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By: lottadigital
Apr 21, 2013

Today is the second full day here. The day started with us going to the local church for morning service at 9. It was amazing how well behaved the children were during the service. The people there were all dressed very well with very brightly coloured clothes.
Once church was over we spent the morning putting the final touches and cleanup to the two OR’s and getting them ready for Monday morning’s schedule of surgeries. It looks like it is going to be a very busy day for the surgery teams.

In the afternoon we went on a long walk through the local village. Quickly many of the children became our guide and led us through their village hand in hand. Everybody was taking many photos, which the children wanted to see right away, as many of them had never seen an image of themselves before. That progressed to them wanting to take their own pictures with our cameras.

I showed the kids pictures of snow and ice from home, which may have only reinforced the idea that we live in houses made of ice. I had two hockey lace bracelets on that my son gave me, these were repossessed by a young girl and boy. So now there is a little bit of Canadian culture in the jungle out there somewhere.

Myself and Nicole rearranged and cleaned out the dental office yesterday. Most of the equipment is functioning to some degree but the clutter and dirt was literally in layers. It took us a number of hours of work but we have placed all our donated supplies in the office and I think we are ready for Monday morning. We even had a trial run of three patients yesterday, not much needed just a couple of fillings and heavy cleanings. Nicole is great with the French language and is able to carry on a conversation fairly well, so I think tomorrow morning she will be able to keep me going with the patients.

It’s a great mix of people on this mission, different cultures, languages, skill sets, and personalities. We seem to compliment each other nicely.


Sunday Day 2

It is soooooo hot here.. I honestly think its hotter this time then what it’s been on the last missions… We worked on organizing the OR’s yesterday and again today..so much to do but we have to remember that we can’t change to much to fast so not to upset the local workers and that they can keep it up.. We have met 2 wonderful people Max and Elisa 2 nurses from Italy they will be here for the next 6 months so we hope that they will keep teaching. We all went to mass this morning it was half in French and half in fon. The overall homily was similar to what we have home but the music and singing was so beautiful. We work t’ill noon or so today as Sunday is the day of rest.
We went for a walk in the local village and we were accompanied by at least 10 children holding our hands and wanting to play with our cameras as they like taking pictures I think like any kid they like pushing the button and hearing the click but to see there faces and eyes when they see there picture..it always makes me smile to see there expressions,, these letting things we take for granted.. I had a little boy walking with me he is 13 yrs old and so intelligent.. He is so well spoken in French and told me he likes to learn the English language he did know some words and was eager to learn new words. He told me he would like to come to Canada to my country and asked how he could do that..what do I say?? I honestly would bring him with me if I could.. This breaks my heart because this gorgeous little boy has so much potential..I feel so helpless when it comes to things like this…
Tomorrow morning we start our surgeries so far we seem to have a busy week with a couple cleft lip repairs, hernias, bowel reconstructions etc..lets pray that all go’s well and that they are all successful..

– Good night Judy

Sunday started as hot as Saturday left of but after a pancake breakfast we all got together for a church service that was spoken in two languages which were French and Fon, neither that I have had a chance to master since I arrived in Zinvie. Being the good Catholics that we are myself, Pam and Nellie all got a seat right up front which we were very pleased to have because the church was full. I think we must of stood out a little as we tried to follow along with the mass the best that we could. Matter a fact we were doing so well that the Priest sent one of the Alter Boys down to ask me to participate in the Mass. Well if you could have seen the look on my face as the young boy ask me to do something in some native language that remember that I never had a chance to master yet as Pam spoke to him in a low tone voice to assure him that I never had any idea what he has asking of me but that never spot him from asking several times over before he gave up and went back to the alter to tell the Priest that I was not getting out of my pew. Let me assure you that I never made eye contact with any one else that was on the alter. After mass we all had a good laugh and Louie is going to ask the Priest tomorrow what was being ask of me. Stay tuned I will let you know.
Lots of work followed church in the OR to make sure that we are ready for the first patents in the morning. Then after lunch we walk into the locale village which we were followed by children all day long. It was great. Busy day on Monday still lots to do in a short amount of time.

– Later Terry

There was a church service this morning. Dr. Batten, Anne and I were a little late making our way up to the church, so we stayed outside. It was amazing watching the people from the village making their way to mass in beautiful clothes. We think they make most of their clothes themselves. Families had matching articles of clothing. The baby’s shirt would match the mother’s dress…. And then a toddler with the same pants. It’s possible though that those are the only nice clothes they own! Today was a day of rest from treatment , so we worked like dogs organizing the clinic and making trips back in forth to the storage basement in the blazing heat after church. I have never sweat so much in my entire life! After lunch, we went on a jungle adventure. The people here live in huts. We walked through the jungle for a couple of hours and many of the local children came along with us. It was a bit over whelming at times. If you show them too much attention they’re likely to take advantage. They were grabbing at my camera and trying to take pictures, but when I was firm with them (haha as firm as I can get!) they just wanted to hold my hand. The kids really like Dr. Batten’s hairy arms…. they don’t seem to have any hair on their arms. Louis told the little kids that they should hold his hand and give him hugs because he really likes that. Hehehehehe. We lost power several times today…. And so the fans stopped working. Wow. I really appreciate those fans, and when they’re not working it is UNBEARABLE. Tomorrow is our first day of surgeries and dental treatment. I’m hoping I won’t pass out around the surgery area. I leaned the father’s teeth the other day. I billed out a 10 unit scale : ) he had never had a dental cleaning before and had only seen a dentist one time before to have a wisdom tooth pulled out, but he didn’t have any cavities. This is a long entry because I missed yesterday! Miss everybody at home! Xoxoxo


Another hot day…but so great full for what we have. After giving syrup and pancakes to the brazilians and the Italians, we went to church. It was great… Great song and people so friendly. We then worked on the OR and all the equipment. We changed their world around so it will be interesting…I have to say I was upset to find out that some of the equipment was kept for us to work with…and part of the container was not emptied. We were told that they thought we needed all that equipment, what 10,000 mask….in a week…anyway after our lunch made y Alex and Julieta, we went for a walk.. Kids came From everywhere.. The best part was when I told the young girls that Derrick loved to be hugged so he was bombarded by all these girls wanting to hold his hands. (You have to know Derrick to know that this is not his favourite). It was fun…walking through the Jung!e, Derrick texting, with these young girls with him… So funny. Returned to house had supper from mountain company dried food, it was really good. Tomorrow we start again… Some hernias, extra digit, hernias, submandibular glands excision, biopsies, fibrous dysphasia reconstruction, cleft lip and palates, it will be great, we have over 30 procedures scheduled already…with all of this, one can only thank god for what we have compared to those kids that have no opportunity of going anywhere, have nothing, living in a house of mud. And they are happy..and we have everything….and we have a hard time to find happiness….

– Lb