The white powder you see is ground corn. It has been spread out on a cement slab to dry in the sun. I took this photo by Koko Duu, the hospital’s nutrition center. Women with malnourished children bring their kids there during the day to feed them a high protein porridge.
In the mid-day sun the corn was a brilliant white that threw me off at first. I didn’t realize it was corn – all I could see was a blinding square of light in the middle of the grass. On close inspection my eyes adjusted and the powder looked like an abstract work of art with all the finger lines through it from when it was spread out.
This is a follow-up to my post a week ago about a funeral I attended after the death of a chief.
Yesterday I passed by the house of the chief that died last Sunday to greet his family. I was introduced to his eldest son who has now assumed the role his father once held.
He was very cordial and agreed to let me “snap him”. I hope to return and greet him again this week and perhaps have some more time to chat and get to know him.
Emergency surgeries happen at any time during the week, but as I mentioned previously, Tuesdays and Thursdays are the main OR days for elective surgeries. My first day in the OR was quite interesting. When I went to the sinks to scrub, I looked all around for scrub brushes like I am used to. Then, the doctor passed me a bar of soap. I did the best I could to clean all surfaces of my fingers and hands. Then, the doctor used his elbow to get a small amount of pink soap (which I later realized was chlorhexidate) from a pump bottle mounted to the wall. I followed suit and scrubbed my hands a second time, then headed into the OR. I think I was a bit nervous on that first day. When the doctor handed me my cloth surgical gown for me to put on myself, I reverted back to how I put on gowns when doing “sterile” procedures in the ICU. I began to snap the neck of my own gown. With a concerned look, Dr. Faile corrected me, and the anesthesiologist snapped it together for me. (By snapping it myself, I would have contaminated myself, and had to scrub again.)
Women in West Africa have amazing strength. Yesterday, some workers chopped up a fallen tree and most of the women from the nutrition rehabilitation center came down to haul the wood back the center. It was unbelievable to see each of these women carrying what must have been well over a hundred of pounds of wood on their heads.