Friday, January 11, 2013

Uganda, Part Deux

Where does the time go?  

I think about catching the blog up but seem to get bogged down in where to start.  
I really don't mean to let it get so far behind.  
Ah, the road to hell, good intentions, and all that.  

So, I guess the best place to (re)start is today.  
I am T minus 2 weeks until I leave with my church's mission team to head back to Uganda for another medical mission trip.  I am finally at a place where I can start to get excited about it.  For the last few months until TODAY I have been busy planning, ordering, organizing, making lists, having pill-packing parties, buying groceries, medications, supplies, and doing all I can do to get ready for this trip.  

I have to give huge shout out to my nurse partner Mary Romer who has been my sounding board, planning partner, and supplier of all things wine-related when we needed a little "reward" for completing tasks.  She is the joyful voice in my ear reminding me that God has this handled.  He has a plan for us, goes ahead of us.  She has made this whole process so much less maddening.  

This is what the Uganda file on my computer looks like.  There are so many details to planning an international mission trip.  Let me be clear - I am not planning the whole trip!  My pastor is handling the  finances and coordinating with the Medreach planners and will be creating the manifests of all of our trunks, another team member is handling the logistics of gathering team paperwork, passport copies, immunization records, etc., dealing with the travel agent, and many other little details that logistics folks handle.   My goal through the whole planning of this trip has been to document our method so that the planning of the next trip, whether or not I go, will be much easier.  I have a long history of being a list maker.  Lists make me happy.  More importantly, I like to cross things off my lists.  Bruce has commented to me before that small countries have gone to war with less planning than I have done to go to the beach for a week.  That's a compliment, right?  

(Notice the pictures stacked up and taking root on my desktop?  Those are some of the pictures from last year's trip waiting for me to finish uploading them to a book that I haven't finished editing before I can order copies.  One of the many loose ends out there waiting to be tied.)  

Today was a good day.  Before today the tasks have been determining what medications we needed to take (which took weeks of work!), getting medications ordered in USA and Uganda, getting all of the domestic meds ready for patient distribution (via pill packing parties), planning meals, and purchasing groceries and non-medical supplies. Mark, my pastor, and I met today to pack our travel trunks.  I must tell you that we witnessed a minor miracle today.  We packed all of our medications, supplies, groceries (even the gigantic bag of skittles for Mark), sneakers, eyeglasses, toothbrushes, toothpaste for the Africans, dozens of knitted hats from our church ladies, and bags and labels for pill-packing the Uganda-purchased meds we managed to come in underweight.  Woohoo!  In 90 minutes we managed to take all of the stuff that has been cluttering up Mark's office and my van for weeks and get it all packed into trunks with some weight and even a little space left.  Whew!  So glad to cross off that task.  There are still a few items to accomplish for the team planning but mostly what I have to do now is get myself ready.  

I have two weeks to gather and pack for myself.  
Piece of cake.