Photo of the Day

This photo was taken on the road to the market.  Children here make toys out of found objects.  No Fisher Price, no Hasbro, no G.I. Joe.  This boy was having a jolly good time pushing and chasing this old tire down the dirt road.


We are not alone in our new house. A mouse (or rat?) has been nibbling at our granola bars. He has to be stopped before he gets into our stash of snacks for Trey.

Rat Poison I purchased in town for ten cents (1000 pesowas)Baby had other obligations this afternoon so I took Trey with me to the market to get a mouse trap. Without Baby to translate things were a bit more difficult. I managed to get a “we not having the catch, but we having the poison.” So bought my 1 gram of imported Chinese rat poison for 10 cents.

Let’s hope we get rid of that little bugger tonight.

Pray for Dr. Faile and his Family

Dr. Faile checks the records in the pediatrics wardYesterday Dr. Faile’s mother passed away while visiting her sister at a hospital in Georgia. Please pray for him as he travels tomorrow to the US for the funeral. Also lift up the hospital staff in your prayers. He is the hospital’s only surgeon and will be gone for 1 1/2 weeks. They are trying to get a temporary replacement in his absence.

This week also marks the departure of three sets of volunteers. Oli, a British med student, is leaving Thursday after two months here. Peter, a Belgian doctor serving in Burkina Faso, heads back north with his wife and children. Finally, a team of 6 OB/Gyn doctors, nurses, and techs will return to Florida after having worked here for 10 days. That leaves the hospital very short-handed this next week with only Dr. Hewitt, Heidi, and Jessica, another 4th year medical from Kansas City, MO.

My First Day

Patients line up at the pharmacy to receive their medicineThe day began at 7am with devotions for the hospital staff, delivered in both Mampruli and English. Afterwards, I got the tour of the medical center and then we started rounds. First, we examined the babies in the pediatrics ward who were hooked up to IV’s. Then, we sat in the middle of the room as the rest of the patients were brought by their mothers for us to examine. About 90%, probably more, of the pediatric patients have malaria. They are given IV medicine until they can tolerate taking oral medications and they are sent home once they have improved. One little girl was so lively and happy, it was obvious she would be discharged today. We then worked our way into the women’s, men’s, and isolation wards.

Dr. Hewitt checks up on a young girlAfter rounding, we took a short break while the chaplains did a devotional speech for the patients in the waiting room. I walked back to the house, and met William, Trey and Baby as they were on their way to the market. The rest of the morning and afternoon, I saw patients in clinic with Dr. Hewitt. At first I just observed, but as it became obvious that there were many patients yet to be seen, I saw some of my own patients and double-checked my findings and treatment plans with Dr. Hewitt.

Heidi listens to the nurse translator as she interviews a patientIt was interesting and challenging as I was learning the treatment protocols, figuring out which drugs are on formulary and working through a translator for each patient. At least I have 3 months to perfect my BMC clinic skills. We took a break for lunch, and my day ended around 6:30pm, when Dr. Hewitt told me to go home so I could be with Trey.

Trey Gets a Nanny – Heidi Starts Work

Heidi chats with Dr. Faile on the way back from the hospitalHeidi started working at the hospital this morning at 7:30am. I haven’t see her yet but I’m sure she’ll have an exciting report of what she saw and did. The other volunteers here are constantly raving about how much experience they are getting. I could tell she was getting quite and anxious to get in there and join them.

Baby and Trey pick out garlic at the marketI spent the morning with Trey and his new nanny “Baby.” That’s right, her name is “Baby” – you know you’ve got a good nanny if everyone calls her by her nickname “Baby.” Her “name on paper” (as she described it) is Ellen and she has worked for several missionary families at the hospital over the years. She has worked as a nanny as well as house cleaner.

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The Death of a Chief

Before this trip I prayed for boldness. Boldness to step out of my comfort zone. Boldness to share my faith. So at about 10pm last night when I heard some drumming off in the distance I decided to be bold and find out what was going on. I grabbed my camera and started walking in the direction of the drums.

About a mile away I came to a house surrounded by about 100 Muslim men. They were all just sitting around as the drums and flutes pounded away inside the courtyard. I walked up and began greeting them and asking if anyone spoke English. They pointed me to a man named Peter who I sat down with and chatted.

Peter is the District Executive – kind of like a county commissioner in the US. He was very willing to explain to me what was going on. That morning, one of the “small” chiefs had died (“small” refers to his lower rank and not his physical size). He was in his 60s and had suffered from sickle cell anemia. I bombarded him with questions about all the customs surrounding the death of a chief.

He explained that the drumming in the courtyard continues until the chief was buried. Then they would come outside and drum a different rhythm to let everyone know that the burial was over. “So they are burying him in the courtyard right now?” I asked. “Yes,” he replied, “Would you like to see?”

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