34 New Smiles in Mount Frere, South Africa!

What a quick week it was in South Africa. It hit me very last minute that I was finally and unexpectedly heading to a continent I had been literally dreaming of!! As the plane descended into Johannesburg I could see the red earth I had read so frequently about and got filled with such excitement. Next I headed to the Eastern Cape to meet up with the rest of the mission team and off we headed on the five hour drive down to Mount Frere! The mission team was awesome, a small group that knew each other very well so I was a bit nervous at first but eventually I felt very comfortable and enjoyed the week so much! The hospital we were at was large and beautiful, well maintained and better than some state hospitals I have seen in the U.S. Screening was a breeze, there were quite a few patients there for palate surgeries who had already had their lips repaired previously and their results were beautiful. Then started 2 1/2 days of surgery. They were long days but managed to go by too quickly. I looked forward to every time I got to walk with a patient down to the post-operative ward because the room was just full of happiness. Sometimes I would arrive and the other families would cheer or shout in excitement for the newly operated child, there was always laughter and a sense of community despite the fact that the patients came from 3 different countries. There were three older boys that kept getting in tickle fights with me, they would play jokes on me, paint faces, and generally get up to mischief! It was such a fun few days, I found myself dragging my feet when it was time to leave. Even sitting here now it feels like a dream, it all came up and passed by so quickly! 

I am back to reality in India after having a weird flight home in which I responded to a medical emergency as we were landing and I lost my itouch in the process! No more instagram, text messaging, or fun things like that for me. 

How we weigh babies :)

The whole town of Mount Frere

Quite a luxurious recovery room!

Post-Op ward

Creepy park on the beach

Indian Ocean in Durban, South Africa

Rainbow over Durban

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