Zambia

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Rebekah Carey

Reflections on a trip to Zambia

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Below are some thoughts I received from Carne Andrews, MSN, APNP, Nurse Practitioner, who participated in the WLC Global Health course in Zambia in May:

Realizing that words will never quite capture my appreciation for your friendship and the opportunity to participate in this year’s trip, please know I feel humbled, blessed, and enriched in faith, compassion, and hope because of your passion to make this world a better place for our Zambian sisters and brothers.

It is so meaningful to me to have witnessed how the Lord is blessing the work of the church, missionaries, and healthcare workers in Zambia and the WLC Nursing Program and students through the building of relationships and trust. This truly reflects the Christ-like servant leadership model to an extent I’ve not previously personally experienced. Thank you.

Rebekah Carey

Photos from Zambia

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Here is an assortment of images showing life in Zambia and the experiences of Wisconsin Lutheran College’s nursing students.

Sheryl Scott

Today is my Miracle Day

Monday, May 27th, 2013

These words were part of a song that the students at one of the Lutheran grade schools here in Lusaka sang to some of our nursing students this morning. The words have also become somewhat of a theme for us as we experience miracles of discovery and learning each day.

The nursing students have been doing lots of health teaching at the grade schools and for the wives of the seminary students. Today the students reported that the wives are becoming more comfortable with the students. They are starting to ask more questions about women’s health and they have even started laughing and joking around with the students. Some of the students went to a small village today as part of a Home Based Care program where they talked to a patient in her home and observed kapenta (small sardine-like fish) being cooked over a little coal stove outside.

Over the weekend we traveled to Livingstone to see Victoria Falls and took a ride through Mosi-oa-Tunya Game Park to see some of Africa’s finest wildlife. The scenery and the landscape was amazing and breathtaking! A walking adventure down to the “boiling pot” was a highlight, as well as seeing the powerful waterfall.

God’s creation was definitely evident all around us! Getting up extra early on Saturday morning was definitely worth the lack of sleep as we set out in open air vehicles to look for animals seen only in zoos back in the U.S. A herd of zebras and a mother and baby giraffe were at the top of the favorites list.

We have had many miracle days and expect more to come in our remaining time in Zambia. We can’t wait to share all the things we have seen and learned with our family and friends at home!

Health education in Zambia

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
Rebekah Carey

Things We’ve Heard in Zambia

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Muli bwanji. Bwino, bwanji

Zikkomo kwambiri

At the gate by eight.

There was a lizard in my bed net. (His name is Norman.)

We need more coffee.

This is so sad.

The sem wives were so fun – I feel so connected.

There’s a frog on the table!

I saw three surgeries – a third ventricular ostomy, a tendon release, and the removal of an extra thumb.

Come, oh, come let us sing to the Lord!

I hear you have pills that can help you lose weight, is that true?

Eet-Sum-Mor; Have-Sum-Mor; Munch-a-Lot

Why are they looking at us so funny?

What happens to monkeys eating the tomatoes?

Why do they want to take our picture?

That boy is holding a monkey tail!

Do YOU have hot water at your place?

We forgot to pay the electric bill.

Speak oh Lord as we come to you to receive the food of your holy word.
Take your truth plant it deep in us, shape and fashion us in your likeness That the light of Christ might be seen today in our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak oh lord and fulfill in us all your purposes for your glory.

Arrival in Zambia

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

By Valerie L., Wisconsin Lutheran College Global Health nursing student

From Lusaka, Zambia:

2013-Zambia-airportOur flight was very long, but we finally made it to Zambia! It was a surreal experience when we walked down the steps of the airplane into Zambia. We felt very welcomed when we arrived at the Lutheran seminary grounds.

Our first day here we toured Beit Cure Hospital. Our ride back to the seminary was interesting – we could see all of the different living conditions ranging from compounds to luxury hotels. I cannot imagine what I will see in the coming weeks!

Today some of us went to the market with Professor Carey. We were offered samples of the mwauyu fruit of the baobab tree. It was surprisingly tart.

Rebekah Carey

Homeward bound

Friday, June 8th, 2012

After traveling 14 days in Zambia with ne’er a glitch, we arrived at London Heathrow, only to turn into a Three Stooges scene of never-ending queues through immigration, convoluted directions from terminal 5 to terminal 3 to catch the H7 Hoppa to the Travelodge, and a hotel kitchen closing in 10 minutes “but we have pizza.”

It is raining in London this morning, seasonal for this location, but also reflective of how we feel about leaving behind our new-found Zambian brothers and sisters. Many students are wearing flip flops, having given their shoes to their little football player pals. Some talk of creative ways of using their chitenges. All are looking forward to familiar food, but feeling proud of eating n’shima almost daily.

Mwendi bwino (safe journey)

Rebekah Carey

A student reflects on his Zambian experiences

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

On Tuesday evening, as we wrapped up our clinical experience in Zambia, we were reminded of God’s purpose for us nurses through a devotion by WLC student Ryan Schroeder, based on Scripture from 1 Corinthians 13:

“If I speak in tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong…I am nothing…Love is patient, love is kind… When I was a child, I talked like a child…. When I became a man I put childish ways behind me…”

One thing I noticed while reading this was that if I were to substitute “my name” for the word “love” in this passage, the whole thing would read a lie. “Ryan is patient. He does not boast…” If I were to continue, the passage would be a list of falsehoods. While I don’t intend to be presumptuous, I think it is safe to say that this is true of all of us.

