Rwanda Medical Missionary trip: Blog post No. 3 |

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Rwanda Medical Missionary trip: Blog post No. 3

Special to the Daily Pictured left to right: Greg Hodgson, Director of Global Health Initiatives and Jan Lovelady, who is organizing all the travel arrangements and a Denver Rotary member involved with the Mugonero water project.

It finally struck me this past weekend…I am going to Africa! When I was invited in February to join the Summit team making its third mission trip to Rwanda it sounded like an amazing opportunity and a chance for me to contribute in some small way to our international mission work. Now, 5 months later, the reality finally hit me. I am honored, excited and humbled to be travelling with such a committed group of clinicians and community volunteers. I am looking forward to attending the second of two club foot treatment workshops taught by Dr. Janes at the Rilima Hospital. This educational opportunity for the healthcare providers in Rwanda is being supported through a grant written by the Summit Medical Center Health Foundation and funded by the Catholic Health Initiatives Foundation, our hospital sponsor’s foundation.

My role at the Mugonero Hospital will be to work with Tony Harris on the construction of the open gazebo. We are so grateful to the 20 donors from Summit County and to the hospital foundation for funding this project. The construction costs are estimated at $12,500. Since the Mugonero Hospital does not have a waiting room, this building is much needed and will be a wonderful place for family members and patients to gather outside and be protected from the sun and rain.

Don’t let the manicured nails and high heels fool you! I have more than 30 years of construction experience having worked for nearly a year to renovate and restore our first house in Breckenridge, an original log home in the historic district built in the late 1800’s. Working full time for Colorado Mountain College, I spent another 6 or 7 hours every night helping with the restoration. Twenty-two years ago when we built a new home just down the street, my jobs included nailing down the pine 2×6 sub-flooring boards, putting in insulation, wiring outlets and switches (thanks to excellent training from Bill Tinker) and staining every piece of redwood siding before it was attached to the outside of our home. I even primed and painted all of the exterior and interior trim, helped wallpaper and most recently repainted all of the downstairs rooms in preparation of our daughter’s wedding five years ago. Of course, I’ve never built a gazebo, but I’m a quick learner….high heels and all!! And of course, I am there to help wherever I am needed.

I love adventure and am looking forward to what I know will be an amazing, life changing experience for me. Stay tuned.

Deb Edwards

A Breckenridge resident for the past 34 years, Deb Edwards is the President and Chief Development Officer for the Summit Medical Center Health Foundation, a position she has held for the past five years. She is responsible for fundraising for 13 programs at the hospital, including the Rwanda mission trips. While in Rwanda, Deb will be assisting in the building of the gazebo at the Mugonero Hospital and for anything else is needed too.