It’s Thursday, day five at Project Mercy. I have been working in vision screening. We have screened the employees and some of the school children. Some of the workers had difficulty understanding directions while the children could do it so much easier. Exposure to education and taking directions is so apparent. We did find several young people with extremely poor eyesight (one could not read the top line of a vision chart), blindness in one eye, and trachoma, an eye infection that can cause blindness. We found the trachoma in two school children….a place where we did not expect it. It can be cured with one dose of antibiotic.
Yesterday, I was allowed to observe a surgery. A woman was having a large mass on her back removed. To see our capable US doctors and nurses successfully remove this mass was extremely interesting. They did it with such efficiency as well as giving her quality of life back. To donate their time and talents to this country, to help these people is truly a gift of humanity. It surely makes you be proud to be involved with such good people.
On the way to the hospital, we saw several men mixing cement for footings on a newly constructed house…..the house was already up, but they were pouring more cement around the footings. The house is constructed with branch sized logs. They are vertical and are spaced several inches apart….you can see through the walls. I think of the three little “piggies” and their home building expertise! They are no windows, no door, but it does have a corrugated tin roof. We stopped and talked with them. One young man could speak some English. He asked if we build houses like this in America. I was with Kathy…..we replied that we live where it’s cold so we have to build them somewhat differently! They were very proud of their work.
It has been a wonderful experience for me. I have two Ethiopian grandchildren. I know they have a much different life in the US. They will be exposed to so much more and have the opportunities of a good education and a healthy life. I hope they will be as happy as their fellow Ethiopians who seem to be content with what little they have.