Saturday, June 17, 2017

More visitors and more surgeries

On Sunday the 4th of June we were joined by Dr. Darik and Mrs. Jo Taniguchi from Seattle, WA,  Darik is a GI doctor and Jo is a Family Nurse Practitioner that works in a GI office.  This was their 3rd trip here.  We are always happy to welcome them here (even if they are Seattle Seahawk fans!) and we always have lots of good fun and laughter when they are here.  They helped me with some paperwork and typing and saw patients too!  They also went out to help on a Well Baby Clinic.

On Friday the 9th of June our surgery team led by surgeon Mr. Kundaona from Harare  and Dr. Shield Kajese and wife No came out to do surgeries for us.  After dinner at 8 pm they went to work and did 2 rooms at once and were done by 2 a.m. and then slept before having breakfast.  Then they came up to the hospital to go through some of the supplies we get in our container that are too advance for us to use here.  We called it the "doctor's garage sale."  They found a lot of things they can use in their operations in Harare and in ICUs to help patients who can't afford it.

On Monday the 12th of June a medical team from Santa Rosa, CA (my hometown) joined us for a 2 week visit.  Dr. James Palleschi, a urologist who has been here 4 times before brought with him: Maria Beyer, a nursing student, Dr. David Smith a Pediatrician, Dr. Stephanie Huang, an ENT surgeon, Jeff Scharfen, a high school teacher, Oliver Trent who is hoping to get into Physician Assistance school, Carlo, Dr. Palleschi's son who is an X-ray tech and Gloria Mukuze, a Zimbabwean who is an ICU nurse in Santa Rosa and was born at Chidamoyo.  She is Sylvia's (my Zimbabwean sister) niece.

We have been busy this week with them seeing patients, doing some surgeries and really helping many people that don't have a chance to be helped because they don't have the money to be referred further.  They are also busy teaching us some techniques for assessing patients better.

On Thursday 4 of them went out on a Well Baby Clinic and helped with giving shots, Vitamin A and Polio drops.  They all enjoyed that.

Dr. Darik and Jo Taniguchi left on Tuesday the 13th to go to Victoria Falls and then flew home yesterday to Seattle.  They  had such a quick trip but we enjoyed having them here and hope they will be back soon!

All but Dr. Palleschi left yesterday for 2 nights and 3 days at Rhino Camp in Kariba.  They are enjoying seeing animals and they will have many stories to tell when they get back tomorrow night.

Surgeons going through container supplies

Dr. and Mrs. Taniguchi with Dr. and Mrs. Kajese

Busy day at the hospital in Outpatient Department

Dr. Huang with Carlo assisting showing Dr. Munodawafa how to scope a throat

Dr. Palleschi seeing Urology patients

 Dr. David Smith receiving a C/S baby

Dr. Kajese looking through our doctor garage sale

Oliver giving injections at Well Baby Clinic

Jeff giving Vitamin A drops

Dr. Huang giving Polio drops

Gloria at work in our "ICU"

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Busy two weeks and more visitors!

Our workshop near Harare that Major and I went to went well on 22-23 May.  We met with 10 other mission hospitals that are involved in AIDS work and shared our ideas and challenges in AIDS work at our hospitals.  We received an award for Success Stories in Operational Research for our 3 Research projects we are involved in to better lives of people on ART treatment.

Major returned home on the 26th with a new to him family car.  He bought Dr. Megan's car when they left for the US--so we celebrated when he brought it home.

Work has been very busy at the hospital and with only 1 doctor for the month of May it has been especially busy.  I have been seeing Out-patients everyday while Dr. Munodawafa was busy with in-patients and surgeries.

On May 25th we had a holiday--Africa Day--and so got to work just in the morning and then enjoy some relaxing time in the afternoon.  Have been enjoying "The Crown" from Netflix.

Since it was a holiday weekend our Nurse anesthetist went away and I was on call for anesthesia.  Got called just before midnight on Saturday night and when I got home and 2 p.m. watched more of "The Crown" to go back to sleep.  No visitors, so I got to sleep in until 7 a.m.!

Then during church I got called again for another C/Section and then went home to cook dinner as Patience Mereki's birthday was that evening and they were coming for dinner.  Got everything ready to heat up after night church and just as I sat down for night church at the hospital I got called again.  The woman we had done the C/Section on a few hours before had started bleeding and we had to open her again and try and stop the bleeding.  I helped be a scrub nurse this time and we worked for 2 hours to try and control the bleeding,  Finally tied the uterus off and sent her to Chinhoyi for a hysterectomy.  Unfortunately she was gasping on arrival and died shortly after arrival.  So sad!

