Cane Island’s Elissa Shelton delivers her first baby in Uganda with KHI

I’ve witnessed life and death and something in between since arriving in the land of plenty and of none.

When we dismounted the plane, two different people were holding up signs with our names on them. We connected and moved toward the parking lot where we saw a monkey just hanging out! We climbed into an SUV and headed to Mbale which was rumored to be a two hour drive. Five hours later we arrived in Mbale – traffic seems to be a bit unpredictable. I wondered for a moment if I was still in Houston!

When we arrived, our gracious hosts, Sam, Carlos and Angela, greeted us.

We got up the next morning and embarked on our journey. We had the privilege of meeting a member of parliament, the Secretary of Transportation and of the District of Manafwa. We were also shadowed by a writer from the New Vision, one of Mbale’s biggest newspapers, who wants to write a story on all the great work Kissito is doing for Uganda. Politics are important here, I will come to find out.

We arrived at the clinic and did our “meet and greet” with all the staff. I then heard my nickname for the first time: Mazungu! I was familiar with this term because of my time in Kenya – however, it makes my daughter, Breya, giggle every time she hears it, whether it’s while playing soccer nearby the corn fields or driving by the villages. So, we embrace it and have some fun with it.

A short while later while I was standing in the treatment and medical room, Janet, one of the nurses, grabbed my hand and rushed me to a different room. I push open the door to find a mother grunting in pain, having contractions two minutes apart. Janet walked me through the birthing process and I had the opportunity on the first day at Bugobero to deliver a baby! She was approximately six pounds and she was perfect. Her mother, Jessica, told me, “You are a blessing here, you have already welcomed life.” Yes, Jessica, you are right, I thought. The people of Uganda are my blessing and this is just the beginning…

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