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.

Sunday Lunch, October 2011

After the tour of Summit, Dr. Fekede’s sister, Hareg, invited us all for Sunday lunch. What a spread! It was a wonderful afternoon visiting with and getting to know her delightful grandchildren and family.

Diplomatic Bazaar 2011

The Diplomatic Bazaar is an annual event put on by the embassies and consulates. All of the African countries were represented, as well as most of the European countries, U.S., Mexico, and Venezuela. The Russians provided entertainment of music and dance and representative food was provided from the various countries. It was a festive occasion in the convention center.

Mr. Lee's 61st Birthday

Mr. Lee is the Chief Operating Officer and is here for a 3-year volunteer stint. His wife and family are in Korea. He is very proud of his 3 year old granddaughter and talks to her regularly on Skype.

In Korea, the 61st birthday is celebrated since in old times it was unusual to live to be 60 years old. So, adding one year of gestation, the celebrated year becomes 61.

Born Free Project/Cheetah, October 2011

Steve Brend has been a great friend. He invited me to come out to the Born Free project and get a follow-up on Kuching. He’s the little cheetah that sustained a fractured humerus at the hands of a local worker, and I subsequently saw and casted his humerus. Deji, Gladys , Barbara and I made the trip 1 hour west of town.

They have 190 acres of natural land and have a handful of animals, including the 3 siblings of Kuching. They are kept in fenced in areas—not cages, and Steve took us into the field with the cheetahs. Kuching's siblings hissed at us, and we could not approach, but Kuching permitted me to pet him, remembering they are wild animals essentially in the wild. He has recovered with no visible signs of a limp and appears to have full function. Steve will reintroduce them to the wild in about 6 months. 
Surprisingly, he says there are leopards in the woods around Born Free and they would attack these young cheetahs, but are inhibited by the 2 rescued lions in the adjacent field. The male lion had been captive  on a 3ft. (1 meter) chain for most of his life and was a malnourished skeleton. He is now free and gaining weight. Saving the wildlife from the abusive hands of man is heartwarming.