Julia Goldman's Blog Reflection
Friday June 16th:
Today was a busy day! After breakfast, everyone walked down to Saint Dominic's, the newly named hospital--with the thanks from years of Team Mutomo's donations and effort--that is down the street. We began our day like the doctors, nurses, and workers do every morning: with prayer. The first 20 minutes were filled with the most beautiful music. Everyone joined in with their loving and hopeful voice as they rejoiced and praised God. After the singing, a woman read John I in Bemba. Although we couldn't understand it, I felt as though I could make out some words.
After a great start to the morning, we walked back to Fatima. We boarded the bus and drove into the market in N'dola. There, we went to a Chitenge store. Chitenges are large fabrics that many women in Zambia use to carry their children. They wrap the children up, and the children sit on the women's backs. For souvenirs, the girls can use them as tapestries, tablecloths, hand towels, etc. There were many colors and designs. The market always keeps me on my toes. There are lots of people and things going on. We stay together as a group and don't mess around. Whenever I feel uncomfortable, I stand next to a Sister. Sisters in Zambia are looked at very highly in society. People part the seas for them.
When we returned to Fatima, we had lunch and practiced for our dance. The girls perform a dance during Ms. Africa Night: a fun mixer-like event held on Saturday night. I helped choreograph:) In the afternoon, we split up with a few girls, leaving them at the dental clinic with Dr. Benlich and Dr. Grutzner, while we went to the school Boyuintanshi to screen some kids' teeth. We had a great system going with girls measuring and weighing, girls doing fluoride application, girls at registration, and the hardest job, singular girl giving out stickers (yours truly) :) Because of how organized our system went, we finished in only an hour, finishing screening more than 80 kids.
We were on our way back to Fatima, when Dr. Sicoli said there was a surgery going on at Saint Dominic's. He wondered if any girls wanted to scrub in. As you can imagine, every hand shot up. A very Salesian thing to do, many of the girls said I should do it because it was my last year and I have never done it before. Gladly and thankfully taking the offer, I was a tad nervous. When I reached the theater, I was met by Mrs. Feltz, and she helped me get suited up in my scrubs, mask, and hair net. I looked pretty legit. I walked in and was immediately caught off guard with how casual the room was. People were on their phones, one nurse didn't even have gloves on.
After the surgery, we walked back to Fatima. Dinner was very good, and then we went to hymn practice with the girls. Every year, I am utterly amazed at the girls' voices. After 45 minutes of music, the vis girls were introduced to their shadows attending Fatima school. I reconnected with my past shadows, and we all had a fun night.
Being a part of Team Mutomo has changed my life. I am incredibly passionate about social justice and outreach to others, whether it be across the globe or in our neighborhood. I have found my faith through the Dominican Sisters as they commit their lives to the service of others. I have learned to fully appreciate the small things in life because many people lack the necessities to even finish their lives. I am beyond blessed to have gotten the opportunity to partake in these amazing service trips. I know I will return to Fatima and Zambia one day. These connections will last a life time.