Traveling to Uganda

Butte to Uganda post 2: 200 lbs and 6 cylinders

Liam and are in the Salt Lake City Airport.  This young man is an enthusiastic traveler. He woke up with all 6 cylinders on full bore. He was disappointed he only could get up at 5 am instead of 4 am.  Yikes. I tried to talk the flight attendant into telling Liam talking was not allowed on the plane.  She didn’t go for it.  

A few things I thought about on the flight:

  1. We have 200 plus pounds of luggage – four 50 pound bags right on the limit.  They are carrying nearly a 1000 sets of beads for natural family planning instruction and probably close to that number of rosaries and other sacramental items. Thanks to everyone who made this possible. It was an honor and privilege to sort through the rosaries and medals that people donated – some of them were probably 50 years old. And the same with the holy cards. I felt the sacred ground: people who had used the rosaries in their prayers and mediation and in getting through life’s struggles.  I sensed a different language, the words and images of by-gone era were shaped by the sacred and not by social media or video games.  A philosopher once said, “we become what we are near to.”  Yes, we must become near to the sacred in our daily lives. To all those who gave their rosaries and medals: know they will have another life in Uganda and Tanzania as they are held, prayed with and treasured.

  2. Last night I had a delivery at about 9:20 pm – not too late!  The baby had passed meconium (a fetal bowel movement during labor) which can cause fetal asphyxia (compromised oxygen delivery) in occasional circumstances.  We were easily able to manage this in a modern obstetrical environment. We suction the baby’s nose and mouth with a simple bulb syringe and then if the baby is not breathing, then the upper airway and vocal cords are suctioned with a tube.  I did the simple maneuvers in delivery and the pediatrician nicely managed the airway.  The baby did fine.  Yet, in many places in Africa there could have been a different outcome: There would be no fetal monitor to assess how the baby tolerated labor, there may be no simple bulb syringe and there will be no resuscitation equipment. The baby well could have been severely compromised.  These kinds of simple things are what are needed to save the lives of mothers and babies in Africa.

We have a very practical way to share our pro-life ethos: To save the lives of mothers and babies through the training and equipment and support of basic obstetrical and newborn care.  We are grateful to those who make it possible.

Please know how much we appreciate your support.