This is my first blog posting on my trip in Zambia. I’ve been in one week so far but it has seemed much more. Things operate so differently from how they do in the states, especially if you have never left the country! My first taste of Zambia was really on Sunday since much of my first day here was just spent traveling. We traveled to a small village called Kasibi where we attended church. It was one of the most humbling services I have ever attended. The church was no larger than the den at my parents’ house (and we don’t have a huge house). On the walls were either tacked or duct taped posters depicting Jesus or various biblical events. Most looked like they were thirty-plus years old and were very weather worn. The roof was tin and full of holes. I doubt very seriously that it kept the congregation dry during the wet season. The benches were small and old with no backings and were only long enough to truly fit four grown men tightly.
This is my first time traveling to Africa, so for me it is a very exciting time. I wanted to have a very open mind, but I had no idea what to expect. In only a week I have discovered so many cultural differences. The main differences I noticed were time, transportation, and friendliness. In Zambia the people are not concerned about being punctual. The people are never in a rush and they don’t mind waiting. As compared to a pharmacy in the US where people want their prescription filled in fifteen minutes or less. Mostly everyone walks to where ever they need to go since gas is about $9 a gallon here. Also you have to be a great visual learner and use a lot of landmarks to remember where you’re going because there are no street signs. There are just a lot of dirt paths that start to look the same. The Tonga people are so friendly and peaceful. Zambia is very peaceful, and the people greet you wherever you go. Here everyone looks out for one another and it feels very much like a community.
All is going well here in Urubamba, Peru where my day begins at 4:45 am each morning. I wake up, get dressed, grab a quick bite to eat and head to the local bus station to catch an early bus to the local villages. By the time I arrive in the communities, it is 6:30 am. It is imperative for us to arrive in the villages as early as possible as the village families work in the fields in the morning so we must arrive before they set out for their daily routines.
Last night, Hope Through Healing Hands hosted a meeting for local, Tennessee global health nonprofit institutions, universities such as East Tennessee State University, Vanderbilt University, and Lipscomb University, and faith communities to gather for an authentic sharing of stories, interest, and work.

Senator Bill Frist, M.D. keynoted the event, discussing the unique city of Nashville, as a hub for health care, music, and faith, and how these 50 organizations might intersect especially with the faith communities given a shared global interest in caring for the widow, protecting the orphan, and over all – loving our neighbors – even if across oceans.

Jars of Clay, an amazing group of men who have been longtime activists in the movement against the HIV/AIDS pandemic, shared the stage with Senator Frist. They sang an apropos song for the evening, Two Hands. Dan Haseltine, the lead singer, spoke eloquently about his longtime vision of a unified front of global health advocates in Tennessee who might work together, hand in hand, to face the issues of global proportion. Their experiences and work have led them to found Blood:Water Mission, a Nashville-based nonprofit focused on building wells in Africa. In terms of raising awareness and advocacy in the United States, together we are stronger.
We were greeted by enthusiastic fans and volunteers in Detroit, which made for a great night! We talked to lots of people, including several who were interested in volunteering and becoming involved with the campaign on a local level and on their campuses, something we always like to hear.

Our volunteers consisted of two ‘teams’ of people: Stephanie and Nicole, sisters on their summer break (from college and high school) and our team of enthusiastic high school girls: Erica, Emmy, Betsy and Marissa. Our crew did a great job, talking to lots of people and getting them excited about bringing clean water to people around the world. We were a bit limited in what we could do in Detroit due to the way the venue was set up, but our volunteer crew were true troopers, making the most of it and getting a record number of fans to take part in our text message fundraising campaign.
5 New Frist Global Health Leaders: Summer '10

Honduras, Peru, Rwanda, and the Appalachia Region

We are excited to report that 5 new Frist Global Health Leaders have traveled this summer and are beginning to report back their great work from around the globe. This includes public health education for hand washing, dental hygiene, HIV/AIDS prevention, and clean water.
Toledo proved to be a small but mighty show; though at one of the smaller venues on the tour, fans came out in force to support Water = Hope! We signed up hundreds of new supporters while also collecting donations for our very popular Water = Hope tee-shirts (you can soon buy them online as well - watch for updates!). We also got nice mentions in the local press, the Toledo Blade, and we were even featured on a local country radio station as well.

June 7, 2010

Politico

by Tom Daschle and Bill Frist

It is staggering to consider the myriad changes since we each entered Congress. Things like cell phones and the Internet were straight out of a science-fiction movie then. Now, our grandchildren are so technologically connected by Facebook and MySpace that a schoolchild in Rwanda can check in with a pen pal in South Dakota or Tennessee in seconds.

Life’s frenetic pace and growing global interdependence have had a profound impact on the way America must engage with the world.

Our greatest threats are no longer from another country, as was the case during the Cold War. Today, they are as likely to come from infectious diseases, failed states, economic despair, nonstate actors and terrorism — issues that cannot be addressed through military might alone.

