As many of you know we are back at Mbingo and have been since the beginning of August. We are able to stay here for 6 weeks on this trip. We wanted to give you an update on how things are going.
The flight over went really well. The boys slept and watched some movies and there were no breakdowns. They adapted to the time change very quickly. This picture shows Benjamin sleeping in a relaxed pose in his seat. Thanks for buckling your seatbelt for landing Ben!
The teaching school year starts on August 1st at Mbingo, so Mbingo was welcoming the new residents just as we arrived. Dennis Palmer is in the US while we are here, so Chuck has been filling in as the CIMS (internal medicine residency) program director. This involved speaking at the White Coat Ceremony for the new residents just 2 days after arriving. PAACS (surgery residency) was also involved with the ceremony. The picture shows Chuck speaking while the other CIMS and PAACS leadership is at the table and the new residents are off to the left.
Chuck was also able to bring two residents from Charlotte with him this time. Chuck is on faculty at Carolinas Medical Center and has developed an international rotation for the internal medicine residents there. This was the first trip for them to come with him to Mbingo. The picture shows Dr. Ruchi Jain rounding on the female ward with the ward team.
Dr. Todd Gandy is the other resident that came and this picture shows him rounding on the men's ward. He is surrounded by two CIMS residents, a house officer, and a nurse practitioner student. Todd and Ruchi were able to round on the wards, lead daily teaching conferences, and do many procedures. They did ultrasound-guided fine needle aspirations, thoracenteses, paracenteses, bone marrow biopsies, and even a few EGDs. They also enjoyed many hikes into the beautiful mountains here.
This is a picture of the GeneXpert machine. It is a PCR test for tuberculosis. It is much more accurate than looking for AFB on smears and we finally have one at Mbingo. Prior to this we were sending our samples to be run on a machine in Bamenda. The machine takes about 2 hours to run a sample and can do 4 at a time. You can see the blue topped specimen container that fits directly into the GeneXpert machine below. The results are then displayed on the computer to the left. This machine has made a huge difference in our ability to diagnose TB and therefore properly treat our patients.
Yes, that is a chicken in our house. We bought a chicken, but we were not able to get it killed that day. While we were out of the house, he got out of his bag and was wandering around the house. Chuck tried to guide him back to the mudroom, but the chicken was having none of it. Finally, we had to trap him, pick him up, and carry him back to a box to keep him in until the morning. Isaac and Ben thought this whole thing was hilarious.
It has been raining like usual in August at Mbingo. Everything is nice and green and the boys are enjoying walks, rain or shine. This is Ben walking around with Angela. This is one of the rare times he was standing under the umbrella.
This picture shows Isaac and Ben with Nathaniel at the Mbingo II Church. Nathaniel is the oldest son of Jason and Meridith Axt. Jason is one of the faculty surgeons here at Mbingo with the PAACS program and a friend from Nashville, TN. We kept Nathaniel for them for the weekend while they celebrated their anniversary with a weekend trip. The boys had a lot of fun together. The Mbingo II Church has been expanding and recently put the walls and roof up on this new building. It is fully functional now while they continue to raise some money to fill in the walls and finalize the flooring.
Helen has been able to cook for us at our house again this time. This picture shows her making cookies while the boys watch. Her banana bread and cookies are hard to beat! We are thankful for her help.
Mbingo really is a paradise for our little boys. They drive their toy trucks, dig in the mud, collect bugs, swing sticks, and get as dirty as possible. This picture shows Isaac with his bug collecting box. He is showing some new colorful bugs to Ben who is pushing his toy truck around.
Did we mention mud, rain, shovels, and getting dirty. Here are the boys digging in a puddle behind our house after a heavy rainstorm. They are usually so dirty by the end of the day that they have to have baths/showers before coming inside for dinner.
Thanks to all of you for following along on this trip. We appreciate all of your prayers and support. It has been great to reconnect with our Cameroonian friends here and jump right back in to work at the hospital. Thankfully, we still have another 2.5 weeks here before heading back to Charlotte.