You may be wondering...

..who I am:
My name is Amanda Baxley and I am from the teeny town of Hartsville, South Carolina. I went to the College of Charleston and graduated in 2006 with a BA in Biology and a minor in Psychology. After taking a year off to work, I got accepted to the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing. I graduated from the Accelerated BSN program this past December and am now officially a RN!!! I have had the same amazing boyfriend for the past 4 years now and will hopefully be lucky enough to be engaged to him very soon! And I definitely can't go without mentioning the other love in my sweet, adorable 4 year old Daschund named Sadie. She is my best friend and always beside me!

...what this blog is all about:
Giving others a chance to experience Livingstone, Zambia right along with me.

...when I will be in Zambia:
From January 31 until March 2 of this year.

...where Livingstone, Zambia is located:
Livingstone is the current capital of Zambia, a country in the southern portion of Africa. Livingstone is approximately 10km south of Victoria Falls, one of the largest waterfalls in the world.

...why I am going there:
To provide healthcare to the disadvantaged citizens of Livingstone. Zambia is one of the world's poorest countries in the world and, as a result, healthcare is ineffecient. Because of the lack of adequate healthcare and health related education, Zambia is one of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa most affected by HIV and AIDS. Growing up, I was lucky enough to see the way that my dad cared about people other than himself. So...long story short, about 10 months ago, I made the decision to go to Zambia so that I could begin using my medical skills like my father used his - to help those that are unable (no matter what the reason) to help themselves.

“For the first time in human history, we have the science, the technology, and the money to end extreme poverty. With this unprecedented historic opportunity comes the responsibility to act”.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

February 15, 2009

I forgot to write something in here the other day that was really pretty special. The Zambian African Impact has a house handyman that can fix absolutely everything. Well, he got a pretty terrible cut on his right pointer finger about a week ago when he was fixing something at the house. About a day after it happened, Lucy, the project coordinator, called me over to where they were standing so that I could see what I thought should be done about it. He told me that he had been to the clinic and that all they had given him was Panadol for the pain and had said that they were going to have to amputate the finger. He was very upset for obvious reasons but also because he is the house handyman - so if he is unable to use his hand for awhile then he would most surely lose his job. So, after looking at his finger for a little while, I decided that it was definitely infected because it was swollen to about 3 times the normal size - the swelling had also spread to the palm and the front of his hand as well and he was in a significant amount of pain. If this had happened to him in the states then it would have been cleaned, bandaged, and he would have been given a 2 week dose of an antibiotic and he would have been fine - I'm sure that there would have been no talk of amputation. But, in Zambia, amputation is a very common treatment b/c antibiotics are not readily available and if they were, no one would be able to afford them. So, I got out the first aid kit that Luke had given to me before I left - I cleaned the wound with betadine, put some gauze over it, wrapped it, and taped it. I also gave him some of the Doxycycline that Bradley had given to me before I left. Doxy would definitely not have been what I would have recommended for him if we were in the US but I figured that it was better for him to take something than nothing. He was very grateful and said thank you about a million times. So for the next couple of days, I would come home for lunch and clean and re-wrap his finger for him. A couple of days ago, about 3 days after I first looked at his finger, I was doing the daily rewrap on it and I asked him how he was feeling. He looked at me and said, "I know God sent you and I thank him. I was going to lose this finger but you saved it. I couldn't move it and now look (he bent his finger back and forth)...the clinic was going to cut it off but you gave me pills and cleaned feels like brand new. I called my wife last night and told her 'This white lady from America saved my finger. She is here to volunteer and she didn't have to care about this but she does and she checks on it everyday. She really cares and now I won't have to have it cut off. God sent her to me.' I thank you...I really thank you. It probably was the sweetest, most heartfelt thing that anyone has ever said to me. And now that I helped him out, I have become pretty much "the medicine woman" for the staff. The bus driver came to me for "flu medicine" (I gave him Tylenol), the sports project manager had a bad cut on her knee from rafting - she came to me and I dermabonded it for is really cool. I really enjoy it......This was definitely an experience that will stick with me for a lifetime.