This requires a new approach, drawing on a renewed commitment to development and diplomacy — as well as our military strength.

America’s military is still the world’s finest, but it must be matched by equally agile and robust diplomatic arms if we are to remain safe and secure.

We agree with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who said about the war on terror: “We cannot kill or capture our way to victory.” Smart development investment translates to fewer U.S. boots on the ground.

What we must do is use our full complement of powers — defense, development and diplomacy — to help troubled nations build stable governments and address the needs of their people; not just for food, water and shelter but also for health, education and the opportunity to learn marketable skills.

To do this, we have to invest in our future by bolstering the nation’s international affairs budget. This is something the two of us — and Democrats and Republicans as a whole — agree on.

As the military does its job in stabilizing troubled states, vigorous humanitarian and diplomacy efforts can ensure that we build a lasting peace by strengthening communities and governments, reinforcing the foundations for growth and opportunity and neutralizing those who wish our country harm.

Our foreign assistance dollars pay strong dividends economically, as well. Americans’ security and prosperity are tied to the security and prosperity of people around the globe. In the past 40 years, trade has tripled and U.S. exports account for approximately one out of every five American jobs. 

Today, developing countries represent 40 percent of U.S. exports. Programs supported by the international affairs budget increase economic opportunities, promote our business interests around the world and create U.S. jobs through increased exports.

While helping the world’s poor brings the United States national security and economic benefits, it also demonstrates our commitment to alleviating poverty. Both of us have traveled many times to developing nations — not just as elected officials but also in our personal capacities to work with international charities and deliver humanitarian aid.

We know the value of American generosity and have witnessed the remarkable difference public and private aid can make in people’s lives.

Whether it’s a Peace Corps volunteer introducing a local farmer to a new crop that is more nutritious and marketable, or a women’s group receiving a small loan to start a basket-weaving business to provide for their families, America spreads a message to the people of the world that we are a valuable partner — and friend. Aid works. And it works best by putting tools in the hands of others to build their own better tomorrow.

Republicans and Democrats have long worked together to make a difference in the world through humanitarian efforts, and those investments have paid off. In the past 50 years, child deaths worldwide have been reduced by more than half; polio has been nearly eradicated.

Former President George W. Bush created the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief with bipartisan support — and millions of people in Africa are alive today as a result.

President Barack Obama is working with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to implement his plan to address global hunger and food security and to emphasize maternal and child health through the Global Health Initiative.

The international affairs budget is now before Congress, and we were gratified to see a growing consensus on its importance.

In recent months, 247 members of Congress — Democrats and Republicans — wrote the president to urge an increase in his fiscal year 2011 request. As we support robust investment in our tools of smart power, we also welcome executive branch and congressional initiatives to modernize those tools to ensure accountability, be responsive to in-country needs and achieve the impact our interest and ideals require.

We realize the deficit is soaring and money is tight in Washington. Few know better than the two of us that the budget is a balancing act of limited resources and many worthy priorities.

While we have disagreed in the past on what priorities should be, we see eye to eye on why rebuilding our civilian-led tools of development and diplomacy is important.

For a small fraction of slightly more than 1 percent of the federal budget, our investment in helping others to help themselves overseas is one of the most cost-effective ways our government can keep us both safe and prosperous.

South Dakota Democrat Tom Daschle served as Senate majority leader from 2001 to 2003. Tennessee Republican Bill Frist served as Senate majority leader from 2003 to 2007. Both are advisers to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.

© 2010 Capitol News Company, LLC

The hand washing campaign has continued with 78 high school students participating.

I was given a very challenging task of educating high school students at the local Kiruhura Christian College on health topics. This proved to be a challenge because of the language barrier and lack of resources- the students had no text books and there is a very limited supply of pens, paper, and chalk. Nonetheless, the task was accomplished successfully and I was asked to teach during Biology for the Senior 3, Senior 4A, Senior 4B, and Senior 5 classes. In these classes students range in age from 15 to 38 years of age. Biology class meets for two hours per week, one hour on Tuesdays, and one on Wednesdays. I chose to teach the Germ Theory of Disease with hand washing during the first two classes. To evaluate understanding and effectiveness, they took a quiz whereby six of the eight students scored perfectly, and two answered three out of five questions correctly. I believe that the students understood the topic well and their incorrect answers were due to language barrier.
Since my last report I wrapped up the dental health screening data collection and educational project because I simply ran out toothbrushes. By the end of this process 508 children were educated on the importance of dental health and 600 toothbrushes were given out. I have compiled my findings and the results are significant and should validate the request for funding continuation of this program. The local dentist’s hope is to receive funding to make it possible for him to put sealants on the children’s six year molar so they will be less likely to decay, which in turn, would prevent the extraction of this adult tooth. I will now be assisting him with the grant writing process. Hopefully, future screenings will reveal a positive change in the dental health of the children of Roatan.

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