I wanted to spend the last part of my talk answering some questions that I get a lot. Why did I do it again? What did I see? What did I do and how was it different than the first time? I’m going to defer that first question “Why did I do it again” until the end, and I’m going to try to answer the others.
What did I see—While we were driving around, I started thinking how different everything looked. Then I realized that many of the businesses I saw were similar to some of our club members. It started when I kept seeing furniture and appliances being sold along the side of the street and said “That looks like Nebraska Furniture Mart”! Then I started really looking for similar business.NFM: P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN5107.JPGNFM Carpet department: P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN5364.JPGJerry Ryan: P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN5117.JPGMet a local lawyer:P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN5148.JPGCopy Cat: P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN5235.JPG - or P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN5379.JPGLeuder Construction: P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN5313.JPGMr Biggs: Petros: P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN4626.JPGIn Touch Communication: P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN5360.JPGDr Grove’s Denistry: P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN5361.JPGTravel & Transport: P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN5374.JPGMortuary delivery: P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN5671.JPGOffice of the Treasurer: P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN5675.JPGWine Styles: P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN5689.JPG
This year, we went door to door with our vaccinations. We still did a lot of walking through the streets. We immunized in people’s homes – but their homes were very different. We’d go into a door from the street, and down a hallway into an open area with several rooms off to the side. After hearing calls of “Bature” – which meant “white people”, We usually found the parents in the communal area doing laundry, cooking, or whatever and would immunize their children after talking to them. I was lucky enough to do two days of school immunizations: we would walk into the younger grade classrooms and start immunizing the children. One day, we immunized 480 kids and the next day, our team did 548. Overall this time, our teams immunized over 10,480 students. But we made up just 8 of the 1,639 teams that were immunizing throughout northern Nigeria.We also helped with the “paperwork” which invovled marking on the outside of the house in chalk how many children under 5 lived there and how many were immunized on what day and by what team and which direction we were heading next.Walk: P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN4680.JPGImmunize: P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN4685.JPGImmunized in schools: P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN4881.JPGPaperwork (mark on wall): P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN4704.JPG
On the days that we weren’t immunizing, we were probably riding a bus somewhere. We visited a school for the deaf. We distributed Medical Supplies at a hospital. We also helped paint the rooms of a school in Kaduna. And we did have some fun.We met with officials in Kaduna State medical offices, Kaduna City, the Plateau State and in Jos. We saw the governor of Kaduna state pledge 5 Million Nira to Rotary! We were part of a day long celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3rd, where we were part of ceremonies that gave 300 wheelchairs that had been purchased as part of a grant from Rotary International. We also visited the Wheelchair factory again and got to see the improvements that were also funded by part of the grant. While there, Roxy, Bob and I were able to present money to purchase 17 wheelchairs that will be distributed in the future to this area.Sitting in meetings with officials:P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN4620.JPG, Eating:Riding in the bus: P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN5110.JPGFull day of presenting bicycles: Our Wine Tasting purchased ___ :P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN5330.JPG, P:\\2010-11-23 to 12-05 Nigeria NID\\DSCN5488.JPG
So, I’m back to my original question: Why did I do it again?At first, I thought it was the opportunity to work with Ann Lee Hussey again – this person takes my breath away! But one day I had an experience truly hit home: we went into the compound of a woman who had never had her children immunized – she was against it. The aide workers talked to her while I tried to make friends with this little girl. (Normally I just made them all cry). The workers had exhausted their supply of questions and answers and were about to go and I just couldn’t stand the thought of something happening to this little girl. So, what did I have to lose – I begged the mother! I explained we had come all this way just to help her beautiful little girl. My partner that day added her pleas as well. The mother finally relented and allowed us to immunize both this little girl and her baby brother. That event is what made me realize that we can make a difference – by donating time, money, or even sweat, we show people around the world that Rotarians care. We don’t have to, we just do. And that’s the message that I knew I had to bring home to my club. Thank you for being a member of Rotary INTERNATIONAL and pledging to rid the world of polio.