This morning I gave Comfort some toys I had brought for the children at the house. I decided to give them to Comfort as she could distribute them out and I didn’t want to accidentally give to some children and not others – a fight would of definitely broke out!
She was so grateful for the toys; I really wish I brought them more! I have never seen someone so appreciative for some balloons, harmonicas and toy cars. It really was touching and really makes me appreciate just how much I have. I think she was close to tears with gratitude. It was also brilliant to see the kids faces when they started looking through the toys, however they quickly got shoed away to finish their morning chores!
I also got a delightful breakfast of French toast for breakfast. As usual there was about a mountain of food on my plate, but Jeff was very proud of the breakfast – he got honey in especially! There was perhaps a little too much honey on the toast but it was very tasty all the same!
After breakfast we went out to the local school in Old Akwidaa. We went to two schools, first one for 8 -12 year olds and then one for 5-8 year olds. The schools really shocked me. It was literally one classroom, with barely enough chairs for all the pupils, no tables, no books just a blackboard which was leaning against the wall and the teacher. The floors were filthy and they were holes in the walls. The children were wearing worn out clothing, often 3 sizes too big for them. All the children were so happy and excited to see me but I was really taken a back by the classroom. I knew they would be poor, but I really couldn’t have imagined just how poor they actually were. It was breathtaking and humbling. At the school we lined up all 200 children and literally one by one they would come forth, tell me their name and age and then I would inspect them from head to toe, looking for dental cavities, ring worm, descended testes and poor hygiene. This was all written down in a book and apparently those with problems will be called up at a later date to the clinic to get treatment. It was definitely my best experience to date this week. I think it’s a memory that will stick with me for a long time.
On the evening we went for a walk to green turtle lodge. It really is a beautiful beach and I was pleased to go as I missed it when the others in the WTW house went as I was ill. It was also the first obrunis I had seen in over a week which I was surprisingly excited by! Our chilled drink by the beach didn’t last long though as one of the cooks at the resort had burnt her face and being the clinic crew it was our job to assess her! Luckily she hadn’t badly burnt her face so we left the manager with a list of medications to get her! It was overall a really nice way to spend my last evening at the village, its so sad to think I go back tomorrow – I really don’t want to leave!
Written by Jodie Booth, medical student at the University of Sheffield