Day Nine

My experience tells me that the kingdom of God is within us, and that we can realize it not by saying, " Lord, Lord," but by doing God's will and God's work. If, therefore we wait for the Kingdom to come as something coming from the outside, we shall be sadly mistaken. Do yimageou know that there are thousands of villages where people are starving and which are on the brink of ruin? If we would listen to the voice of God, I assure you we would hear God say that we are taking God's name in vain if we do not think of the poor and help them. If you cannot render the help that they need, it is no use talking of service to God and service to the poor. - Mohandas Gandhi We hit the ground running today with our first stop, the Canzibe Hospital. This facility is only 25 miles away but is an hour drive on an extremely rough gravel road. It reminds us of the potholes we face upon our return to MN. imageThis aging hospital serves a large geographic area with over 100,000 patients per year, 180 newborns each month and houses a TB ward. The TB ward is in a separate building currently housing 10 patients, two of whom have the antibiotic resistant strain of TB. The patients are generally there for one month of treatment. Another building houses malnourished children and their mothers who stay as long as it takes for the child to be healthy enough to go home. We brought medical supplies donated by many of you at home. This supply doubles a three month supply. The staff is always extremely grateful for this gift, their spirits lifted by the generosity of AIAIA. Upon arrival back in Malungeni our friends await as we pull into the yard. For many years we have had "spa" day. The delegation treats the adults to manicures, pedicures and shoulder massage. This tradition is a joyous gathering of friends and family. While this is ongoing, the children of the community play games, sing songs and keep watch over one another. It is amazing to witness the joy and the sense of a community of people rich in spirit and love for one another. Throughout this day a small group of women have been preparing a meal over wood fires to be served to the entire community (approximate 150) families. AIAIA supplied the food for the meal and assists in serving it as the group spreads out on the lawn to dine. As we watched the sun sink into the horizon with a threat of rain in the west, our friends made their way home on foot.