Thursday, August 27, 2009

An Emergency Evacuation

Sometimes fate intervenes in miraculous ways. In late July the COPHAD project received a distinguished visitor - US Deputy Chief of Mission in Rwanda, Anne Casper. While her visit started much like any other, on this day, Anne and her husband Carl (see photo above) were to become bonded to the village in ways I am sure they did not expect. As they descended the hills of the village, word reached our visitors that a young woman was experiencing distress during labor. Quick to react, Anne, Carl, Karl, and Eddy rushed to investigate. Anne and Carl were instrumental, indeed responsible, for the safe transport of the mother to a local health center, and eventually hospital, where she received the Cesarean section necessary to save both their lives. The couple offered not only their bare strength (Carl!) and an embassy vehicle to carry the mother quickly and safely, but also provided financial support and influence necessary to secure a bed in the hospital for mother and child. The effect of this relatively unplanned visit was to transform the lives of mother, child, family, and by extension, community. The photo of the healthy mother and baby below is evidence enough.

We were pleased to hear that Anne and Carl's contributions were officially recognized back in the United States. On August 7, Senator Isakson of Georgia commended the couple for their role in ensuring the health and safety of mother and child. The Senator expressed pride and gratitude for "Americans like you who are dedicated to your profession and the principals of our American overseas mission -- to help others in need".

Each day this work presents new challenges...let's take a moment to soak up its rewards.

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