Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Birthday

This has been a better week than last.  There have been more encouraging stories from the hospital in the midst of difficult medical cases.  The positive attitudes that patients demonstrate despite the trials they experience teaches us to be more grateful daily.  Some of the more interesting diagnoses that we made this week were: myasthenia gravis, bulbar ALS, benign rolandic epilepsy, and every type of TB imaginable.

Happy Birthday to Angela.  Helen made a cake for her and we took it to our Bible study.  The people in the picture include hospital administrators (Mrs. Gabe, Mr. Nji, Joseph), physicians from the US (the Palmers, the Bardins), visitors from the US (Hugh, Jerry, Andrew, Dave), and our physical therapy teacher (Jayme).  It was fun to celebrate Angela's birthday and we already mentioned how good Helen's cakes are.

As part of our teaching roles here we also give regular lectures to the residents and other trainees.  This picture shows Chuck giving a lecture on heart failure.  Medical training is different here.  Most of the Cameroonian physicians go to medical school and have little to no practical experience seeing patients until after they graduate.  At that point, they often are sent to work at clinics where they have little supervision or support. This makes the residency program at Mbingo unique. We do regular teaching rounds on the ward and 2 conferences a day (just like an American residency). When these residents finish here, they will be some of the best trained in the country in internal medicine and pediatrics.

Some of you may wonder how childcare is going. Currently, Angela works the beginning of the week, Lindsay works the end of the week, and they are splitting weekends. Watching a toddler and a new crawler makes home time very busy as well. Thankfully, Isaac loves Cathen. As you can see from this picture, sometimes he loves her too much and too vigorously. Cathen is very easy going and usually finds the attention funny. 

Last weekend, Professor Pius Tih (pictured here) invited us to come to his country home where he grew up for lunch and a hike. "Prof Tih" is the head of the Cameroonian Baptist Convention (CBC), which is the organization that runs our hospital and multiple other hospitals, clinics, churches, and schools throughout Cameroon.  He came from a small village and ultimately received his masters in public health from Boston University.  He is unique in that he effortlessly moves between western academic culture to the poorest areas of rural Cameroon.  We also appreciate that the CBC is run by a local Cameroonian.

This is the beautiful crater lake at the end of the hike. We ate "country chop", which is local food, while looking over the lake. Not a bad view.

Since it is March Madness, we had to put in a little UNC plug. Also, we wanted to show you one of Isaac's new and favorite activities....wearing our shoes around the house.  Go Heels!!

Please continue to pray for us to have the strength to face the challenges at the hospital, both in medical diagnostics and treatment and continuing to love and care for each patient.

1 comment:

  1. Go Heels! UNC 73, Ohio 65. On to the elite 8. Really missing you guys nowadays. Thinking of you/praying for you often. We need to skype/facetime soon. Morgan