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Blog

APRIL 20, 2013 (LATE)
By: lottadigital
Apr 20, 2013

April 19th at night

Hi all! Safe and sound in Africa. It is midnight here. We landed in Cotonou at approx 8:30. The flight was long but uneventful. It is extremely hot to say the least. We had to drive for over an hour to
get to our house and that was a bit scary . There are obviously no rules of the road. Motor Bikes everywhere with multiple passengers, no helmets. Not sure how we managed to get here without crashing into someone. It is extremely busy and chaotic really. Mom was worried that I might be hungry, no worries there. There is so much food brought by everyone. Tomorrow we will meet with the priests at the hospital to get us organized and then we can start work . Goodnight all.

And here we are! Absolute madness at the airport!! The natives here must find Dr. Batten attractive (or suspicious) because they seem to stop him at every corner. Hehehehehe. The drive from the airport to Zinvie was…..well terrifying. There doesn’t seem to be any rules to the road… no lanes, no speed limit. Motorcycles everywhere. EVERYWHERE. There are lots of different smells along the way. Gasoline, food…. Other things I can’t put a name to. The place where we’re staying is huge. Everybody has they own room and we found out when we got here that there’s a couple from Italy staying here with us as well. We have an early rise in the morning. Meeting at 8 with the priest… Me and Dr. Batten are going to tend to the people who work and live here first and then figure out how the next few days will go. It is HOT here. HOT HOT HOT. Very happy to have a fan in the room! Love and miss you Brian… Phil and Ellie : )

-Nicole

We have arrived safe and sound all luggage and everyone accounted for. It is hot,hot, hot!!!!

Looking forward to a good night sleep and a very busy week. It feels so great to be back here in Zinvie. There is a inner peace here that makes be feel like I am home. God is in this place. I love it here.

-Pam

Good old Africa just as I remember it. The sites, sounds, smells and the madness is like no other place that I have ever been. So many people just heading every where at the same time. Big day tomorrow we get to met the hospital staff and I get to see their sterilizing equipment and procedures. I hope that I can be of some help. Just having a night cape then off to bed. Terry

Hi david Hi Carolyn Hi Holly! And everyone else. We arrived I was so glad that it wasn’t raining. The city was busy a river of small motor cycles with multiple passengers and the odd well dressed solo lady. No helmets if you fall off you just get mown down in the crowd. It was dark and the smoke from bright kerosene lamps snaked upwards. At roadside stalls in the dark. We are about to settle down for the night. Xxx Anne

Well we are here again… a place we have grown to miss really. People, the smell, the chaos, the poverty but people being OK with it, because they do not know better.. Do we expect too much … life for us is complicated and ordered…but is it better…. Tomorrow will we start with our usual meeting at 8 am and then consultations and we start…the container has arrived so we will look at that as well. It will be a great experience for all. Derrick is in Bed worried about what he will bring…how our Canadian standards are in the world of dentistry compared to here. It is amazing that we need to go back to basics and really it is the basics that makes us happy. Good night LB

April 20 2013

We had a very productive day today. Yeh! The container was here so we were able to get a lot of the organizing done. We saw a lot of patients for consultations and we have a full day of surgeries booked and most of the week.. Two very young cleft palates to do. A bowel reconstructions and a lot of hernias. Sadly there was one baby the docs believe has an inoperable tumor. It was sad to see them give the parents the sad news. When you come to do something like this you pray every story has a happy ending but then you are faced with the reality. Home things could have a different outcome. We are so blessed. But we are fortunate to be here and able to do what we can thanks to a lot of generous people back home. Thank you to everyone who donated to our mission. God Bless you.

– Pam

Big day today. Got a run down on the sterilization section and it was not as bad as I thought. Not IWK standards for sure but it is work able. As we say there is more kill the bug than maintaining sterilization. But it works for them so it will work for me. Spent most of the day setting up storage cabinets and going through boxes and boxes of donated supplies from home. Thank-you home very much appreciated. Tomorrow is Sunday so we are going to Church in the morning and if time permits we are going for a
walk into the local village of Zinvie. TTUsL Terry

Just told Terry that its TTYL not TTUL but than he informed me that in NFLD its “youse” so I added the small s for him!! It is very very hot here and we spent several hours emptying boxes in a windowless shed . Needless to say the cold water shower felt wonderful tonight. Tomorrow we will go to church and then take a walk into the village. Still have some organizing to do before all is ready in the O.R. for Monday morning. As I walk around this place and visit the hospital I have to keep reminding myself that we share the same earth as it is all so different from my everyday life at home.

– Nellie

Well we had a good look at the anesthetic machines today. The 02 source is a large o2 cylinder then rotameters and one halothane and one isoflurane and very very old complex ventilators with a maze of knobs and dials. We did find the crates holding the 2 aneshetic dragers that were shipped earlier. And the glidescopeand cautery machine. We did a lot rearranging oh how someone local coming in won’t recognize their OR on Monday. Still got more to do until we feel comfortable with the flow of the anesthetic.

Juliette and I intend to work as a team and then it will be safer. There’s a list now from mon to Friday cleft palates hernias suspicious lumps and bumpps. Tomorrow is Sunday. Love to all Annexxx

Another hot day but missed this place….Saw probably 30 patients that filled a good part of our day…Derrick and Nicole got to work today.. so it was great. The days are hot and we do get tired but it is all worth it. Say some hernia’s again, cleft lip and palates, large tumours and fibro dysplasias, and lots and lots of goitre…Terry worked on the shelfs so we will get those organized today. It’s late… the internet doesn’t work well…so frustrating to send anything thing.. All have a great night and enjoy what we have since we are very very fortunate and we do not realize it.

– LB

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