We first met at the Johannesburg airport in South Africa where we stood next to each other for an hour and didn’t say a word. Little did we know that we would be spending 8 incredible weeks together on the same medical project in Livingstone, Zambia making a lasting impact and becoming great friends
When we first started the medical project, we didn’t know what to expect. It can be frightening at first going to multiple clinics and villages in the area giving care to people who need it the most. Together we helped each other out from weighing hundreds of babies at the clinics to dressing wounds on home-based care. We grew in so many ways as healthcare providers and friends on this trip, especially in the Libuyu community.
In Libuyu, we were able to make a difference because of Francis, one of the caregivers in the community. Every week he took us to patients who needed frequent treatment and we were able to give excellent continuity of care by monitoring the progress of the patients each week. It was rewarding to see the patients show improvement over our time here. We developed a trusting relationship with not only the patients, but Francis as well. We asked Francis many questions about life in Zambia including the culture and customs. He even took us on a tour of the village he grew up in. We were lucky enough to gain knowledge and insight on Zambian culture from Francis’s guidance, and we are thankful that he made just as much of an impact on us as we did on the health of his community.
We were also very fortunate to have two doctors volunteer with us during our time. Dom and Sanjeev taught us so much about patient care and medicine. Together we became close friends working on many projects like home based care, health talks, and we even painted the children’s isolation ward at the hospital. When we were not working, we spent our time together going on adventures including white water rafting, visiting Zimbabwe, and eating excessive amounts of delicious food. The projects we completed together made us more than just volunteers and colleges, they made us great friends.
Over our time here, there is no way to put into words how happy we are we came to Livingstone, and how sad we are to leave. We have spent our days laughing so hard we can’t breathe, practical joking, soaking up the sun, and eating countless pieces of chocolate cake. Nothing can compare to the friendships we made and the impacts we accomplished together.”