Note from Jeff: Despite being Friday the 13th, we just received notice from Jupiter Hotel that the AWOL suitcase has been found and will be sent with the team coming next week! Wonderful answer to a lot of prayers. It has more peanut butter (which is running low) in addition to a dermatome (retired) and new blades.
Many of us of start each day with a beautiful walk around the Project Mercy compound where we are staying. The roosters are crowing, the birds are chirping and the local residents are already out completing their chores such as getting water to take home. After a great breakfast some of us head to the hospital for daily rounds with Dr. Fekadu and the hospital staff. He meets with both pre-op and post-op patients that are in the hospital. We had an uneventful day in the OR with several interesting cases. We frequently have the opportunity to improvise new uses for equipment or supplies during a surgical case.
After completing our surgical cases we headed back to Project Mercy in the ambulance to see many women sifting chaff out of barley. This is very dirty work but the women were chatting among themselves. It always amazes me how hard they work but yet they always seem happy.
Laundry day is on Wednesday at Project Mercy. The staff wash any clothes we wanted washed and returned them to sort out. Lori, Sig and Wanda were the sock sorters. They did a great job making sure they all matched. Things are going well. The days fly by.
Yesterday, I met the gardeners, both men and women, working in all the many gardens. The women take turns pumping the pump handle for water; they are located in a very sunny spot so I can only imagine how hot everyone must get. Once the water is pumped, it goes into different areas. There are flower borders everywhere. The women fill their water containers and walk along watering all the plants. At first, I thought they had to carry the water a very long distance, but then I saw water spigots where they filled the watering cans. The men use garden tools from what I would consider 1800’s and early 1900’s picks and shovels. By the way, did we tell you that our elevation is of about 8000 feet and that the ground is covered with rocks which are mostly volcanic? Anyway- the gardeners picked leaves and told me that they were used for “pizzzzzza”. I tasted oregano, basil and garlic, rosemary…. They wanted me to smell them and laughed when I chewed them. Ethiopians have beautiful smiles and love to laugh. I have short video clips of them working the pumps and in doing their work in the garden with picks. As I walked thru the gardens- flowers were mixed with vegetables and fruits: avocados, limes, tomatoes, lettuce, kale, grapes, etc….
While on a garden tour, we saw a small antelope like animal but it wasn’t shy. As I see their succulents potted on their steps- it reminds me of home and family…. Thank you to everyone that supports us. Your prayers are making things happen.