We received this update from from A Partnership in Caring volunteer Carolyn Rideout in Rwanda:
Every year here in Rwanda we plan a visit to Kabuga, the residence for senior sisters who are in some way infirm and require nursing care and assistance. It’s always a very uplifting experience.
The sisters remember us each year and are so happy to renew our acquaintance. One sister reminds me every year that her mother’s name was Carolyn.
This year Lynn decided to acquire some exercise balls to encourage sisters and staff to exercise the upper body by throwing and catching the balls. It was lots of fun and some of the sisters really got into the game. Lots of laughs from everyone. I decided to bring the sisters a jigsaw puzzle, a totally foreign concept. The sisters were quite interested to hear that some of the sisters of St. Martha enjoy jigsaws in their spare time. These puzzles are good for visual and spatial exercise.
In past years the Marthas have generously contributed wheelchairs and walkers to the sisters at Kabuga. I bring each year Tylenol for Arthritis for the sisters, some of which is generously donated by Lawton’s and Haliburton’s pharmacies in Antigonish. It’s always a long day, about a 4 hour trip, including picking up and dropping off sisters on the way. One of the sisters, Sr. Athanase, took the opportunity to visit a young married woman who had just had her first child, a beautiful girl, one month old. The mother had been adopted by a sister who was the midwife who caught her at birth, shortly after which her mother died. The sisters raised her, educated her, and were celebrating her first child with her, a beautiful outcome to a tragic beginning.
Another side trip on the Kabuga jaunt was a stop in Kigali, the capital city, to acquire a piece of equipment called a doppler for the health center at SAVE. On our visit there on Thursday there was a young woman patient, 5 months pregnant, a victim of spousal abuse. It was impossible to tell whether or not there was a fetal heart rate audible. The old piece of equipment they were using to try to hear the fetal heart was right out of the middle ages and was simply useless.
There is truly never a dull moment in Rwanda!