It’s been yet another full week here at Soddo. It started out with a visitor. Dr. Peter Meade came to spend a week with us due to his interest in serving with PAACS. He has spent much of his career training residents as an academic trauma/general surgeon in California. He recently moved to New Orleans with plans to work for a couple of years with the general surgery program at Tulane University. It was a pleasure having him with us!

Monday started off with the disappointing news that the sterilizer in operating room was not functioning and we did not have enough instruments/drapes/gowns/etc to operate on elective cases. We would have to save what we had for emergencies. The unexpected lull in activity allowed us to catch up a bit after the hectic weekend of trauma. On a very sad note, the little girl who sustained a bad head injury in the bus crash died this week. On another very sad note, another victim of the same crash also died this week due to a lack of a ventilator. He sustained severe rib fractures on both sides of his chest and simply could not adequately breath. We ultimately had to place a breathing tube, but, without a ventilator, had to use nurses to manually bag air into his lungs at the bedside. Unfortunately we could not sustain him. The lack of resources here definitely forces us to lean more than ever on prayer.

Ultimately the sterilizer was fixed and were able to resume our operative schedule. Due to the lack of cases done on Monday and Tuesday, the remaining days were busy but it was good to get back in the saddle.

Becca is pleased to announce a new creation at Soddo: veggie burgers! They are easy to make and they taste great! Another culinary newsflash, we discovered a nice little restaurant here in Soddo when Dr. Meade was visiting with us. Last Wednesday, after a heavy rain, 8 “faranji” (Ethiopian term for foreigners) slapped on rubber boots and made a muddy journey about a half mile from the hospital to a newly discovered restaurant. Becca, Nathan and I were accompanied by Dr. Meade and the Bowers clan (Harry, Stephne, Benjamin and Karmyn). We had Ethiopian food of injera bread, various types of stew and charcoal cooked beef. It was a delightful evening. As the power was out the entire time, we ate by the romantic light of one of our flashlights! It was great to get off the hospital grounds for a while.

Nathan has learned how to clap. Go on, folks, give him a hand. It’s always fun to watch him grow and develop. I’m so very thankful for such a wonderful family. It is truly a joy to come home.

Well, the demands of PAACS continue to knock, so I’ll have to get back to work. Till next week!

Paul

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