The nap was needed after long, hot, sleepless nights the previous week. But the pleasant nap ended with a start, as our bus stopped. I don’t know if it was the stopping of the bus or the ceasing of the African air conditioner, (the windows down and 85 mile per hour speeds), which ended the nap! Nevertheless, our Ivorian doctor and bus driver rushed back to the scene of the accident. Bodies were strewn all over the two-lane highway between the towns of Bondoukou and Bouna. Our nurses quickly rushed to the scene as well, along with other THP team members. Of course, it was the end of our trip, so all of our medical supplies were left behind at the hospital for urgent needs in Doropo.
Our limited French speaking skills were a hindrance to provide the kind of help each of the team members wanted to give. The injured lay along the highway. Those who perished were covered with a cloth and others were pulled from the wreckage. A baby did survive, but her mother did not. And even though we knew the injured were not speaking English the wailing from these Ivorians sounded like the word “why?”. A variety of tribes could have been represented, so we knew they didn’t speak English. But the wailing and the crying sounded like “why?”. For the remainder of our trip we were reminded once again of “the why?”. Why do team members give of their time, their talent, and their financial treasure to be part of The Hanna Project?
This tragic scene in the middle of the Ivory Coast was just a microcosm of our world. As the injured, the confused, and the awestruck cried out and asked for water, they lifted up their hands for help. Our team was again reminded of our world’s tremendous needs, it is filled with those who need Help, Hope, and Healing, which we as The Hanna Project get to share!