Hello to everyone at home!
Today was our first full day in Mahadaga and it was definitely a full day. In the morning we had a short orientation with Flo Johnson and Matt Walsh (two of the missionaries at the station), that included a history of SIM’s work in Mahadaga and some cultural helpful hints.
Flo then took us on a tour of the medical center across the street. It was started by SIM in 1954, before the station even existed. They serve the area with many services including maternity, vaccinations, ophthalmology, lab work, and general health care. It was recently upgraded to medical center status as they now have two Burkinabe doctors on staff. On our way back to the station we met three other Americans who were traveling through Mahadaga with a guide from a nearby national park. The guide knew Flo and they all decided to spend the afternoon with us as we continued to learn about SIM’s work.
Today is Thursday which is market day in Mahadaga, so after lunch most of the team ventured out to experience the market. We traveled together in a small cart pulled by a moto down to the market area. There we saw tons of people from many different villages and all kinds of vendors. Several of us bought fabric from the vendors. After the market adventure we all drove down to the Center for the Advancement of the Handicapped where we got a tour from Dale Johnson.
At the Center they do physical therapy work for over 1,700 open cases. Some of these children come to the Center and some are reached by the mobile therapists who travel out every day on motorbikes. At the Center they also make prosthetics and have been working with the Collaboratory Mobility project to build trikes. The Center also has two elementary schools; one for blind students and one for deaf students. It was incredible to hear about all of the work that the Center is doing to help the most marginalized members of this society.
At the end of the afternoon a few of us went to see a local weaver and buy some of her work. The weaver’s work is done all by hand she takes cotton and spins her own string and then dies the string to make each unique pattern. And then after dinner a local tailor came to measure the girls for skirts that will be made from the fabric that we bought at market and at the Center for the Advancement of the Handicapped.
It was a long, full day, and we are all very tired, but we learned so much about Mahadaga and all of the wonderful work that SIM is doing here. We can’t wait to officially get started on our projects tomorrow!
Thank you for your continued support and prayers!
Kate and Cortney