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August 8, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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August 8, 2012
 

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 1B o~ ~ Sutter Allen celebrates her arrival in Africa, where her smile will be put to the test when she realizes how much help is needed to alleviate human suffering. Photo by Sutter Allen Life in remote Ugandan mountain villages might be primitive compared to western ideals, yet life is colorful and people make do. Photo by Sutter Allen Sutter Allen, of Greenville, a UC Davis student, walks children to the Bwindi Community Hospital where she is a summer intern through the auspices of the Kellermann Foundation. With her and the children is a fellow volunteer by the name of Suny. Photo submitted Village children splash into the creek to fill drinking-water jugs for their families to use. Photo by Sutter Allen i Alicia Knadler Indian Valley Editor aknadler@plumasnews.com Living in mountain country takes on a new meaning in Uganda, where Sutter Allen, of Greenville, is spending her time as a summer intern and commu- nity health volunteer. "She lives in a hut among the gorillas," her mother, Lauren Allen, said. "Yes, I am just a bit of a nervous mother." Allen's iwst task aller days of airline travel and six tiring yet exhilarating hours on a dusty, bumpy road was to walk several children partway down a moun- tain for treatment of Staphylo- coccus infections on their feet and legs. Allen immediately found her- self falling in love with her charges, especially a very sick little 10-year-old boy who fell asleep in her arms after being treated. She lives above the hospital with fellow volunteers who serve residents of nearby vil- lages. Allen was given an office at the newly built Batwa Women's Center, where she is developing a health and wellness program to empower the otherwise mar- ginalized women. She has been in the mountain communities for a month and has become so close to the fami- lies there that one of the women asked her to be a Godmother to her daughter, whom she named Lynne, after Allen's grandmoth- er and her own middle name. "The ceremony and service went on for over three hours as the rain fell on the tin roof of the mud and stick Church f she said. "How can people who have next to nothing carry so much spirit and love in their hearts?" Allen's adventures in health care service have been as color- ful as they have eventful, with everything from bedbugs to ce- sarean sections, premature ba- bies, leg amputations and the eye-opening reality of primitive medical treatment in a third- world country. There is no privacy screen or anything soft and soothing in the examination room, she ex- plained. A surgery patient is expected to disrobe and climb on the table while the medical staff is right there, busily preparing to operate. Allen's internship is spon- sored by the Kellermann Foun- dation, which serves the Bwindi Community Hospital. In Allen's blog at voy agesofdiscovery.blog.com, she first speaks of nervousness after watching news of the Congo with the Ugandan doctors at the Bwindi Community Hospital. The Congo is about 45 min- utes away, and military vehicles sometimes speed by her on the dirt roads. In her most recent blog post, she asks those interested, in helping to send one or more of the following items for the women and their families: Shoes for the Pygmy women and their children, soap, toys, yarns, knitting needles, mosqui- to nets, undergarments, water filters, baby clothes, vegetable seeds, lotion, nail clippers, craft and sewing supplies and other useful items. See her full list in the Mon- day, July 30, entry of her biog. Mail any of the above items to Sutter Lynne, Bwindi Commu- nity Hospital, P.O. Box 58 Ka- nungu, Uganda. When she returns next month, she will be an intern at the Willow Clinic in Sacramen- to The elinic is run by UC Davis medical students, like Allen, who serve the homeless popula- tion. As an undergraduate, she helps run the clinic and works as a patient advocate. She will also run a healthy breast program for homeless women. For more photos, page 6B Newly finished, the Batwa Women's Center is where Sutter Allen will spend some days talking about health and nutrition with woman while they work on needlecrafts together. Photo by Sutter Allen On a special field trip, children walk partway down the mountain from their small villages to the community of Bwindi. Photo by Sutter Allen A Mutwa (singular form of Batwa) woman and baby are dressed colorfully for asocia! day at center. Photo by Sutter Allen Baboon families surround the mountain village where Sutter Allen is spending two months of her summer. Photo by Sutter Allen