Despite our best intentions to provide care out here, we ourselves have formed the greatest barrier. Poverty is terrible. Language barriers are hard to overcome. But the personal struggle to truly love might be the most insurmountable goal of all.

We came to Zambia full of excitement and the will to serve, but often we have taken more than we could ever hope to repay. Each of us had personal moments that have left us awestruck by how much Zambians can give (and how rich they truly are). Dan with Abel. John with KK. And all of us with Mrs. Nyrenda.

But for all our ineptitude to repay the love we’ve been shown, Christ is able. If we go back to the text and insert the name “Jesus” for “love,” nothing could read truer.

“If I have faith that can move mountains, but have not Jesus, I am nothing… Jesus always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Jesus never fails.”

If we nurse through our own nature, we can never give love. But if we deny ourselves for Christ, our ineptitude makes way for his glory. Through baptism Christ has changed the very nature off humanity, giving us the means to love.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wickedness, then I will forgive their sins and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.

The Zambians realize this and know that healing is only through Christ. We, too, can be that loving, but only through Christ.

Rebekah Carey

Farewell to our Zambian brothers and sisters

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

We have one more day of clinical on the field. It has been two weeks of life-transforming experiences. From AIDS to hydrocephalus to malnutrition to babies born in the back of the car, the scenarios will be indelibly retained in our memories.

Students observed orthopaedic and endoscopic ventricular surgery; assisted with dressing changes of decubiti, burns, skin grafts, and club foot repairs; mourned the loss of an AIDS patient whom we cared for a day earlier; supervised a blood transfusion initiated by Irish med students (who looked to our students for direction); ate nshima with the hospital staff; watched the rice blow off their plates due to the winter winds; drank Coca-Cola regularly since it just hits the spot after a meal of nshima, relish, and beans (or chicken or eggs, or “beef”).

Some have almost overcome their fear of spiders. Most still fret over the giant fruit bats. No snake sightings have been reported.

Overheard recently:

  • This has been a zamtastic experience.
  • The kids think her name is Carrot.
  • We have a pretty good nurse choir, don’t we?!
  • Did you see those kids hanging all over Brandon and John?
  • Micah calls me Lion.
  • “A roof without Harvey tiles is like a school without teachers – there will be illiteracy.”
  • Banana spit: 25000k
  • Did you know a diesel truck can run without a battery?
  • When you said it got cold, I didn’t think it would be THIS cold!
  • TIA (This is Africa)
  • Your nursing students are always welcome here.
  • I miss my family.
  • This has been good practice for when we have to share an apartment in fall.
  • The water is off.
  • The brown-out should start any minute now.
  • I have slept so well.
  • I haven’t slept all that well.
  • There was a bug on my food, and I just flicked it off and kept eating.
  • Mrs. Nyrenda has been so good to us.
  • Bupe means “gift.”
  • The “I” is pronounced “e” and the “e” is pronounced “a.”
  • I haven’t lost any weight.
  • My family won’ t believe that I ate all this strange food!
  • It will seem strange driving on the other side of the road again.
  • It has been amazing to see how the Zambian nurses make do with what they have.
  • The first thing I am going to eat is pizza, a Big Mac, and ice cream.
  • There is confusion.

Before you know it your loved ones will be returning from Africa, filled with stories, laden with curios, and wondering how they ever thought the way they used to think.

Each evening they have sung songs of thanksgiving, stirring our hearts to recommit to a God-pleasing life of serving others.

Rebekah Carey

Daily devotion

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Each evening, the students have taken turns leading the daily devotion. Dan Mulrain wrote the following and shared it with us as we awaited our dinner next to the Zambezi River Saturday.

Genesis 4:2b-7 “Now Abel kept flocks…The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering…If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?”

Many of us are familiar with this section of Scripture. It is rich with lessons not only about stewardship but also about priorities.

On Monday while we were visiting the Mwembezhi clinic, I had the blessing to talk with Abel Mozambuka. We talked for about an hour and discussed many things, including this year’s cotton prices and an explanation of ice-fishing. The most revealing part of the conversation was his priorities. Abel was at the clinic seeking help for his mentally ill daughter, while facing cotton prices of 1500 kwacha/kilo of cotton (less than 50 cents) and trying to send his kids to school. Yet he took time to talk with me and teach me about Zambia and Martin Luther Church and continued to shake my hand and explain how great it was to be talking with someone of the same faith from a world away.

While on a trip like this, I think it is important to re-prioritize. As Prof. Carey says, the point of the trip (and this devotion) is not to make us feel guilty. The intention is not to look at how little Zambian farmers have and how much middle-class Americans have.

Abel’s gift was not necessarily better than Cain’s because he gave a good looking lamb. Abel had his priorities straight; he loved God first, which put everything into perspective for him. Cain’s heart was not in the right place. Cain lacked love, causing him to lose perspective.

Fortunately for us the story does not end here. Another son of Adam came and showed us love – a love that is so incredible that the only way to attempt to show thanks is to imitate that love. The apostle Paul urges us in 1 Corinthians 4 to imitate him as he imitates Christ. In John 15:13 Christ explained that “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” When we imitate this love, everything falls into place, and like Abel we can give our first fruits, our purest fruits.

Lord, teach us to love as you love so that we are able to prioritize, putting love for you first so that everything falls into place. Then, like Abel, our gifts may be pleasing in your sight.

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