No one here gets paid. Everyone is here because they choose to be. Some give up their holiday time from work and fund themselves, others of us are here for a while longer and have some pretty great people supporting us to make it possible to work here with no pay. Either way it might seem a little strange to be talking about pay.
Today saw the first women from this years VVF surgery dance in a dress ceremony. The women came to us constantly leaking urine, over the past week or so they have shared parts of their stories, and then again today as part of the celebrations. Some have 'only' been leaking urine for a year, others have suffered 15 years which must feel like a lifetime or more. They lost the child they were delivering and then were abandoned by their husbands and communities. One shared how even her sister would ask how she was from a distance. They have carried much shame, with people telling them how smelly they were and lived as outcasts. Yet, Praise God, now they are dry, they do not leak urine any more and they danced in celebration. Each of the women was dressed in a new outfit, the necklace they had made, given ear-rings to wear, given underwear to take home and made up to look beautiful. And by beautiful I mean really stunning. They were dancing and singing as we waited in the room next door before the ceremony, unable to contain themselves. They had a beauty coming from the joy within that could not be contained. They were a little more shy during the ceremony with so many eyes on them, but certainly full of gratefulness that they have had this chance to get well. As always it is awesome being there for a dress ceremony, even more so having spent some time with these women. Dr Steve described today as being like payday, it doesn't get better than this.