Our last full week at Gabon has come to an end and we remain constantly involved in something. We have been invited to dinner several times this week and helped host another dinner. Last Saturday, Joanna and Keir Thelander helped us order some food from two different African restaurants and the four of us hosted the dinner at the Thelander home. All the residents and their spouses came (sans children) and it was a night out for everyone marked by too much food and lots of laughter. We enjoy seeing the women blossom in such a setting and those of us at the men’s table looked askance at the women’s table more than once as laughter and loud chatter rang out. It was a great time of fun and fellowship. Micky and Joanna had given some baking lessons earlier in the day and their strawberry crumble masterpiece was served as dessert.
Marco Faniriko, the second year resident, told a wonderful story that night about an event in Madagascar. A friend had little money but was very hungry. He ordered a plate of rice but sat close to the food to enjoy the smell. He was apparently obvious or even obnoxious about it – so much so that the owner tried to charge him for the food he smelled. There was an argument and a passing policeman was called in. He listened to the story from both sides and then asked the diner for a coin. He dropped it so that the sound rang out clearly. He then told the owner that the sound of the money paid for the smell of the food! Wonderfully Solomonic!
With another surgeon here (Dr. Tom Strawn from Phoenix), I could turn my attention to some other things. As at many mission hospitals, organization of available resources is lacking. We spent most of Saturday and Monday sorting instruments and standardizing trays. We came up with a big bag of instruments that were low-quality but functional – and Keir will share them with local health centers. Monday, I spent almost all day sharpening all manner of instruments – scissors, curettes, osteotomes, rongeurs, chisels and the like. Now they have to be careful not to hurt themselves! We created some new trays including one larger abdominal tray that consisted entirely of the instruments that our Sunday School class had purchased for missionary use. It is a beautiful tray.
Sean has been working with Luke Thelander and Ben Strawn in the mornings, organizing a storage room. He has really enjoyed being here. Micky has been working solidly on the end of the year accounting for PAACS and CMDA-CMDE – when she is not doing something with the missionary ladies, cooking, cleaning and other such appreciated activities.
Gabon is one of the hospitals that we have helped with the Hospital Radio concept. Here is a picture of the control center.
Praise and Prayers:
- Praise: Jeri Steffes was evaluated at Duke by a previous colleague of mine and received the good news that the mass in her pancreas is probably benign and that she can probably have her surgery done laparoscopically. She has some further testing to do, but is scheduled for surgery August 6. Please keep her in your prayers.
- Pray for all the residents of PAACS who are taking the remediation exam this weekend. I will be invigilating the exam here at Bongolo.
Bruce, Micky and Sean