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Travel Diary - June 2024 Recap - Jamie Nollette

Written by: Jamie Nollette

It’s been less than 24 hours since I returned home from our team trip to Uganda. I failed miserably at keeping up with daily travel diaries due to lack of internet and sleep, but there’s so much to share, and I will do my best to capture the highlights of it all.

I was nervous about the logistics and team dynamics with having such a large group (22 members including our Ugandan team), but am happy to share that it was awesome!  Despite splitting into two buses, we learned a lot about each other by sharing our daily “highs and lows” every evening and  long-term friendships were forged. I already miss this team!

We’ve sent many shipping containers before, but this was the first time for us to procure all the equipment ourselves, pack it, and manage all the logistics. There were a few hurdles along the way, but I’m incredibly proud that we accomplished it, and it was a HUGE success. Seeing the container at our campus in Moyo, unloading it, and finally getting everything set up at Moyo General Hospital  was a feeling difficult to describe. I am so proud of my team and our partners, but it was the joy expressed by the hospital staff that brought me to tears. Dr. Anzo, 1 of 4 OB/GYNs in all of West Nile District (serving about 3.5 million people) told me that most specialists working in such rural areas don’t last more than 5 years before moving to the city, but now Pipeline has brought the city to this community, and Moyo will be a destination for so many to come to receive great care.

Not only was the container project a perfect testament of how Pipeline leverages partners and resources to make huge impact, but I also witnessed so many personal interactions that were truly life changing! My daughter, Shea (a Speech and Hearing major), used ASL (American Sign Language) to speak to a deaf mother who just had a baby that was in the NICU; Emma (Sustainability major with a Film minor) captured stories through photography and film; Dylan (future medical school student) taught the emergency department staff and village health teams how to “Stop the Bleed” to save a life; Dr Julieann and Dr. Susie (OB/GYNs) trained midwives and nurses how to use bedside ultrasounds and how to treat postpartum hemorrhaging; Julie and Donna (neonatal nurse practitioners) taught Intubation skills and treatment of seizures due to hypoxia, trained how to use a glucose meter and did education on hypoglycemia; Kelly (Director of Construction) and Susan (power company executive) strategized with hospital leadership and the electrical engineer on a phased power solution, Lane (Music major) led storytelling and entertainment, Jake (Psychology major) identified the need to train pregnant mothers about the use of alcohol during pregnancy and breast feeding; Josh (spiritual leader) led us in prayer; Scarlett and Jacqueline (high school students) showered love on orphaned babies and preschool children; Rebecca (insurance agent) provided travel experience advice and team leadership along with managing the trip budget and all travel expenses; Lauren (Family Science major) provided insightful feedback to partner needs through active listening and thoughtful engagement; and Shannon (early education teacher) made the effort to get to know everyone and made sure each person felt included and loved.

Everyone’s participation and effort was such a great reminder that even small things can have BIG impact.

        ◦       We met Gift. This baby had an abdominal obstruction and needed surgery. For $250, we were able to provide transport, meals, and family support so Gift could receive surgery. He’s now home and is happy and healthy.

        ◦       We distributed lights to 100 households that had been living in darkness. One light cost $10.

        ◦       We bought 1,000 Cytotec/Misoprostol pills to treat postpartum hemorrhaging which is the leading cause of maternal death in Moyo. These pills literally arrived within minutes to treat an emergency. It cost $1 to save that mother’s life!

        ◦       Orphaned, premature, and sick babies were fed with formula donated by Pipeline. One mother was completely out and without our donation she would have returned to the village desperate and hopeless. Each can cost $18.

        ◦       Food and basic supplies were given to an organization that supports kids going through cancer. Our donation will provide meals for the next month for $15/child.

Seeing the progress of our humanitarian  lodging and training campus, Lonyi Village, made me realize how big our dreams really are and how far we still have to go. It’s a bit overwhelming to be honest, but when I look back to my first trip in 2007, I had no idea of what was possible then. I just believed that I could do something and that belief turned into transformation.

I’m amazed by what we can do together and how much a small investment can change lives. If interested and willing, please join me in our Change for Change Campaign. Pledge $10/month to change a life.


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