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Challenge for Change News

Follow the CFC team and event participants as they tackle physically challenging events to raise funds and awareness for Eagles Wings.

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Posted by on in Eagles Wings

 

The second last day for the clinic. Actually it is the last proper day for the clinic as tomorrow we will see returning patients and then at lunch time we will close the doors so that we can pack up the clinic. The word of us leaving must have been passed around as today was crazy busy. We took our last bus full of patients to the two hospitals and picked up our last order from the pharmacy. We had one lady that was so sick, Darryl had to accompany her to the hospital. We did remember to pick Darryl up on our way home. A few days ago a man was in the clinic unwell. We referred him to the hospital and today he returned to say he was feeling so much better and to say thank you. We are starting to plan for the pack up. I was going to say wind down, however that is not true as we have been going flat out. We know tomorrow there will be a lot of people waiting for us. We know it is going to be hard to turn people away.

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Posted by on in Eagles Wings

 

The day has arrived. The day that Barbara has been planning for. The day of the community health presentation. Barbara has been working with the school Drama Club on a play about good nutrition and Darryl has been working with some older students, who have had first aid training, on a first aid demonstration. At two o’clock, (14hours as the Zambians say) we close the clinic and head out to the lawn outside the primary school. The students have set out chairs and there are over a hundred people from the community already seated. 

The play showed a family at home preparing the evening meal. They said that if you eat nshima (maize meal), vegetables and chicken you will be healthy and strong and can go to work and earn money. Even though chicken is expensive, it is good for you. Junky food is cheap and tastes good, however it will make you sick and you will miss days from work and not earn any money. The students dressed up as the three different foods, others dressed up as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and one as aches and pains. After the play the students sang a song that they wrote themselves. 

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Posted by on in Eagles Wings

 

Another bus run to the hospitals with patients that have been referred there. This time we also had to refer a patient to an ophthalmologist. We had to look up the address on Google Maps to find it. Mean while there was a police checkpoint, checking drivers licences. Ivan from MMM was driving the bus. The policeman had never seen an Australian / Tasmanian drivers licence before. Once Ivan explained what it was he said “OK”. However, the police checkpoint was positioned such that it was blocking our turn so we had to drive around the block. Pot hole management is not a high priority in Zambia but we made it in the end.

Power shedding continues in Ndola. We woke without power and it stayed off until just before lunch. The clinic continues to be busy ranging from minor scrapes and ailments through to some very sick people. At the close of day on Friday we had seen over 1000 patients. Health education is a very important aspect of this years clinic. Barbara has been preparing for this all week and has been busy every day. We have a big presentation tomorrow afternoon and we have involved some of the school children. We will close the clinic for this time as we want as many people as possible to come and participate. The presentation regarding nutrition involves the school drama group and a rubber chicken. There will also be a first aid demonstration. I’ll let you know all about this tomorrow.

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Posted by on in Eagles Wings

 

Friday has come and our first week of the community clinic is over. Today is just as busy as ever. We have arranged another bus to take patients to the hospital, however, before the day starts we are arranging a lift for one lady who has an early appointment at the hospital. Later, after lunch we call a taxi for a very sick baby who urgently needs to go to the children’s hospital. A highlight today for Rachel is two sets of twin babies. At the triage desk Rachel gets to hold all the babies as she weighs them before they see a doctor or nurse. Today we say goodbye to Chipo as he has to return to work in Lusaka. Chipo enjoyed his week and a half with us. He said it was good stress relief from his job and a blessing to be able to serve the community.

Steve has spent the whole day working in the toilets. Ben and Corey have abandoned him. He has cleaned and repaired every toilet in the school. We see him marching in with a toolkit in one hand and spray bottle of disinfectant in the other. Talking of marching, it is interesting to look out the window and see Steve marching across the paddock with half a dozen children following him.

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Posted by on in Eagles Wings

We woke up today with no power and no water. What, no tea/coffee with our breakfast? Darryl saved the day by re-igniting the coals in the brazier and boiled a pot of water (bottled water).

Steve left early today to hook up with the boys. We arrive to see Steve bent over the bonnet of the dying Eagles Wings vehicle. He starts tweaking and the next moment we see the biggest black cloud coming out of the exhaust. Today is also Steve’s happy day. We see the new tank being filled with water from the new pump and Steve chasing some of the children with the hose. Well done Steve, Ben and Corey.

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Posted by on in Eagles Wings

Another busy day for the medical team. Today two of our workers are in bed unwell. Dr Narelle says “do not wash your toothbrush under the tap, use bottled water.” Even with two staff down we still saw another 180 patients. Another busy and fulfilling day. The ailments range form aches and pains that can be treated with analgesics up to some seriously ill people. Darryl conducted about eight malaria test and fortunately all were negative.

Steve, Maureen and Kathy joined the team on Sunday. We collected them from the airport after church. Unfortunately Steve and Maureen's bags were not on the aeroplane. Today we ventured out to the airport and after filling in forms and checking the baggage on the latest flight, all four bags were found. Steve was very happy and called Maureen who was busy working in the clinic to give her the good news. Ben, who came with us, was also very happy. In Steve’s suitcase was a bunch of tools for Ben, including a brand new circular saw.

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Posted by on in Eagles Wings

Our first day of the clinic for the community. We woke this morning full of expectation and the day did not disappoint. Over 180 patients were seen and a lot of contact with the community. One of our success stories is that Barbara had the vision of extending the health education by way of a mini expo. She recruited the local ladies that she was teaching on the last visit. At first they were hesitant not knowing what was involved. Barbara has set up a series of static displays along the veranda where people queue. The ladies grasped the concept with enthusiasm, showing the community people the steps they can take to maintain good health. The community people were able to take home pamphlets to remind them of the things they have learned.

A couple of builders from Australia are visiting Eagles Wings for a few months to help with building and maintenance. Ben from Brisbane and Corey from Sydney. Steve has joined their team. Today they spent some time in town looking for a new pump. The money was kindly donated to buy the pump. They hope to have it installed and up and running in the next couple of days.

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Posted by on in Challenge for Change

Now that Reid has had a few days to recover, we got some time with him to ask him some of the questions that have been asked by the cycling community on Strava and Twitter during the course of the Aussie Challenge.

You have built up quite a following on Strava and Twitter among the cycling community. What has it meant to you to read the comments of strangers as you completed the Aussie Challenge?

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  • $795,000
  • Raised since 2008
  • 9
  • Countries cycled
  • 479
  • Participants
  • 34,700
  • Kilometres cycled