Thursday, December 28th

Thursday,  December 28th

Gayle, Sierra, and I arrived safely at Kilimanjaro Airport the night of the 27th around 8 pm.



We were then driven to our hotel. We are staying in a village close to the clinics we will be working in. Sierra and I stayed in the same room with Gayle in another room. Our day started off with breakfast at the hotel. The food was a lot better than I expected. Then we headed off to a special needs orphanage. It was quite a long drive to the orphanage which was incredible for seeing the landscape even the top of Kilimanjaro which usually can’t be seen due to the clouds. It was a beautiful majestic scene.

We arrived at the orphanage and Sierra and I were shown around the orphanage while Gayle set up for examinations. I was very impressed by the amount of land that they had. There were quite a number of houses with many children in each house. The workers said that some of the kids have disabilities and other kids were rescued off the streets. Most of the disabled kids had problems like cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, and hydrocephalus.

We then went to watch Gayle work with the physiotherapists. One thing that surprised Sierra and I was the lack of charting. In the U.S. we are very concerned about charting and knowing everything about a patient. There were some kids that didn’t have charts at all. We noticed this in specific with a 15 year old girl that was crying whenever touched. We asked what pain medications she was on and no one knew and there was no record of it. We relied on what the mother told us.  Another thing that is a problem here is the amount of medications everyone is on. People are often on medications for a long time and they aren’t ever reassessed to see if they are helping. This is something Gayle is really concerned about. She works to learn what medications each child is on and whether they are helping and if they need to change.

We saw a variety of kids. The first kid we saw had mild Down Syndrome, one had hydrocephalus, and all the others had cerebral palsy. One thing we were really concerned with was positioning and this was a concern of the physiotherapists.  Gayle suggested they have an in service to educate the caregivers.  With cerebral palsy it’s really important to have proper positioning for a couple of reasons. First cerebral palsy can worsen without proper positioning. The spine can curve more and cause more stiffness and issues. Another reason proper positioning is important for kids with cerebral palsy is that they are prone to pressure sores. Pressure sores form and cause deep holes in the skin which are breeding grounds for infection. Gayle educated the staff on this, specifically the therapy team. One of the kids in particular had cerebral palsy and was prone to banging his head on the back of his wheelchair. Gayle brought a soft helmet from the United States to help this child. It allowed for padding so that this child would not be hurt. It was a large success.

After working with these kids we had a large lunch which was phenomenal. We then went to visit Esther. Esther is a kid that Gayle has worked with for years and was taken out a situation in which she was not surviving and now Esther is doing very well and was excited to see Gayle again.


We then drove back to the hotel and took a short rest before meeting for supper and discussing our work for the day. Gayle said she is so happy on how well these children are being cared for and they are all so happy.  This facility is such a blessing for these special children of God.  One of the children was referred to Selian Hospital and Gayle will be there to assist them.  Thanks to all of you for your prayers and financial support that allows the Hope Ministries team to help these special children.  God bless.