It's not every day a missionary pilot gets to physically see the difference he's making in people lives. Sure, there are the medivacs where it's obvious that if we did not come, the sick would die. I'm talking more about the back breaking box after box after box of medical supplies that I load into the airplane, fly to a mobile clinic out in the jungle, and unload in the blazing hot sun...box after box after box. Sometimes it's vaccines, other times it's pain pills, but it always seems to be heavy and arduous work.
Today I visited the clinic where Joy volunteers, and I saw some of those same familiar boxes. No, I'm not sick, and I'm definitely not having a baby, but Joy is. And today we went together to take a peek at our new little one. Actually we went yesterday, but the doctor wasn't in. So we went this morning. The doctor was in, but the ultrasound machine wasn't. So we went a third time this afternoon, in hopes that we, the machine, and the doctor could all be in the same place at the same time.
I can't help but notice some of the same people are still waiting to be seen. Joy walks right in, confirms that the doctor and the machine are present and stands on the outside of the door. We wait for maybe 15 minutes as the doctor finishes with another patient. I can't help but overhear some of the conversations outside about how we white missionaries can just skip the all day waiting and hop in the front of the line, while they all have to wait even longer. I do feel bad, but I guess it's a perk of volunteering, kinda like I can go wherever I want in the Entebbe airport and travel to different countries without having to pay for visas, or even have my passport with me.
As we wait, I'm trying to brush up on my French anatomy...fingers, toes, heart, legs, boy, girl. I don't get to use those words a whole lot around here! Before I know it, we're in the ultrasound room, and I'm trying my hardest to decipher the white and black lines; the doctor pushes a button on the machine, and suddenly I can see clear as day as he shows me the "grand tour" ...."here's all the fingers, heart, toes, legs, head." Joy is right on target. I'm amazed at the equipment they have, and even more amazed that someone is actually properly trained to use it. He checks length, sizes, heartbeat, all the major stuff.
Then we ask him to see if it's a boy or a girl. He checks for maybe another 5 minutes before coming to an "undecided" conclusion. I have my own conclusions from what I saw...or didn't see, as the case may be, but you'll just have to wait and find out!