Finally we got to eat the birthday dinner about 8 p.m. and enjoyed celebrating Patience's birthday.  Their son, Michael also has his birthday on the same day and so we called him to wish him Happy Birthday at school in South Africa and described the food we were eating as he had cooked his Top Ramen for dinner!  We will celebrate his birthday with him again when he comes home for his term holiday in a couple of weeks!  He said he was saving his appetite. 

Patience was very happy as her family bought her a microwave for her birthday present and she was so excited!

The hospital continued to be busy this week and on June 1st Dr. Isala came back to work and Dr, Munodawafa went off for a few days in Harare so I continued to help in Outpatients.

Tuesday I had a meeting with 19 of our Village Health Workers in the area to strengthen our follow-up of defaulters on ART medication.  We use them as our arms and legs to follow up on people in their area and get the people back in treatment. 

On the evening of the 1st we welcomed visitors who drove from Tanzania to be with us.  Fielden and Janet Allison came to present a Marriage Seminar for leaders and ministers in our churches.  They have been involved in this ministry all over Africa and they have been here twice before to work with our Ministers and Wives.  The started their seminar on Friday morning and it runs through Sunday afternoon.  About 25 couples have been attending the seminar and are all very happy with the meeting.

The hospital quieted down a bit this weekend and we look forward to return visitors from Seattle arriving tomorrow afternoon (Sunday).

Winter is here and we are having nights and morning down to the mid-50's but it always warms up to 80's during the day.  Beautiful blue, blue skies with hardly a cloud in the sky.  The days are getting shorter and it is hard to get up in the morning when it is cold and dark until about 6:30 a.m.  One of the plants that blooms in the cold weather is our Poinsettia trees and they are in full bloom right now!

ZACH Meeting

Major and I and the award we received

 Mereki family new car

Patience's Birthday Party

 The cakes on fire with all the candles!

Opening presents


Village Health Workers Meeting


Janet and Fielden teaching with Major translating

 Lunchtime at the Seminar

Seminar on Saturday with Gill translating


Poinsetta tree in bloom


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Gary and Patty LeDonne left on the 9th of May for the US after a quick 2 1/2 week visit with us.  We enjoyed their time here and thank them for their service on our Chidamoyo board.

On the 12th of May we had 10 Zimbabwe Christian College final year students and one teacher who came for 4 days with us to learn counseling skills and how to minister to ill patients.  We have been doing this for 25 years and have been happy to teach many ministers how to minister to sick patients.

Dr. Megan Fitzpatrick finished up her research project with us on Friday morning.  There is still some more work to be done but she unfortunately has to return to her residency at Stanford.  We will miss her and Matt being around after being with us for the past year.  She has a lot of exciting results to write up and her project will help change some important views on HPV and cancer in rural African women.  Many lives will be saved because of this important research. We were happy to be apart of it.

Major's birthday is today, #53!  Since they go home on the weekends to Batanai to farm we celebrated last night with a birthday dinner for the family.  This morning he came over for his Birthday Breakfast of French Toast with Peanut Butter and Maple Syrup and coffee!

Chloe and Andy finished off today at the hospital and head for Harare tomorrow night to go on to Victoria Falls before they leave.  They spent Monday-Wednesday this week at Rhino Camp with Major enjoying animals.

Major and I leave tomorrow night for a 2 day conference an hour East of Harare for AIDS care.  I'll be back on Wednesday and Major has things to do in Harare until Friday.

 Saying goodbye to Gary and Patty in Harare

 Combi even takes people on outside when full!

 Students from ZCC

 Teaching students at the hospital

 Megan presenting prelimanary results of her study

 Megan and Matt working on results

 Major celebrating his #53!

 Patience and Major

Major pouring his birthday coffee

 Chloe and Andy on rounds with Dr. Munodawafa

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Holiday, more visitors and women's church conference

We started this week with a holiday on May 1st (Worker's Day) and Patty, Gary and I got home in time to welcome Dr. Megan and partner Matt back for more work at Chidamoyo.  We put Matt to work on Megan's project and also between that helping us with some computer and office work for the week.  He left this morning for a 5 day canoe trip down the Zambezi river!  We hope he comes back with all his body parts and no angry hippos or croc stories!

We had two other visitors arriving on May 1 but one had to wait because he needed a new passport and one got delayed coming out of London.  So early on Wednesday morning ( 1 a.m.) we welcomed Chloe Biss and early on Friday morning (12:30 a.m.) we welcomed Andy Brown.  Both starting 5th year Medical School in Birmingham, UK. Tthey are here for their elective until the end of the month.  Andy scrubbed in on a C/Section yesterday and today they are delivering babies!

Friday morning we bid goodbye to Patty and Gary at devotions as they are leaving Sunday after church for Harare and then home from there on Tuesday evening.  We are so thankful for their time with us.  It went too fast!  We are thankful for their service on our Chidamoyo Hospital board in the U.S.

