Habari za usiku! What a day! Here is a quick overview of our day before we head for a much needed nights sleep. Not a person here who isn’t exhausted after the day.
We are up in the morning with the rooster crowing and the Muslim call to prayer at 5:30 (some of us are in bed still at the time but hear it out our window). The days have been beautiful, sunny and 80’s – which sounds like Wisconsin weather from what we are hearing from the comments. Today started with a morning run for the Brekkes (Hannah is hoping her track coach might get wind of that). The Masai warriors seem to get wind that we are moving and very quickly are out on our trail to make sure we are safe. The only real danger seems to be from the fire ants or a stubborn goat on the trail. Everyone is getting out before breakfast and enjoying walking or running to see the sights – a great way to start the day.
Surgery today went great. Our General Surgeon turned into a Gynecologist/Urologist – TAH BSO, ovarian cyst, hydrocele and an emergent – hmm, not quite sure what to call the last one – who knew you could lose that much blood from a body part in a zipper—be careful dressing boys. Three of the four were admitted to the – hmm, again not quite sure what to call it. Not a hospital, it is really more like a clinic room, for an overnight stay. The staff here is wonderful and very willing to help us with any thing we need. Dr. Bon has been in surgery, watching, learning and helping. He is a wonderful man and huge help to the people here.
Most of us did make it out in time to take in the market at Nyakato, which was quite an experience. It was hundreds of “booths” and hundreds of people shopping. This is where they buy clothes, shoes, pots and pans, kanga material, toiletries and just about any thing else you might think of. I now know where all the stuff that doesn’t sell back home ends up. There were a few booths where they were selling what we think were spices or herbal medicines – they were sold in used water bottles and used glass medication bottles. It was a bit uncomfortable being in the middle of the scene. Some how they seem to know we aren’t from around here and are easy sells. The girls did find some great fabric and Cheryl is a natural barterer.
The day ended with some at the pub and dinner at Lucy’s and some with Dr. Bon. Dr. Bon lives a short drive away, up on a hill. The drive up was something. Imagine going a ways up Grandads, with one lane, people walking on both sides, a rain culvert on one side and boulders in the road. All worth it, the dinner was delicious and they were very kind to have us.
A quick overview on each persons job today.
Cheryl and a Masai warrior spent a day in a crate sorting through “junk for Jesus.” It was sunny, 80 and humid and Cheryl’s face was as red as her hair. She has been an unbelievable organizer; she was called in stat today because she was the only one who could find a much needed supply.
Keith finished his painting masterpiece, he said he was the worst in his art class, but we don’t believe it. He can prime and paint a building perfect. He was to have painted something beautiful in the corner, but we have yet to see it.
Kevin had a bit of a slow day today. He laid low – well deserved for someone who climbed to the top of Kilaminjaro. He has amazing pictures and is always a favorite of the kids when he is out and about.
The OR girls, Rosie and Kathy, again kept everything running smooth in the OR, it was really hot in there for a bit today without air. Rosie came away from Market loaded with material.
Sue doesn’t ever seem to get ruffled. General anesthesia in these settings is certainly not like home. Today had to be a bit hairy, but you would never have known it from her.
Hannah had a great day – well after getting hit in the head with a machete by a Masia. It really was her own fault; she wasn’t cutting the grass quite right. She spent time in the OR for 2 big cases – didn’t pass out! A lot of her day is spent with her new friends Peter and James our Swahili interpreters. No matter where you are from, we all have the same hopes and dreams for the future. She is finding that you get a lot of attention being blonde.
Lori is a great teacher in pre op and post op! She had a very busy day, really because we rely on her so much. She was recovering multiple patients, extubating, bagging… the list goes on and on. She can do it all; she even brought cups to the pub so we can share our beer!
Kristy came to the surgery building today and spent time teaching martial arts and self defense until she had to go to work to save the life a two year old who was quickly losing blood. All turned out well, the stars were in alignment.
Sally and Jeff do it all, care for patients and keep us all on track. They have made the trip. Thank goodness Sally knew the way out of the middle of the market or we might still be there.
Eric gets the award for best at Swahili. He never misses a chance to speak with the people. He loves the surgery and is game for just about anything so far. I didn’t even know he knew where the uterus was.
This is a great team; we are having tons of fun. What an amazing place – hard to put into words! Tomorrow we do surgery in the morning and then to the orphanage to do medical checks on the kids. Thanks all for your comments, keep them coming, we love to read them!
Love to Sara, Andrew and all our families and friends.