January 21, 2012
Have you ever heard a lion purr? At the reserve, there are three lions, one male and two female. One of the females is in heat. I am watching the lions in their enclosure. One female laying on a platform, and the male is sleeping under a tree. The female in heat is pacing around in the enclosure, a large space I would guess to be around the size of a small city block. I would be unable to see the loins if they were in most of the other areas of the enclosure. After she tires of pacing, she walks up to the male and snuggles up to him, rubs her face into his mane and purrs. The purr is the purr of a cat, however it is as loud as an engine, and vibrates to my bones. It is pure music.
Our team has congregated and we are preparing to leave. We are lead by an obstetrician, Dr. Melissa Miskell from Texas. She has been a volunteer on PINCC trips, twice a year for the last six or seven years, and just loves what she does. A straight shooter with a wonderful Texas twang, she is the perfect leader for the team. Our second doc is Dr. Sharry Kreitlow, an OBGYN from Wisconsin who is also fantastic. She has done similar work in Haiti and is scheduled for a trip in Guatemala this summer. This is her first trip with PINCC. Our third medical staff is Eva Bryer, is a nurse midwife who, when not on PINCC trips, volunteers in a free clinic in the South Bay. Arlayne Mandell, a friend of Melissa's who is living in Holland when not with PINCC and myself are the support staff whose job description is basically: get it done! And lastly Carol, our coordinator, our MC who rounds out our team, a random mix of six people, six backgrounds with six personalities, all coming together because we all share one thing in common: a need to balance the abundance in our lives with the realities in our world; a need to share our talents and knowledge with those that do not have access to them; a need to make a difference. It is an honor to be a part of this team.
Tomorrow we leave to our first site, Gombe. We will spend a week in very rural Uganda. We are excited, and looking forward to the days that come. Gombe, here we come!
Amelia T. Hambrecht