This week started with 2 holidays on Monday and Tuesday (Hero's and Defense Forces Day) and so we got to sleep in a bit and work only until 1 or 2 p.m. and we did our 2nd C/Section of the week on Tuesday morning during rounds. We had to stay a bit later to get discharges and dressings done. Abbey and Tori have taken over for Caleb and Amanda doing dressings each day.
Tuesday morning we said good-bye to Caleb and Amanda who headed for home after 3 months with us. Their time went by so quickly and they were a big help to us in many ways. They arrived home in Kansas on Wednesday minus their luggage which caught up with them a day later.
By Thursday we had another C/Section (#3) just when I got dinner on the table and sat down to bite my first bite--I got called! The other guests decided to eat dinner and miss the C/Section which would have been my choice too, but off I went and got home about 8:15 p.m. to finish my dinner before bed! I was happy it was early in the evening and not during the night!
Thursday Tori and Brenden went off to help with a Well Baby Clinic at Mudzimu. They helped weigh kids and give Vitamin A and Tori took Blood pressures for the mom's who wanted Family Planning! They came home saying it was great, but exhausted from lifting kids and all the screaming.
All week I have been helping Dr. Munodawafa get some lunch after I get back from lunch as Out patient clinic has been so busy! So I have been busy seeing patients and many are very sick and need admitting to the bed.
Last night we got home to eat at 6:30 and had invited the Mereki family over for Pizza. We had prayer time, enjoyed a bit of the Olympics and headed for bed by 9:30 p.m. very exhausted! By 4:30 a.m. this morning I was awaken to go to the hospital for a C/Section (#4). All went well and got home at 6:00 a.m. Decided to stay up and take a nap later in the day, so had time to get breakfast ready for the group, watch some Olympic highlights and put a load of wash out before breakfast at 8:30 a.m.
Major came over to eat breakfast with us and have some coffee before he headed for Batanai and his village to get some work done. We got to the hospital by 9:30 a.m. in time to hear one of the ladies might need a C/Section. We decided to give her a little more time as the doctor finished rounds and at noon I went to check her and found she was complete. I tried to Vacuum it out and no luck--off we were to another a C/Section--#5 for the week! We finished by 1:15 p.m. and then I had to finish discharges and get people on their way home before we could go home eat some lunch and get a nap in!
Dr. Isala is on leave for the whole month of August and that is why I am on call for anesthesia for C/Sections! We usually do 5 C/Sections a month and so far we have done more than 10 for the month! Hope it slows down a bit for the rest of the month! We have a lot of mother's in our Waiting Mother's shelter and we have had a lot of deliveries, so we keep going!
We have been enjoying watching some Olympics all this afternoon and are happy to be cheering Team America on from Zimbabwe. We were happy Kristy Cox got a bronze medal in swimming for Zimbabwe--her 5th Olympics!
Kathy with Caleb and Amanda the day they left Chidamoyo
Tori suturing a wound with Dr. Munodawafa
Abbey doing dressing changes
Brenden putting Petty Cash receipts into the computer
This week is the busiest week we ever had maybe ever! Monday we had a busy day and 11 of us continued in the hospital and at home.
Tuesday morning Caleb and Amanda led the nurses in-service on wound care--something they have been doing a lot since they have been here. This was their last week with us. We were able to give out Fanny packs and Stethoscopes that had come in the container to all our staff who came. We are so thankful for all these gifts.
On Tuesday we were joined for a few hours at lunch by the Director of UNAIDS in Zimbabwe, Michael Bartos and his wife Mary. We had a good talk about our AIDS program and they toured our new Waiting Mothers Shelter and we presented the need for more beds as the ones we have were provided by UNFP. He is passing our need on to the right people at UN. They also gave us a generous donation to our hospital. They joined the 11 of us for lunch--so that day we had 13 for lunch.
Cheri Gail and Abbey Carson decided to treat us to a great dinner for Larry and Cheri and LeAnne and Charlie's last dinner. they cooked up stirfry and sweet potato pie and apples fritters--wow! We bid them farewell on Wednesday morning as they left with Major for 2 nights at Rhino Camp. We had such a great time with them and their time went by so fast. They went to several schools to give out soccer balls. We got our last container totally unpacked and Larry helped Major type up some work he needed to do. Cheri and LeAnne kept busy doing vital signs and helping Maternity patients. Charlie fixed some things for me and helped in our outreach clinics and worked unloading containers and sorting throw the chapel!
We had one night with only 7 of us and then on Thursday 6 people from Harare came. They are people we are working with on our research project on adolescents and also a new doctor who is going to do research here. She is a pathology resident from Stanford University in CA and will be helping our Laboratory do some basic pathology tests along with her research--so we are excited about that. The IT people came and worked with us to put a form on a tablet that will help us capture our AIDS patients records easier. We had a great time and for lunch and dinner there were 13 of us and for breakfast on Friday.
