My family first met Andrew, a general surgeon, and his wife Sok Hui, an internist, when we visited Adelaide, Australia. He came in January of this year as the Program Director of the PAACS-Ethiopia and is stationed in Soddo. He had been in the capital city to attend the external exams of our two chief residents. They were held at the Addis Ababa University Black Lion Hospital the day before and both had passed. That is great for them and for the reputation of the PAACS program.
That morning, we drove straight to the Myungsung Christian Hospital. The new VIP patient tower is about two months away from completion but is going to be impressive. We met with Dr. Chul Soo Kim to discuss his desire to have a graduating PAACS resident enter a five-year program in cardiac surgery – the first in the country. We were able to work out a deal so that everyone’s needs would be met.
We also met with two new possible faculty members, Dr. Abebe Bezabih who is a thoracic surgeon and Dr. and Pastor Dong Shin who is a retired general surgeon from the US. I was impressed with both. That evening, we met with a British orthopedic surgeon from the CURE hospital in Addis, Rick Gardner, to discuss the possible structure of a joint PAACS-Ethiopia and CURE orthopedic training program. It has a way to go before it will be a certain thing, but there is a great promise.
The next morning, July 23, Andrew drove us the six hours to Soddo. That gave us plenty of time to talk about a multitude of problems. We also saw some rather unusual road kill – two hyenas along the way, one of which was the biggest hyena I have ever seen.
The Sunday evening worship with the missionaries was very enjoyable. I also made teaching rounds, gave grand rounds on pain control, spent some time in the OR and gave mock orals to the residents on two different afternoons. Since Dr. Tewodros (“Tedi”) is also sitting his FCS exam this year, even he was not spared – although I dismissed the residents first to save face if necessary. He did well, though. We also continued to address various issues including issues with two residents that required an earlier trip to Addis on the day I left in order that we might talk to them face to face.
I left Wednesday night at 10:30 PM and flew to Washington Dulles, via Dublin where we refueled. It was a long trip and I was very glad to get home on Thursday afternoon. To try to control jet-lag, I stayed awake as long as I could, trying to get some computer work done until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer.
Praise to God for the traveling safety and for all the interactions. Knowing how good it is to be back in the bosom of my family, I can’t imagine how good it will be to finally home in the bosom of my Savior.