On September 9, 2015, Amanda Valeur and Jennifer Carter-Scott from MCN Foundation, along with a team of dedicated volunteers, traveled to Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya to meet with MCN Foundation partners to align goals, conduct trainings and garner a greater understanding of what is possible with the foundation’s support.
We will be posting blogs over the next few weeks of the MCN Foundation’s team travels so we can share what the Foundation is doing to help those who do not have access to proper healthcare.
Day 1 – Getting to Africa
While traveling is an honor and a privilege and our work is incredibly gratifying – international travel has gotten more difficult. Between TSA, international laws and microchipping, it is not easy. That being said we made it to JFK – six bags, two women, one sewing machine cutter and tremendous feelings of excitement, hope and anticipation.
Our first flight was uneventful. We read, did research and slept a wee bit before we arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport. Now I am not sure if I am the only one, but Heathrow Airport performed one of the most thorough airport checks that I have ever had. My chapstick, 0.3oz of cuticle oil and lip gloss were segregated and I think interrogated in a separate room – after which they were returned to me in a small plastic sealed container.
On our next flight the mission was clear – sleep as much as you can! We wanted to land and hit the ground running. The best of intentions. That is what I feel about international travel. I will let you in on a little secret – I am horrible at time zones. I always have been. I have a clock on my computer people think it is easy but really… really I do not get it. I am great at many things, time zones not so much. All this leads to the fact that I messed up. I thought we landed in Nairobi on the 9th of September- it was the 10th. Our flight for Addis Ababa was for the 9th. We missed it by a day. To add insult to injury, the 10th of September is Ethiopian New Years and EVERYONE wants to be there.
Thank goodness for great friends and small miracles! My dear friends were landing in Nairobi one hour in advance of us. They knew a place where we could stay and helped us to rebook our flight. What could have been a terrible catastrophe became an embarrassing way lay of one day and a super short night’s sleep (again sleep – get it while you can)
We caught the 6am flight to Addis Ababa. Yes, that meant 4am wake up, baggage and taxis and lots of sleeping people at that airport. We arrived in Addis to throngs of questions – “Wait, weren’t you supposed to be here yesterday?” The answer: yes. Moving on…
MCN Foundation, More Care Now, mission is to increase patient care and safety through web-based healthcare education, skills building and entrepreneurial endeavors in order to promote and maintain the health of families and communities. Our purpose is to educate individuals, providers and organizations in developing countries around the world through healthcare education and entrepreneurial investment in order to nurture and grow healthy families and communities.