African Airport Security

In Accra AirportSecurity at airports in West Africa sure isn’t what it is in the US. I’ve had my bags hand-searched several times and the person always gives up on my backpack since it has so many pockets full of stuff. Then after they search me, they send me back to an unsecure area. Hmmm.

Probably the most hilarious/scary security blooper is that right now I’m on the airport’s intranet via their open wireless connection. In fact, they haven’t even changed their router password so I have access to the administrator and could cause all sorts of havoc… if I was a mean guy. But I’m not.

Photo of the Day

I got the uncanny feeling that the sheep was looking me directly in the eye and saying the slogan painted on the van as we passed it on the road to Tamale at 65mph.

Photo of the Day

In the pediatrics ward, this little bowl and mortar (?) are used to crush pills and mix them with water so that the medicine can be given to babies who can’t chew/swallow pills. I’m not sure how old the metal bowl is but it has a beautiful weathered look.

Pediatrics bowl to crush pills

Bearded White Man Who Chases Toads

At the Medical Centre you see lots of toads at two different times: at night and when it rains. As ugly as toads are, they are quite an important part of the eco-system here. In fact, they are very important to us. Why? They eat malaria-carrying mosquitoes. The less mosquitoes, the safer we are. The more toads, the less mosquitoes. You can therefore see that keeping the toad population intact is of great interest to us.

In one of the thunder storms last week I was anxious to get some good shots of the toads around the hospital. They were hopping all over the place and I was chasing them and pushing them around with my feet in order to get a good shot. After about five minutes of toad chasing and assuming odd positions to get shots low to the ground, I stopped. I looked up (I was lying on the ground) and saw that about a dozen hospital patients were sitting on nearby benches and staring at me. “Has this insane white man never seen a toad?” Read More

The Last Supper

Last night was my last supper with the five volunteers here with us.  Thomas is an Argentinian doctor who will be leaving next week and Patsy and the Van Bibbers will be leaving next weekend.  Since I’m headed to Abidjan today they will be gone when I return.

Here are the group photos we took last night.

Last supper with Patsy, Thomas, and the Van Bibbers

With Patsy, Thomas, and the Van Bibbers before William leaves on his 2 week trip to Abidjan
From left to right: Patsy Waters, Thomas R., Kathy Van Bibber, Jessica Van Bibber, Trey, Heidi, and William

Photo of the Day

I have taken a lot of very sad photos – especially of children – while following the doctors on rounds. However, I don’t post many of them because I don’t want this blog to be depressing – we want to focus on the hope that is being given here. Hope given by the dedicated hospital staff, the generous volunteers, and most of all Jesus Christ.

As sad as this photo looks, it is actually an ironically hopeful image. This boy had been in the hospital for several days. The morning I took this photo Heidi was discharging him as he was doing much better. However, he kept pouting, weeping, and wouldn’t look anyone in the eye. Heidi had the translator ask him over and over if he still had pain and if so, where? Finally, his father asked him and through a series of sobs he said in Mampruli “I just want to go home.”

Diagnosis: Severe case of home sickness
Prescription: Go home