It is great to go and visit the clinic in Buburi as it reminds us why we became involved in the first place and see for ourselves what a difference it makes to people’s lives. It gives us the opportunity to monitor how our donors’ money is being spent, meet up with staff and members of the Community Based Organisation to discuss and make plans, and chat to patients, some of whom we have known from when the clinic was started.
When visiting Buburi we’re also taking a break from our 21st century lives. We sit on the verandah in the evening and cook our supper on a primus stove. There is no fridge so we have to drink red wine, which after all is good for the heart! There is no running water in the house or lavatory so we have to walk to the long drop, which is definitely not for the faint hearted. The mosquitos are delighted when we arrive as we are a fresh source of blood and the mice love the new food in the kitchen – ours!
Buburi is a very rural area and is definitely not on the tourist trail. Lots of children have never seen a white person and the response isn’t always a happy one. Many times children have screamed and hidden behind their mother’s skirts, causing much hilarity! But because it is rare for a white person to be around most people know who we are. On this last trip when we were walking back from the village one afternoon, a young man came up to us and said how grateful he was for the clinic being in Buburi. It had made a big difference to all his family – his mother, sisters, brother, wife and children. They were all healthy because of Buburi and this is a wonderful validation of the work that all the staff do.
Our visits also allow us to take out supplies for the clinic and the community such as baby clothes, Grobags from the Gro Company and reusable sanitary pads for school girls. If we didn’t go, these supplies would not reach Buburi. We are also given the opportunity to observe what life is really like for people who live there and the poverty is sometimes overwhelming but we know that Buburi clinic is a life-line for local people.
The photos is of Jackie, Sallie and Gilly at Heathrow