Today is the day that we get our hands dirty. I thought before I hit you tonight with my thoughts from the jigger removal outreach today, I should answer the most common question I have gotten prior to this trip:
Well, I thought this little graphic could help you out:
Jiggers are not the same as chiggers and we don't have them in the States at all.
Yesterday we went to the Outreach House where children and adults are staying as they get healthy. Their jiggers were removed last Thursday and now they wait to heal. Eventually after one week, or two, or three, they are all taken back to their villages and resettled there. While they are staying at the Outreach House they are not only given medical treatment, but also education. Education on how to remove these on their own when they just have one, and not hundreds. Education on how to keep them out of your house. Education is key.
These are their feet after they have been removed. Today I will see the feet of children and adults prior to removal. We will sit at their feet, wash their feet, smile at them, and then remove the jiggers that are causing them so much pain. I'm not quite sure I'm emotionally ready for what will come today.
My prayer today is for the people here to know how much SOLE HOPE cares for them and wants to help them. Most Ugandan's have never heard of a solution for jiggers, and most people here don't even acknowledge the problem.