Sunday, July 31, 2011

Elizabeth Stewart

Farewell Dinner for Elizabeth
Elizabeth is an undergraduate student at Virginia Tech. She raised funds to explore foreign mission efforts through CBF Ministries and arrived here in June to spend her summer with us. She quickly settled in and attended morning conference daily and then rounds, outpatient clinic and surgery. Elizabeth would stand for hours watching some pretty boring surgery without a word (and neither did she pass out). As time went by she assumed more and more responsibilities with a “can do” attitude. The staff and friends soon discovered a fine young lady with plenty of smarts behind that quiet fa├žade. During this summer we have had visiting undergraduate students and medical students from the University of Miami, France, United Kingdom, University of California, UCLA, University of Montreal and passing through a number of other universities. Elizabeth hosted many of these people and became friends in exploring and sharing their career plans and hopes and in encouraging each other. Elizabeth was always there and willing to help me with patients and with visiting dignitaries, with the computer, and organizing an OPD gone wild. I  think she has fond feelings for medicine and for the people of Ethiopia. She just grew in everyone’s eyes and hearts.
Elizabeth & Greg

As she returns to her studies in Virginia, Barbara and I both wish her God’s speed and know she will have much success.
Elizabeth, Barbara, Don, Heidi, Greg

-- Don

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Safari, July 2011

Here are some photos from Heidi's safari in Tanzania.










Heidi Pearson's Visit

Our daughter Heidi just finished her fellowship in transplant surgery. She had a few days before she starts private practice and came for a visit. I think her siblings wanted her to check up on their parents (what are they doing over there?). Her husband Rob and his dad were on a trip to Costa Rica, so she traveled solo. She got a little taste of surgery, outpatient clinics, the extensive pathology, and was proudly
introduce to the staff. She presented a talk on liver disease at our Grand Rounds. We introduced her to our friends including Fikru the artist, Wendu our ortho colleague, dinner with Marta and her family with the coffee ceremony, Greg our French resident, Elizabeth my student assistant, Rick Hodes and his adopted family, Dave and Merrie Harding from Orlando, and others.

We went down to Tanzania, for safari and met up with our young friend and guide Apollo. Apollo calls us Baba & Mama and Heidi, Sister. We visited Tarangire Park, Lake Manyara, The Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater. The scenery in each park is different and spectacular. The animals are majestic in their natural beauty. This was my 4th and Barbara’s 3rd trip to northern Tanzania. Heidi returned home--I think to get some rest. We hope to have her and Rob back in the near future for a visit. (See slideshow in sidebar.)
--Don

Presidential Visit, July 9, 2011

This place was buzzing for weeks. The grass cutters spread across the property trimming. New flowers were planted everywhere. The window and wall washers (and there’s plenty to wash around here) were in high gear. July 9 was THE DAY. The nurses were prim and the doctors with lab coats washed and shoes shined. The Korean ladies dressed up in their beautiful traditional dresses. We all looked good. Tension was in the air. The president of Korea was coming to our hospital for an official visit.

The occasion of the visit to Ethiopia stems from their Korean independence fight in the 50s. A number of countries sent troops to fight alongside the South Koreans; Haile Selassie sent fighters representing Ethiopia’s contribution to their fight for freedom. In celebration of the 60th anniversary of their independence they are visiting and recognizing their benefactors.

There were many governmental meetings and celebrations and the Ethiopian veterans were honored. The MCM hospital visit was a fun and special time for all of us. Dr. Kim and the Korean staff were so proud to have their president visit. (See slideshow in sidebar.)
-- Don

Monday, July 25, 2011

Child Power

The children in Ethiopia are totally captivating. I treated a little 5 y.o., Tsheimosetso, with a supracondylar fracture of the elbow who had me wrapped around his little finger. One morning I took him back to surgery to reposition pins. He calmly rode into the room sitting up on the stretcher. As he had to have an IV started before the anesthesia, Dr. Kinfu, our anesthesiologist reassured him that the IV was his "breakfast" and not to be afraid. He was very brave and withstood several sticks without flinching and then calmly announced "I don’t want to eat here!"
-- Don

Sunday, July 24, 2011

4th of July, 2011

As an expatriate one has to be creative to celebrate Independence Day abroad. It is special and intimate when you can celebrate with other Americans. Barbara picked up a few decorations from the Dollar Store before she left Orlando. We had a hamburger and hot dog party at our house and  had to throw in some Norwegians, French, and Koreans to make a quorum! We dubbed them "Honorary Americans" because they all have relatives in America.

We were invited to the new American Embassy the evening of the 4th for a reception by the ambassador. Photos were not allowed; however, the reception was wonderful especially the singing of the national anthems of Ethiopia and then the United States. The new embassy is beautiful and seeing that huge American flag flying as you approach the compound is emotional. God has indeed blessed America.
-- Don

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Visitors, July 2011

Greg and Patient
Gregoire (Greg) deCourville is a graduating medical student from Lyon, France who just finished his 6th year of medical school. He is awaiting results for his standing (July 20th) for residency to be determined in September. His interest is in Orthopaedics. Greg met an Ethiopian doctor in Lyon who helped him  organize this trip as he wanted to experience a developing country with few resources and non-French speaking. He wants to improve his English. Greg and I walk around with our dictionaries: he with his French-English and I with my Amharic-English! Greg has an inquisitive mind and cooperative spirit and is growing both in his knowledge of Orthopaedics and in English. He has endeared himself to all the staff and will be with us for 2 months.


Sophie Dickinson just finished the 5th year of medical school . She is from Sheffield, England, and is interested in international work perhaps in OB/GYN or Pediatrics. Sophie spent 6 months teaching English in India, as well as working in a leprosy clinic. She came to Ethiopia without a position, but a friend arranged an appointment here at MCM,  She will spend a month with us then off to Kenya and Uganda, to help in some women's health workshops. She is an adventurous young lady and has become a friend to all. She and Elizabeth (another student I’ll post later) are off on an 8-hour bus trip to Harar for the weekend!

Greg, Sophie, Elizabeth (VA Tech student)
Adulis, Dr. Kinfu (anesthesiologist), Greg










Adulis, a young  Ethiopian lady, stopped by to visit old friends. She is a medical student at Cambridge University, and is also working on a MPH (Masters of Public Health). She has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Kentucky, a BA in Psycology from the University of South Africa and an MSc in Medical anthropology from Oxford University. Adulis has a great interest in bringing modern health care to all of Ethiopia, and has worked on projects to this end. She will be here for 6 weeks before returning to England.

—Don