a half of opening. It’s amazing to think that without this service, most of our patients would not have received the correct help for their condition. Out of the first few weeks, here are a few success stories. One man in his 30s came with an allergy and the team diagnosed glaucoma. If this had not been treated he probably would have gone blind within a year. Another man came to get some glasses and discovered that he had high blood pressure which again if untreated could have led to blindness within a few years.
We have been busy in our roles – Annabel doing finance and helping with various administration tasks and Doug fixing everything from clinic equipment to water pumps, helping on the site and keeping the IT running smoothly.
We are still very much foreigners here, 5 months in, stumbling along in our French (and still only managing greetings in the local language, Lingala), and we’re pretty sure that along with others in the team we are the only white people in Ouesso! But when I look back a few months I can see the progress we’ve made – I can get around, shop, go to the market, get in a taxi with my kids which already has three other passengers!
Doug has been able to help with one piece of work at the site of the new eye hospital where we have needed to unblock a canal that drains water away from the airport. This was filled in to get some heavy machinery to the site for some surveying but it has started to create some flooding. Work parties have been arranged along with our engineers to come up with a solution so we are currently working on getting a pipe into the canal so that we will still be able to get the machinery in that we need for the construction.
Doug and team working on the new hospital site
If you are praying for us please do continue to pray for us as we continue to get to grips with the language. There are times when we have some success with our French but then there are times when we feel woefully out of our depth. Please pray for protection for us all. And please pray for the building of the New Sight Ouesso Eye Hospital, that it would progress smoothly.