Selam from Ethiopia! Today was our first day at the hospital. It was quite busy and exciting! To begin the day we went on rounds with Dr. Fokadu then quickly began our day of surgeries. Kevin and Ellen were in the OR, while Noreen and I were in recovery. The first case was a C-section of twins. How fun it was to see Dr. Karnowski and Dr. Fokadu working together. The procedure went well, and the twin boys were healthy and beautiful! Noreen and I recovered only four patients including two lipoma removals, a C-section, and a pelvic mass extraction. It remained busy for us though as we did odds and ends wherever needed. I felt overwhelmed at times with the language barrier and my horrible attempts to speak Amharic. You don’t realize how frustrating a language barrier is until you are in the midst of one. For example, I was attempting to loudly ask an older lady who was desaturating and hard of hearing to “take a big breath,” later to find out that I had been asking the women to “take a big fart!” oh my Lord, how embarrassing! Dr. Fokadu was kind and patted me on the back as to say, no worries! Even though he was laughing just as hard as the rest of the staff! Everyone, staff and patients included, are gracious, joyous, and ALWAYS smiling. I’m overwhelmed by the teamwork between the staff and great attitudes towards what they do! I must admit I did struggle a bit during the day. The amount of pain these patients endure is heartbreaking. The access to pain medication is limited, thus they suffer post-operatively. I’m constantly reminded of how fortunate we are in the U.S. I do my best to comfort them in their times of need with smiles and loving touch. After a short day in the OR we made our way back to Project Mercy. Kevin (my husband) and I then walked the perimeter of the grounds, enjoying the sunset over the mountains. What a beautiful place Yetebon has been so far! The people here are hardworking, yet content with life. I can already see this will be a hard place to leave. The sun set behind the mountains as we finished our walk. Dinner was delicious as always. The staff at Project Mercy have been so wonderful. To end the day our team gathered to hear the boys and girls that live here at Project Mercy sing. Their voices were sweet, as they echoed through the campus. All in all I would say team 2 has hit the ground running!
P.S. Chris and Nat we are enjoying your comments J