Thursday, November 10, 2011

Maloney Outreach

Last Friday I was invited on outreach to Maloney --a small cattle camp community lost in the bush.

It’s a 30 minute drive winding past sun-baked fields of brick clay hidden under a fuzzy layer of yellowing grass.

Since the rainy season is over and summer is inching the thermostat skyward, the roads are more than passable; they are concrete hard.

Miles of yellow stretched out before us as we inched along in the ambulance. Deep ruts carved by a smattering of traffic during the wet season still marred the route, making the ride more reminiscent of a roller coaster than a road.

Children waved in enthusiastic surprise as we bounced past. Some leaned against sturdy walking sticks while cattle lowed behind them.

Long-horns sauntered lazily beside us, callously ignoring the beep of our horn. Vultures circled above.

Off in the distance the smoke of burning cow dung hung in the air; its earthy odor wafted passed in the stifling mid-morning heat.

By the time we arrived at the Rual tree which doubles as medical clinic, there were already a dozen patients waiting to be seen.

They sat sprawled out on a green plastic tarp --their books in hand-- and greeted us with welcoming smiles.

We saw roughly 120 patients (one of which was the newborn with tetanus), but only a handful were actually sick.

I enjoyed getting out and seeing the country. It was a beautiful break full of beautiful people.

Funny side note:
One man chatted me up after staring at me all day. He complemented me on my toe nail polish then asked if I wanted to marry him.

My suitor was the one in orange.
Straight and simple. Gotta love that in a proposal.

He didn’t take it too hard when I declined the offer though. Instead he suggested that I must be one of the Catholic-nun-types as he walked away with his buddies.

Oh Sudan!