On Friday we lost 9 people who left after breakfast! The three UK med students left for Harare after 2 weeks with us. We appreciated their time with us. they kept us laughing and they were very enthusiastic about our American food! They loved all the different patients and diseases they saw here, nothing they will probably ever see in their future practices.
The 6 people from Harare also left after breakfast and Abbey decided to go to Harare and come home with Major on Saturday night. So Caleb and Amanda and I had a quiet lunch with just three of us--I was actually so tired I slept through lunch.
Friday we prepared for the surgeon and anesthesiologist from Harare to come. Mr. Kundiona and Dr. and Mrs. Kajese came. They arrive at 8:30 p.m. after working in Harare and started right in on operations at 9 p.m. They worked until 2:30 a.m. and then came home for dinner and went off to sleep at 3 a.m. and up by 7 a.m. to start work again. Then they worked straight through until 11:30 p.m. Saturday. They only stopped for tea time and something to eat once when we had to kick them out of the operating room for an emergency C/Section that happened!
The Kajese's brought their sweet 11 month old baby, Alexis whom we got to play with, as Mrs. Kajese worked hard as the scrub nurse!
I did rounds so that the doctor could stay in the Operating Room for the day and work with the doctors and we had 2 women in labor with twins, and a baby we had to resuscitate. Then one of the twins got stuck and we had to rush to get it out--the arm was bent by the head and not coming out! Had to tell them to sew the patient they were working on quickly as we were kicking them off the table for the C/Section. They moved fast and we moved fast and we were done in 30 minutes!
The doctors had planned to leave Saturday after work--but they were so exhausted. They came for dinner at 11:30 p.m. and then slept from 12-4 a.m. and left for Harare at 4 a.m.
Major went from Rhino camp on Friday with Larry, Cheri and LeAnne and Charlie and then saw them off at the airport on Saturday morning. Saturday evening he picked up our two new guests Tori Davis, a nurse from Reno, NV and Brenden Hinen, from Reno, NV. They are here for 3 weeks with us. They arrived at 12:30 a.m. Sunday morning--so after the doctors left for bed I stayed up to welcome them in! At 4 a.m. I was awake to see the doctors off and then went back to sleep until 6:45 a.m. when I got up to clean up my house and put more wash out!
We have 2 holidays today and tomorrow--so looking forward to catching up on some rest around the house. We spent a few hours at the hospital discharging a lot of patients and catching up on some paperwork this morning.
God definitely gave me the energy to keep going this week and we hope to take some deep breaths and slow down a bit this week-ha!
LeAnne, Charlie and Larry and Cheri with Kathy when they left Wednesday
Mary and Michael Bartos
Kathy with Michael, UNAIDS Director in Zimbabwe
David helping Dr. Munodawafa with a C/Section
Xavier stapling the C/Section closed
Caleb and Amanda giving an inservice on wound care
Mr. Mujudgi and Major with their new Fanny packs
Nurses getting fanny packs and stethoscopes after in-service
Kathy and Cheri--20 years later!
Research group from Harare and UK Med students on left
Abbey, Nic, Xavier, Cheri, Chantel, LeAnne, Major, David and Charlie at Sanyati River
Caleb being scrub nurse with David and Dr. Munodawafa
Major saying goodbye to Larry, Cheri and LeAnne and Charlie at the hospital on Tuesday
Dr. Kajese very tired doing anesthesia and Mr. Kundiona on right and Dr. Munodawafa assisting
On Friday the 22nd of July we welcomed three medical students from Norwich, UK; Xavier, Nic and David. Xavier came last year for a few days with another student and liked it so much he came back with more friends. They are final year students and so they are enjoying all the pathology and work they are doing here. They are so excited to do anything and so I am using them to do anything! They have been busy drawing blood for our research project and helping the doctor in surgery and with OPD. They have assisted in 2 C/Sections. They seem to be having a great time.
On Sunday evening the 24th we were joined by Larry and Cheri Gail--our dearest friends and founders of "Friends of Chidamoyo"(like us on Facebook! ) They brought with them Charlie and Lee Ann winners of our "Trip to Chidamoyo" at the auction last year in September. They are writing each day and posting on Facebook about their trip so follow it there. They are here for 2 weeks and so there are 11 of us for each meals as Caleb, Amanda and Abbey continue as visitors.
We have been busy all week having them help in Well Baby Clinic, Antenatal Clinic, ART clinic and working in our chapel to sort and clean!! They are working on getting our last container completely unpacked. One day Cheri lead Lee Ann and Abbey to clean up my office while I sat in my chair saying "keep that, throw that!" They promised me a recliner chair and a fan if I would do that in the chapel with them! If you have seen our chapel you would know that isn't even tempting!! Abbey has been working hard to work with them in the chapel.
