Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas, November 2011

We have had a steady stream of visitors from the United States and Europe. Currently Lars Halstead, neurosurgeon from Sweden has returned. We had a group over for an early Christmas Holiday supper the other night. Fikru explained to Lars the ins and outs of an artist's life in Addis, and Wendu, Gro, and Barbara and I enjoyed the conversation. Gro Hotvedt is a Norwegian nurse anesthetist who has been here for several assignments, with return to Norway later this month. She has been a dear friend, and we will miss her greatly.

Pastor Song invited us to the annual Christmas Program at Bingham School where his children attend along with Dr. Lee's children. It was a fine performance and added greatly to the holiday spirit.

We will leave December 10 for Orlando, to be with our family for Christmas.

-- Don

Barbara's tree
Lars & Fikru

The group
Children's singing performance

Dr. Lee and his family
Pastor Song and part of his family

Thanksgiving, November 2011

Laura and Tom Fitzpatrick and their 5 children invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner as she had a large turkey and was willing to share. Turkeys are generally unknown in this country and are imported and frequently referred to as Farange Doro (farange=white man's ; doro=chicken). It was a great time of celebrating an American Thanksgiving with a wonderful family, including some of Tom’s friends from the embassy construction business. Jake stood vigil waiting for a little turkey.

-- Don

Tom Fitzpatrick
Laura Fitzpatrick

American Thanksgiving
Uri, Susie, David Brendon, Tom,
Tommy, Johnny, Lili, Kate, Laura


Good News Church and Medical School, November 2011

The activity around here reached fever pitch around the 20th of November. The new church was to be dedicated on the 25th and a ton of work remained. Workers were on the job around the clock, and debris and junk, which had been laying around for months, had to be moved. The contractor assured everyone that it would be completed. General Park (retired 3-star general and chairman of the MCM Steering Committee) arrived from Korea, and things really started moving. Well, it did get completed, and we had a glorious celebration with dignitaries and catered food. Barbara sang in the choir (the only Westerner) and the Hallelujah Chorus was magnificent. The Ethiopian-Korean War Veterans were given special recognition. Senior Pastor Kim, Trade Minister Tedessa, IEC Pastor Gary Threat were honored speakers. The medical school building is beautiful, and the dining hall is magnificent. We’ll be able to have large conferences and meetings here.



Some choir members

"Love Bugs"
Choir rehearsal

New med school/church from our balcony
Front of church

Banquet Hall

Mr. Tadessa & Gary Threat
Ribbon cutting

Korean-Ethiopian veterans
In addition to the church and medical school celebration, a ground breaking ceremony was conducted for the 5-story out-patient addition to be completed within a year. This addition will include "clean air" surgical suites for joint replacements and expansion of our overcrowded out-patient services.


Dr. Kim, Senior Pastor Kim, General Park

Ground-breaking for new wing

Sunday, December 4, 2011

HVO Visit, November 2011

Kate Fincham from the Health Volunteers Overseas home office in Washington, D.C., paid us a visit. Dr. Wouballem  (Othopaedic Chair at Black Lion), Dr. Biruk, Dr. Kim and I had discussions on volunteers to be assigned to our respective facilities. Dr. Miklos Simon, oncologist from Portland,  expressed interest in expanding the oncology services to MCM as well as to Black Lion.

Conference Room discussion
Dr. Miklos, Barbara, Kate

Kate Finchan, Dr. Woubalem, Dr. Wendu,
Dr. Kim with Dr. Hailu, Dr. Biruk looking on

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween 2011

We have four Korean students that meet with us on Monday evenings to converse in English. These are remarkable young people and are very talented and creative. They are always prepared for the assigned topic. The topic last Monday was HALLOWEEN! We warned them that there were GOBLINS & GHOSTS around our house and that TRICK OR TREAT was the magic word of the day. We surprised them with a carved PUMPKIN, and Barbara made CUPCAKES for them to decorate, and I put on my old ugly teeth. They surprised us with their faces made up—pretty scary. We tried to SCARE a few of our neighbors and finally Dr. Kim our Medical Director.  Yeong Hee, Eunee  "Eunice," Matt, and Ajin, and Barbara and I will remember this HALLOWEEN for years to come.

Monday, October 31, 2011

October 2011

We returned to MCM several weeks ago after 6 weeks in the U.S. It turned out to be a protracted stay as I went for a check-up on my contact lens and ended up with cataract surgery on both eyes. Everybody looks so much older now! It was good to visit with our children and friends.

MCM continues to move ahead. The medical school building complex is progressing nicely, and the church is to be dedicated November 25th. I have been given the task of reorganizing completely the orthopaedic department. We welcome Dr. Wendefero, who has just completed a fellowship in Pediatric Orthopaedics at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and is now part of our orthopaedic family at MCM. We have some exciting plans, which I will post as they develop.

Marta Gabre Tsadick brought us a young lad she found with a tumor of his foot. We have since operated and found osteomyelitis. Marta was the first female senator in Ethiopia. She previously held many positions in the government, and she and her husband fled to the United States during the Derg (the Communist military junta that ruled Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987). They had a successful business and lived many years in Indiana and have returned to Ethiopia to help the people with many humanitarian projects.

Marcin Wasowicz from Toronto General Hospital came by for a visit. He spent some time with us last year and worked at Black Lion on a project this year. He and his family are living in Toronto, but are citizens of Poland on loan to Canada. Ken Merriman is visiting with us now. Ken is an Orthopaedic Surgeon from Michigan interested in the medical work in East Africa and is very much appreciated consulting in our hospital.

-- Don

Korean Thanksgiving, October30, 2011

We went to the Korean Sunday service that was their celebration of  Thanksgiving. What a spiritual experience! There were 60 of us total; 28 were choir members—Daniel, their director, is a graduate of conducting in St. Petersburg, Russia, and his wife a graduate of piano there. Twenty-eight choir members singing—super! Sixteen young people got up and played instruments—4 violins, flutes, piano, saxophones, clarinets—how is it that all of these kids are taught music? Some of them play more than one instrument. And of course most of them speak several languages—some of them speak Russian, Korean , Ubekestan, English and are learning Amharic! What a people!

Adventist Summit Tour, October 2011

Dr. Kim, Barbara, and I met Dr. Fekede and toured the Adventist Summit compound and their new medical clinic in the CMC area. Ting and Ileah are college students from the U.S. who are volunteering at Summit for 8 months. Deji Otegbeye and his wife Gladys (an optician) arrived last week to do a glasses project at the clinic. They have come to MCM many times and contributed greatly over the past few years, as well as to the Adventist project. They are now headed to Nigeria their native homeland for a visit.