Mama Jude: An Australian Nurse's Extraordinary Other Life in Africa
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An Australian nurse's extraordinary other life in Africa Despite plans to enjoy her retirement after working as a nurse for over three decades, Judy Steel found herself in Uganda, at the age of 58, providing medical aid to some of Africa's most disadvantaged people. Since 2000, she has returned every year for several months at a time, establishing a small hospital, health clinics for mothers and babies, a physiotherapy centre, literacy school, micro-loan bank and farming infrastructure. She has done this almost single-handedly, with the financial support of other Australian retirees and a Federal government grant, and has become known among the locals as 'Mama Jude'. this is the inspiring story of a dynamic and determined woman of a certain age making a powerful change to people's lives. It will appeal to all those readers who loved Dr Catherine Hamlin's A HOSPItAL BY tHE RIVER.
the Uganda Drug Authority and quickly discovered that bringing pharmaceuticals into this country was not easy. The government had strict guidelines, in part a reaction to other countries dumping their out-of-date medications here which then had to be destroyed. Given the strict controls, in hindsight it would appear to be quite a miracle that I sailed through the airport with my first bundle of medication donated by OPAL. I suggested to the authorities that such heavy restrictions could make it
with my sixtieth birthday, and Fiona told everyone except me about a surprise she had planned. Just two weeks after the wedding, we left our husbands in England and Fiona took me to New York for four magnificent days, a place I had often fantasised about. New York was totally captivating. We window-shopped at Tiffany’s, rode around Central Park in a horse and carriage and went to the top of the Empire State Building. I told Allan that if I found Cary Grant there (circa An Affair to Remember) then
Iva were amazed at the dozens of mothers and their babies lining up for immunisation. Compared to what she had seen in Rwanda, Sandy was impressed with the hospital but to me it looked in need of a coat of paint. Edward had upgraded the maternity house to include two bedrooms, a lounge room and bathroom. He had also spent a lot of his own money demolishing and then rebuilding the physiotherapy area. When I went to have a look there was a great kerfuffle and I was shooed away and told I wasn’t
One day a power surge from the regular power supply blew up Edward’s fax machine and only the surge arrestor stopped the computer suffering a similar fate. My financial concerns about Ronnie had been sorted out, but the youth group continued to provide me with headaches. I was disappointed during our first meeting on this trip when they just wanted more, more and more. They asked for new uniforms, football boots, footballs, volleyballs, gardening tools and at least one wheelbarrow. Their only
and had a job cooking and selling food. In a bitter twist, someone stole his three charcoal cooking pots so he was reduced to cooking at home with a wooden fire. Despite this, he looked happy and well and had plans to expand his business by taking out a bigger loan. Another individual donation from home had played a part in developing the micro-loan scheme. Viv Maskill from Melbourne, who had visited Uganda a few years before, sent money earmarked for the widows’ education. We used the money for