We have been working all week with one doctor because the other was at a workshop, and next week the other doctor starts his leave for a month. That makes me on call for anesthesia so it keeps me busy!
All the group but Caleb and Amanda and me headed off with Major this morning to spend a night at our village at Batanai! They will go to church there tomorrow and come back in the evening. The Medical students decided to ride on the roof rack there!!
So this afternoon I have been busy doing wash--I'm on load #6 so far and cleaning out fridges and freezers, doing inventory of food, clean my house and even had time for a nap this afternoon! Looking forward to our Steak braii (BBQ) tonight and a quiet even watching a movie.
Next week Larry and Cheri and LeAnn and Charlie leave on Wednesday for a few days on safari--but 6 people are coming Thursday and Friday about our research project, then Friday our doctors and scrub nurse team from Harare arrives for 2 days of surgeries. No rest for us! The beds don't even have a chance to cool off between guests!
First job--Larry cleaning solar panels on the roof of hospital
LeAnn at Well Baby Clinic
Abbey and LeAnne busy at Well Baby Clinic
LeAnne measuring arms to asses for malnutrition at Well Baby Clinic
Charlie measuring heights of kids at Well Baby Clinic
Xavier and Nic drawing blood for CD4s
Caleb, David, Xavier, Nic all drawing blood for CD4s and Viral Loads
Xavier assisting Dr. Isala in a C/Section while David looks on
Cheri and Major doing what they do best--having a Coke at the township!
Larry, Abbey and Cheri setting up the Co-trimoxazole dispensing station at ART clinic
Abbey weight ART patients as charlie holds the baby so mom can be weighed!
Larry handing out Co-trimoxazole to patients
Kathy and Larry with our fresh eggs--Friends of Chidamoyo sponsored our chicken project to help support the work of the hospital!
As soon as Major and the guests got back from Rhino Camp and the long dirt road they took to get home, we turned around and they repacked and off we went to Harare, 4 of us (Michael Miller, Abbey, Major and I) were driven in by Michael Mereki.
We got to Harare at 10 p.m. and left at 7:15 a.m. the next day for the airport to fly off to Vic Falls. Michael Mereki stayed in Harare to run errands for us. We arrived in Vic Falls at 10:30 a.m. and off to the Bed and Breakfast to check in. We walked the Falls and went on a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River and then to dinner at the Boma where you can eat a bit of warthog, impala, croc tail, etc. and eat a Mopane Worm and get a certificate. Michael and Major ate--we watched!
The next day Abbey and Michael were off to raft the Zambezi and Major and I went to town and walked around. We were shocked to be able to use an ATM and get US$ out--something we haven't been able to do for months in Harare and Chinhoyi. Since Vic Falls is a tourist town there has not been such a problem with money as in other places in the country.
That night we met up with Chidamoyo alumni Kirby and Sunny Reed and their 3 children. Kirby was with us in 1997 for 6 months and then Kirby and Sunny came for 2 months over the Millineum (Dec. 1999 - Jan. 2000). We had not seen them since then and they now had 3 children. They were visiting for 2 nights in Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls and so we were able to meet up with them and the group they were with.
Kirby is a Nurse Practitioner now in Austin, Texas. It was great to be able to visit with them and their children and catch up with the past 16 years. It was so great to see them. Michael Mereki was 4 years old when Kirby spent the 6 months with us and Kirby would always come and play with him after work. One day Michael cried and told his dad "why can't you be fun like Kirby!" We always remembered that and kidded Major about it!
On Wednesday morning Abbey and Michael went to ride elephants and then we flew to Harare arriving about 6:30 p.m. We did some grocery shopping and left Abbey and Michael with Michael Mereki as Major and I took off for home as we needed to be back to work the next day! We got home at 1 a.m. and up by 5 a.m. to get breakfast ready for Caleb and Amanda that we left at home. It was a busy day at work so it kept me awake. I finally got home close to 7 p.m. and got dinner on the table and was in bed by 9 p.m.!
Michael left on Thursday morning for home after a month here and Abbey had to get her visa renewed. Then she and Michael came home that evening in time for dinner.
We enjoyed having Michael with us and he seemed to enjoy his time here. We wish him well as he continues to work on getting into Medical School.
On Wednesday and Thursday there were "stay away " days again in Harare. Stores and some things were open and everything was very quiet. We are happy there has been no violence.
Friday night we decided to have a surprise birthday party for Michael Mereki. His birthday was 2 months ago on May 28th but he was away at school in South Africa and we couldn't celebrate with him, so we decided we would do it last night. Major was late coming from work so we had Caleb "pretend" it was his birthday until Major got there and then we yelled "surprise" and Caleb handed over the birthday hat and sunglasses to him! He was very surprised. We shared cake with all of the prayer group that came that night.
Michael and Abbey arriving in Victoria Falls
Major and Kathy at the Falls
Abbey, Major and Michael in the Rain Forest at Victoria Falls