Dear Friends and Family:
It is so good to be home! We landed in RDU just a few hours ago, our good friend Roger Wendell ran his special taxi service for us (again, bless his soul!) and we are going to sleep in our own beds tonight. It is very good to go – and even better sometimes to come home.
I mentioned last week that Cameroon is having its wet season. It literally rained every day we were there and only one half of one day could have been considered “sunny”. It was certainly pleasantly cool, however.
Last Monday, we spent a little time in the OR and then left late morning to drive to Yaoundé (about 7 hours away). Dr. Jim Brown and Dr. Dennis Palmer accompanied me to Bamenda where we left Jim’s car for a little maintenance and then drove down in Professor Tih’s nicer Toyota Landcruiser. It was still a long and jolting ride! We stayed in the guesthouse associated with the CBC medical center in Yaoundé and enjoyed the good internet! I was finally able to catch up. That night, on national TV, they had a very nice piece on the Mbingo graduation. It was in both French and English and had only the usual expected errors in names, etc. It was very complimentary.
The next morning, after breakfast, we went to visit the Minister of Education. We were there to follow-up on our application for governmental recognition. The application was made in 2009 and no definite decision had yet been made.
The Minister was unable to meet with us, but the team met with the Secretary-General of the ministry, Dr. NGOMO Horace Manga. I was asked by Professor Tih to make the verbal argument for the recognition and questions were answered by all of us. The team was then introduced to Professor Dieudonné PEGNYEMB, the chairman of the new committee on graduate medical education. There was initially a desire expressed by the officials to have the hospital start all over from essentially the beginning, applying through the new committee. This was felt by the team to promise only another several years of waiting (and I was concerned that this group would be more negative than the Minister). Later, Professor Pegnyemb came to the position that this old application should not be subject to the new law and he promised to present the matter to the Minister in the near future. There was no date proposed for an answer. We are requesting prayer that this answer will be both affirmative and timely. The Professor Pegnyemb’s first name literally means “gift of God” and we pray that he will prove to be so for the Mbingo hospital.
Monday, Steve Sparks had a patient with what we thought was a big stone in the common bile duct. He doesn’t really have all the equipment and disposable equipment that we would ordinarily use. In the past, we used Randall stone forceps (also used for stones in the kidney if they must be surgically removed). I actually had a few minutes of decent internet that morning and looked – a set of 4 clamps (of the differing configurations) would cost $800 or more. I found a set on E-bay that would be delivered for only $40. I ordered them (and a few additional sets) and will get them out to Mbingo.
I was able to get into the OR a bit more this week and finished my three weeks here with a total of thirteen cases. It was fun to work with the residents and I taught a few things. Wednesday night, I had an intense meeting with all the residents and challenged them to take responsibility for their own patient care, their own education and create a culture of excellence at Mbingo. It was well-received and I eagerly await the changes they will propose.
Micky and Sean spent much of one day this week sorting supplies in the hospital. I am quite sure the nurses deeply appreciated being able to find things after their work. Sean has been able to go on some nice hikes and took some good pictures of the hospital and the valley.
Praise and Prayer:
- Praise God for traveling safety.
- Pray for all the PAACS residents and especially the new ones starting this month. Keep the missionaries in your thoughts and prayers.
- Pray for our effectiveness during the time home.
Thank you for partnering with us to serve Africa,
Bruce for Micky and Sean