Friday at noon Patty and I traveled to Magunje (about 1 hour and 15 minutes towards Karoi) for our area Women's conference.  Patty presented a lesson on how to be a Dynamic Christian woman, using examples from the Old and New Testament of Dynamic Women in the Bible.

Today (Saturday) we came to work and both Patty and Gary helped work on some Green Books (ART patient records) and helped us.

Gary brought signs with him to announce our 50th Anniversary and kept busy putting them up in the in-patient wards and on out-patient clinic veranda.

Matt and Patty helping with the Green books

Patty and Gary busy at work in the office of the hospital

Gary putting up Anniversary sign

Chloe and Andy, UK Medical students

Major saying goodbye to Gary and Patty at Friday's devotion

Women singing and dancing at Women's Conference

Audience of women

 Patty speaking and Mai Kwatchanera translating for her

Monday, May 1, 2017

Visitors, Ministers Retreat, a Visit to Batanai

On the 20th of April Patty and Gary LeDonne  from my home church in Sebastopol, CA arrived to spend 2 1/2 weeks with us.  Unfortunately the night they arrived they spent the night in Harare at my townhouse and they got robbed during the night.  We lost all our cash for our Ministers Retreat.  The robbers had broken in the back door and took all the money out of their backpacks.  Nothing else was lost and no one was hurt so we were happy for that.

Within 2 hours of hearing about the loss in the US a family donated all the money to be replaced so that we could have our ministers retreat. It was such a blessing to us.   Finally after lots of police reports they were able to leave on Friday afternoon and arrived here Friday night at 9 p.m. for dinner.  They were totally exhausted as no one had slept since 2 a.m. when the robbery occurred.

One funny thing that came out of it was that when Major was awaken by Patty to tell him about the robbery he grabbed his shirt and forgot to grab his pants--so he drove to the local police station to get the police in his boxers and didn't realize anything until the 2 policewomen taking the report kept staring at his pants!  Then he realized he had forgot to put his pants on in the terror of the situation!

Saturday the 22nd we had a Gala for HIV testing and Male Cicumcision at a place 2 hours further into the bush from us called Davare.  We have built a school there with our ZRSDP partners so we went to encourage the community.  We had soccer games, netball games for the women, a band, dancing contestants, quizzes and prizes.  We tested 164 people and only 1 positive!  We also did 10 circumcisions. They had so much fun we finally had to leave about 630 pm when it was getting dark.  They didn't want to quit!

I left Patty and Gary home to take it easy and relax for the day as we had a busy week ahead.  We did church at Chidamoyo Sunday morning and night.

Monday and Tuesday I put them to work at the hospital and they enjoyed seeing the changes at the hospital.  Gary and Patty were last here in 2006 and they serve on our Chidamoyo Hospital board in the US.

Early on Wednesday morning the 26th we left for Kariba with 11 of our Ministers for a Ministers Retreat.  Gary and Major and I drove 3 cars the 4 hours to Kariba.   We also took 2 people to help me cook the food for the 3 days.  We had to take a boat 1 hour down Lake Kariba to Rhino Camp.

We had a wonderful retreat with Gary leading sessions on Mark.  We got to go out on game rides every evening and we enjoyed having elephant and hippos near our rooms each day.  The ministers had never been on a boat and never been around animals before so it was a great adventure for them.

On Saturday we travelled back to Chidamoyo and when we arrived about 5 p.m. we were able to present to 5 of the ministers a brand new motorcycle that was provided for them by Natomas Christian Church in Sacramento.  The ministers will now have transport to cover their many churches they help each Sunday thanks to this wonderful donation.  We are so thankful.

Sunday, Patty and Gary and I went to Batanai for church and then went to my rural home at Major's for the night.  They enjoyed visiting with Major, seeing the village and spending a night in the quiet bush.  We enjoyed sadza meals and lots of roasted peanuts!

Today is May 1st and Worker's Day so a holiday at the hospital.  We got to stay at Batanai and come home around lunchtime and relax a little before a busy week of work starting tomorrow.

Dave Gala

Lining up for HIV testing

HIV testing

 Questions for prizes

Major giving out prizes for winning soccer teams

 Ministers on way to Rhino Camp

 Teaching sessions with Gary

 Meal time at Rhino

 Evening campfire time

Out on safari

The group with elephants in the background

 Patty and Gary LeDonne

Elephants playing together

 Giving out the motorcycles

 Major trying out the new motorcycle

The 5 ministers and their new motorcycles

 Kathy and Patty and Gary at Kathy's house at Batanai

Sunset and moon rising at Batanai

Dinner time at Batanai