*POTJS Note: Some of you may have remembered two young girls I interviewed in Point Pleasant back in October, and how they were doing a fundraiser to bring school supplies on a trip they were taking with their parents. Their father is a surgeon, and he along with other surgeons, these two girls and their mom all took a long trip to Uganda to help a lot of people who were in need. Here is the girls’ report from their trip, which they just got back from a couple of weeks ago…
Ebba (Right): “It took 28 hours over the span of three days to get to the compound in Uganda. It was so exciting to be there. Every time we passed a village on our 6 hour bus ride to the village we stayed at, all of the villagers would run up to the bus and smile and wave at us.“
Ebba: “There were three anesthesiologists and 16 surgeons with us on the trip. We were in the operation room and our dad would operate on the patients, and our mom was a Retractor, where she used a tool to hold open the skin so the surgeons can see what they are doing. I would take notes on the patients, their ages, their gender, notes about the operation, the size of the tumors or goiters that were being taken out, when they started the operation, and when they finished the operation.”
Cissi: “I was working with the anesthesiologists. I was monitoring how much oxygen they were getting, I would also help calm the patients down when they were scared. There was one blind woman who would take off the oxygen mask that helped her to breath, and I would try to calm her down, until she eventually fell asleep.
“We brought supplies for their school. When we got there they danced for us and sang a song named, ‘Heaven.’ All of the children were so friendly. They all wanted to play with us, and touch us and they were all laughing and having so much fun.”
Ebba: “The children were so respectful, so active and had so much energy. They would play football and drums and were educated about things that kids in America don’t really know a lot about, like growing crops and how to take care of babies and play the drums. They can speak a little bit of English, but it was still hard to understand them, because they had such a thick accent.
Cissi: “We met a woman named Irene on the street outside of the compound we were staying at, and we took her out to eat. We learned that when she was 12, while her dad was on a bus, The Lords Resistance Army came and killed everyone on his bus, and then they burned the bus. That is how her father died. When she was 13, her mother couldn’t raise her, so she married her to a man who was an alcoholic. She ran away form him and she met a pastor, and is happily living at the compound we met her at.
Ebba: “Being there really opened our eyes to how much we can take things for granted in our country, and to be grateful for what we have. The kids in Uganda are so happy with the simple things, and it helped me to see not to be so selfish wit my stuff that I own, to share with others, even if it’s simply our little brother. I also learned not be be so wasteful. All of the things we waste – like leftover food from our dinner – are things they would be happy to bring home to their families.”
(One last note: These same girls – twins – are turning 10 years old this Friday. Happy birthday from Portraits of the Jersey Shore )