Hi everyone! We have one tired team tonight. I wanted to send a quick blog and some pictures. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate the number of hits on our blog and your comments.
There have been a couple of questions asked in the comments that I want to respond to. Jennifer Larson asked if we had popcorn with our coffee ceremony and the answer is ‘yes’. It’s like a kettle corn – very tasty!
We’ve had some great comments to our bowel blog. Our one team mate that was considering a laxative is no longer in need. She received two rounds of applause tonight from the entire team when she presented us with her news!
Dr. Nate, Dr. Mallory, and Dr. Jenny are in high demand. Very interesting cases and very busy. We are proud of the teaching that we are providing by these individuals. The reception of that teaching is well received. Dr. Nate is teaching a local nurse to clean teeth, Dr. Jenny is teaching the local surgeon how to do a vaginal hysterectomy versus open. Dr. Mallory is not only teaching but learning how to do procedures that she might not do in the states. I can’t say enough good things about our nurses on team 2 – they are hardworking and very caring.
We are learning through the dental exams that patients that use tooth brushes and tooth paste have by far better dental hygiene versus those that are chewing on sticks (common practice here) to clean their teeth. Clearly the trend of using tooth brushes and tooth paste is becoming more integrated into this culture. There is opportunity for us to bring tooth brushes and tooth paste next year so that we can teach how to use them and to demonstrate the value. That will be a good study for us to see the expected decline in tooth decay as we continue our work here.
For those of you on the edge of your seat regarding whether Kevin Duffy made it out of his bathroom I’m happy to say we had a Kevin sighting today. Apparently he was thinking about how to escape through the very small window in the bathroom. Considering he didn’t have a towel we could only hope the actual exit would have been made under the cover of darkness. Luckily the door gave way when he charged at it in sheer desperation and in the darkness was able to find his clothing…or it might have been Iyads…no one is really sure. Oh well.
A few of us stayed back at Project Mercy today and completed vision and trachoma eye screening. We screened 114 school children and 42% tested positive for trachoma. The process is that we treat with medication and the local nurse/teachers demonstrate facial and hand hygiene for prevention. This eye disease left untreated causes blindness. It is passed from person to person via flies.
For those of us that completed the eye screening, we closed shop briefly during lunch time and to our surprise met six ferenges outside our lunch room. They had a thick accent and were asking to see individuals on the compound. We learned that they were visiting from Norway and had a strong connection to Project Mercy throughout their earlier lives. They were literally traveling in their own vehicle and just stopped in. Cheryl, Jeanne, and I were the only Project Mercy representatives around at the time so we invited them in.
The first thing I noted was that their skin was by far paler than mine. “ok…ok…hard to imagine, but true”. The second thing I noted was that they were sun burned and then they were covered in swollen bug bites and finally that they were hungry, and thirsty.
We kicked into action. Jeanne went to get her sunscreen to give them, Cheryl notified the kitchen of our guests, and I cleaned wounds, gave Benadryl, and sun screen advice. Then we had them wash up and sit down to pray and eat with us. We proudly shared our 3 Norwegian words with them…Leftse, Lutefisk, and Uff-Da. I’m sure they were very, very impressed. They were happy campers when they left for Addis.
With Project Joy (the team of engineers from Michigan) being here for 3 meals the day before and the visiting Norwegians here today…the question now is… who’s coming for dinner today?
Take care everyone…more news tomorrow.