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Very Long but Very Good Week

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Hi everyone! I’ve got another short post today. The North Park students ran the final day of the clinic today, and we finished seeing all of the kids at the school as well as some of their parents and most of the Hope staff. We had some interesting and heartbreaking cases today, and it was an emotional but productive day. A couple of our toughest cases included a parent of one of the students who had been bit by another woman during a fight over two years ago and whose wound had become incredibly infected. The most heartbreaking case we saw was of a child who looked to be about 1-2 years old  whose entire left leg had been burned by hot water in a mishap. While these cases are incredibly trying and emotionally draining, it’s amazing to think about just how much of a difference the North Park students, under the nursing leadership of Nurse Margaret, can make in a person’s life in just a matter of 15-30 minutes. I feel grateful in moments like these to be part of Spark and Hope’s work.

I’m looking forward to the coming weekend when I’ll be able to power through some work that I need to do on my own to prepare for some discussions and trainings next week. I’ve got a conversation scheduled with Charles and Margaret about a variety of topics, including accounting and budgeting practices, and I know that it will be a very fruitful few hours.

Every trip here makes me think about Spark’s Partnership Model, and it’s in the discussions with the leaders and staff here that I really see how the idea of a partnership (rather than the West dictating to organizations and communities in the developing world, as has been the case in the foreign aid and international development for a very long time) is so powerful. At times it adds to the day-to-day work and to-do list, but I see continually and increasingly just how much of a difference the model is making and will make in the long term.

That’s all I’ve got for today, but I should be able to post tomorrow as I’ll be working from the office for most of the day. I’m looking forward to sharing more about the trip!

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