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Last night, Mr Viva and the Interplast UK team arrived in Kumi Town at North East Villa (NEV) and this morning they would start screening the patients in preparation for surgery. Before this, though, we had a leisurely breakfast, after all it was the weekend, and we were joined by Harriet who introduced us to baby Carl, now 5 months old and a most enchanting and smiling infant. We needed to compile a programme for our stay in Kumi and the days were soon sorted and the true purpose of our visit would begin. Lynne and Michele booked their visit to Kidepo National Park where they would camp out. I am undecided and I will see how the following weeks plan out.

The day was warmer as of late and more like the Kumi we know and puddles still remained from the heavy downpours of the previous days. The team of nine had arrived and had started their work in earnest. Joining the team were two of Mr Viva’s grandchildren and a 6th Former who was with her mother, a radiologist in UK. There should have been many more patients on Day One but there has been another organisation which also gives free plastic surgery in the district. We anticipate more to arrive on Monday when surgery will commence. The theatre was closed on Sunday as the staff are involved in an immunisation programme for measles and rubella so a day out was planned to visit the homes of children with disabilities in the rural community.

After lunch, Lynne, Michele and I visited the Maternity Ward to give out Afripads and pants to the new mothers who proudly showed off their new tiny offspring, their skin varying from delicate pick to coffee brown. We had brought the pants still in their packing so the empty bags were filled with pants, baby clothes and Vaseline and Lynne mimed the actions of rinsing, squeezing, hanging in the sun so they were ready for re-use.

A quick visit to the Radiology Unit and it was good to see Dennis was happy with the the x-ray machine.

Walking back to the GH, we watched the skies darkening, heard the thunder rumbling and arrived back just as the raindrops started falling. Fruit bats were hanging from the power lies looking plumb but sleepy.A cup of tea was welcome and a peaceful evening to catch up on everything but Francis called, supper appeared on the table, Francis went and Modesta came. She had fallen off a boda boda, had wounds on her arms and legs and was walking badly. A few words of advice and a strip on Paracetamol helped but a little. Supper at last and a game of rummy before bed; Michele’s idea but, as she won all but two of the rounds, that one is struck from her list. Maybe Dobble next?

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