They would all be emergencies in the US
| Sep 29, 2012
Less work is done today, only "emergencies", which are hard to define. Almost everything on the ward here - correction, everything on the ward here - would be considered an emergency back home. I rounded on the A Ward, which includes about 25 or 30 beds with orthopaedic trauma, all in the same room. The residents are very good from what I've seen. They may lack alot of the technological advancements we have back home, but they make up for it with the intensity and volume of medical and surgical illness they encounter.
I was able to go on a hike up into the mountains to one of the waterfalls on the back side with the Streatfields (Australian anesthesiologists) and Mark and Yvonne Snell. Mark is a general surgeon in Washington state, retired Air Force, who is on his 10th medical mission. This is his 4th time to Cameroon, and he has also been to Liberia a couple of times, Nigeria, Ecuador, and Venezuela. The hike took 4 hours, as we went from about 5000 feet to 8000 feet elevation, through the jungle, up to the waterfall. We saw some Fulani horseman and some of their cattle on the way. They graze them on the mountainsides, which are very steep. The Fulani are Muslims, as opposed to the Bantus, who are largely Christian Cameroonians.
Got hit pretty hard with the rain on the way down, and it hasn't stopped since. It usually rains very hard here once or twice a day, and then dries off. Rainy season runs from the spring through November, which is why everything is so green. This is good for crops, which include papaya, pineapple, guava, banana, coffee and cocoa among other plants. During dry season the dust blows off the Sahara, which makes it hard to see and causes a lot of breathing problems I am told.
I will go to the Snells' for dinner if I am not called by the residents for something urgent. One of the great blessings of being here has been the fellowship with the other physician families, and hearing of their experiences now and in the past doing medical mission work. They give me a level of support that is sorely needed and greatly appreciated. Please continue to pray for my patients.