AMANDA NWABA (2015)

Reflections:

In one word, I could describe this trip as “fulfilling”. In this one trip, I learned, accomplished, and experienced more than I ever have before.

“ …Inside the clinic building it was hot, loud, and energetic. I was very excited about the scrubs however. The patients received point of care (vitals, which I had the honor of supervising), an eye exam, a physical examination, and then received the prescribed medications at the pharmacy. …the patients never failed to show their gratitude upon receiving their medications at the pharmacy table. Even when I was walking around, countless people said to me, “God bless you” and “thank you” and those moments made me remember why MIF’s motto was indeed: “Bringing hope where there is need”. During the mission there were volunteers coming from the line, people who had arrived to receive medical care for themselves, joining us in our mission to make that care available to their fellow neighbors. That goes to show how infectious the need to help was. There was most definitely need in Emekuku, and however stressful the days were, the reward was most definitely tenfold. I was pleased that many of the volunteers were returning from the previous medical mission in 2014. ”

“Thursday morning, I was surprised to see the canopy that was outside the gate filled with people before everyone was even out of the house. The day went as before, although much busier. Around lunchtime containers of rice and chicken were handed out to each of the patients and volunteers, which was a glorious idea. The day ended with us more exhausted then the previous. Every evening was filled with dinner and conversations about what worked, what didn’t work, and goals or changes for the following day.”

“ It was the last morning of the mission, and at this point, the mission excitement in me had just transformed. I loved being there. I loved feeling like I was doing something for people. I checked blood pressure. I checked hemoglobin levels. I helped at the pharmacy table. I was a glorified supervisor most times. But I DID THINGS. I worked. I spoke to people. People spoke to me. I met people who were part of my mother’s childhood. I took a photo of BOTH of my grandfathers in NIGERIA. How cool is that? How many people get to do that? I got to live through THAT?! It was surreal.”

“Relaxing at the end of the day was a gift straight from God, be it the couple hours of WIFI the house had when everyone could be connected to the world again, dinner time when everyone bonded and shared stories from the day, or just when we were in the living room together. I was usually playing sudoku, speaking with everyone, or playing my ukulele and praying and hoping I wasn’t annoying anyone. The best moments were those with my grandmother when I, being myself, would ask her some sentimental question and she would answer me with equal or greater sentimentality and love.”

“This trip excited me. I used to say that I wanted to find something that would excite me the way my mom got excited talking about public health and her MPH courses. I wanted something that would make me want to go out into the world and do something. By the end of the mission, I had received all I had longed for and more. My short term goal is to go back every year. My long term goal is to be a doctor and help treat people at the mission. My extremely long term goal is to help MIF expand, because there is always going to be more need, and thus endless opportunities to spread hope. I witnessed this greatness, this beauty, this inspiration that was the MIF trip 2015. I LIVED it. And I loved it.”