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By: lottadigital
Sep 6, 2011

Please find a summary of the past day or so, we have had Internet problems and therefore inability to send separate blogs.  Due to the very very slow internet speed, it is very hard to include pictures, as soon as I can, I will introduce some pictures.

Sept. 4’11@11:27AM IN Paris

Just arrived in Paris airport, waiting for the second long leg of the flight. The plastic surgeon is here with us now and we are trying to speak Acadian Portuguese…lol The French, the English, Portuguese and African.. plus add some Acadian French culture into this and that will be an interesting week. Weather here 20 degree..Marie is doing well, tired already but eating what she can, keeping all he extra in a bag, like a squirrel, need a snack, she has it from the last flight.. So let’s see what happens next.


Sept. 4th “11 @4:40pm In last leg of our flight service

Ok you know you are going to be starving when you ask for extra bread and wine. Well Between Judy and I we managed to get 4 small bottles of wine, 6 pear liquor and 3 bottles of water. Who knows what Marie got… Probably double what we got.. Our Gay stewardess was the bomb.. Who knows what will happen when we get there.. Irma momo should be already in Cotonou…well we have food for 1 night and few bottles already so sorry for the misspelling of words.. I have to say the two bottles of cab-shiraz were great as well as the 2 pear liquor.


Sept.5th’11@12:37 Arrived in Zinvie

If you are wondering why you are getting all of these at the same time it is because there is no internet at times so we keep blogging to keep it current.

Well after being given 5 bottles of wine, some bread from the airplane steward, we arrived in the Chaos….the terminal was a free for all and people are pushy. Last luggage to arrive we et in a small jeep on very very rough road for one hour due to the last rainfall. We arrive at the hospital compound and the Brazilian team are all there.. Shirts made for all of us and rice and bread made for us. We unpack our stuff and the anesthesiologist was so happy to see the propofol arrive. With versed, ketamine, propofol, succs, and rock we are easy to hit the streets.. Kind of… Meeting after mass tomorrow to see what will be happening. We are asked if we are ok to accept emergencies the week we are here…So it could get interesting. It is hot and humid but everyone is so nice.. Anti malaria pills given to everyone since it was almost 8 times what we pay in Canada, everyone is going to bed. Irma Monique has been up since Friday am to get to here today. Few of us stayed up to talk about tomorrow, the gynecologist, pediatric surgeon, anesthesia and myself. Well off to bed, long day tomorrow to get everything organized. We will probably see patients and try to get a history on them…That could be very very interesting, most will lie about their history so they can get operated, there will be a language varrier since none of us talk Arfrican.. some only speak Portuguese and English..

Well the mosquito nests are up, time to hit the hard bed with Canadian sheets and Canadian off.. It’s pass midnight it must be 28 degree and 100 plus humidity…


Sept. 5th ‘11@8:54am Day 1

OMG!!!!first of all the airport was absolute chaos on arrival, everybody in one baggage claim, there must have been at least 400 people all pushing to get there bags… wow it was a show.. Then we load up in a truck with Dominic our driver( he works at the hospital) very nice man.. and we drive to the hospital. I was an Epi. Rush the whole time.. Multiple people and babies on these scooters and bikes holly Crap!!!They were everywhere…

Our sleeping arrangements are actually good. We are all together sharing a villa. Each our rooms have a sink , shower and Yes! A flushable toilet..

The group is all so nice everybody brought a little bit of everything and helping each other. We have our mosquito nets up, our beds done, bags unpacked.. We’re ready.. The heat and humidity is ouff!! HOT!

Slept ok, well I did anyway..(with a little help) Louis slept a couple hours here and there, nothing any different then at home…

Now getting ready for some coffee and off we go to explore the grounds.. Where do we start and who will be our first patients???

Will keep you posted on how today go’s


Sept 5th 2011 at 11:10 pm   Day 1 or Surgery and consultation 

Well the adventure has started, after a morning of orientation, division of teams, we began seeing patients for consultations.  Not much for me except dehydrated kids, polydactyl, cervical cyst, goiter…. Wow what sizes, … what you see in textbooks…sub mandibular gland tumor, and many ingunal hernias.  So today was a day of helping the general surgeon performing those surgeries?  Getting to know the systems, get the instruments clean and sterilize, and do consultations…the sharps container.. that does not exist. It’s all in the same area, the garbage…It was great to be able to help all these people, but what misery.  What lack of cleanliness, dignity, for most people in Canada, their animals get better treatment and respect compared to these operated patiens…wow… the turn around is 5 minutes, nothing is really cleaned, the anesthesia machine are not cleaned, ecg bloody and used on the other patient, the same mask are used until there is too much blood on it or direct bleeding, the instruments are in a large bin, you take them out with forceps, same for the gauze… count what is that?? Consent form… detail notes??? None of that exists.  What culture shock.  I have been in other poor areas but this is amazing..  Patients are very strong, seem to feel minimal pain post op, .. wow what pathology.  Breast CA, large lesions, forget just small area of palpation, these are 15 cm large breast lesion…sarcoma of the abdomen, the lesion is more than 30 cm, large dorsal nevus (the entire back of this young guy., all those non resectable…4 y.o. girl with hydrocephalus bit her lip almost entirely off, not eating well, admitted by us for dehydration and a Hb of 3, a 3 y.o. boy with a large maxillary lesion that looks like fibrous dysplasia, the dentist from Brazil saw some amazing draining fistulas in 5 and 6 y.o..  the Gynecologist took out some very large uterus (10 lbs), abnormal ovaries…What will tomorrow bring??  Well it is midnight, we are on call for the hospital since the general surgeon told everyone we were here, so it could be an interesting night..  what an overwhelming situation and country…..