Ever accidentally gone in the wrong bathroom? I’ve found myself in an embarrassing situation or two when I’ve entered the women’s bathroom by accident.
Here in Nalerigu, they make sure you don’t go in the wrong public bathroom by using this sign instead of the the standard stick figure with a dress.
Every Thursday the hospital missionaries and volunteers (and any other Americans in the area) get together for a Bible study/worship time in one of the missionaries’ homes. Last night we met in Jane’s house (Jane is the hospital’s pharmacist) and had quite a crowd.
Dr. David and Laurel Fort are in town to help fill in during Dr. Faile’s absence. About 10 years ago, Dr. Fort was the surgeon at the hospital but now he is a psychiatrist living in Burkina Faso. Missionaries Dr. Peter and Ineke Van Dingenen and their four girls have been visiting all week from Burkina Faso. Peter is not only a skilled doctor but a skilled musician. He played piano and their eldest daughter accompanied on violin. Also present were Mark and Caroline Lueneburg, a couple working with the U.S. Peace Corps as teachers at the local secondary school.
At the BMC, the theater is the location of the 2 operating rooms and the 2 minor procedure rooms. Tuesdays and Thursdays are surgery days. On Tuesday I saw 5 hernia surgeries, scrubbed in for 3. To see so many hernias in one day is not uncommon on a general surgery rotation in the States. As expected, there are many differences between the circumstances I’m used to back home and here. For instance, I was lancing an abscess on a woman’s thumb yesterday. She was lying on a stretcher with a baby on her belly nursing. We just had to keep a close watch on the baby’s wandering hands – keeping the sharps away from her tiny fingers.
* Warning * Today, I assisted/ observed 2 debridements of wounds and the following descriptions are fairly graphic.
Heidi has commented on numerous occasions about how different medical processes are here than in the US. In the US we have the luxury of sterile medical environments and an abundance of new drugs. This box holds the medicine to be used on a given day in the pediatrics ward. It is shocking how dirty and used everything looks. The brand new, brightly colored children’s vitamin canister really stood out to me. It also reflected the situation in the peds ward. Despite all the sadness and sickness, there was an occasional kid that would give you a bright smile.
We are at the end of rainy season and late each afternoon huge thunder clouds roll in but don’t provide a drop of rain. I had just passed through the market to the other side of town when these children ran up asking to be “snapped.” I asked them to pose on the abandoned bulldozer and was pleased to be able to frame the shot with the thunder clouds creeping in.
One could use this image to communicate several different messages about industrialization and the future of traditional living in West Africa. I’ll let you ponder its implications.
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.