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Rwanda Medical Missionary trip: Blog post No. 12      

Medical update:

Three surgeries were performed yesterday.

1.  Marcel – a three year old boy with a nine day old elbow fracture.

2.  Vedaste – a 35 year old male with a week old femur fracture.  Vedaste was transferred here on Monday from another hospital when they learned we were here.  His femur was fixed using a SIGN nail and no X-ray.

3.  Aphrodic – a 21 year old male who broke both bones in his left arm three months ago.  The bones had to be taken apart and put back together again with plates and screws.  When Aphrodic woke from the anesthesia, I was told that one tear rolled down his cheek.  He was overjoyed and said now he would be strong again and asked if he would be able to drive a car.

The team that has been in Kigali performing hand surgeries there will be arriving in Mugonero today. There are several hand cases that Dr. Clinkscales will perform here today and tomorrow. The patients will be glad when he arrives; they have been waiting since Monday.

Gazebo update:

Tony and his work team spent the day putting up the roof fascia, a slow, meticulous process.  Today the installation of the metal roof will begin.  It will be a challenge cutting and fitting rectangular metal roofing onto the octagonal roof. 

Yesterday morning, those of us not needed in surgery or the construction project visited the local market in Mugonero on the shore of Lake Kivu. It was an experience to see, hear and smell. The smell of drying sorghum (used to make local beer) permeated the air. Goats and chickens wandered the grounds, and of course there were people everywhere. We visited with the tailor who then went with us to the fabric shop to choose material for shirts, skirts, placemats, napkins and an apron for many of us in the group. It was fun choosing material from among all of the bright colors and patterns. Each of the items will be completed and delivered on Friday morning. The sewing machines remind me (Deb) of the one my grandmother taught me to sew on. The irons are heated by putting hot coals in a cavity at the bottom of the heavy metal appliance. Steam is created by touching the bottom of the iron in a tub of water. CJ Clinkscales bought a stalk of sugar cane. We stripped off the bark and chewed on the sweet center.

Orphanage update:

The young members of our group are working on a variety of projects there.  Ally is painting a flower mural on the office wall. They are teaching the children to brush and floss their teeth. Yesterday they opened all of the bags of shoes we brought (hundreds of pounds) to distribute to the children. Tonight the entire group will walk to the orphanage to have dinner and make s'mores with the children using the crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows we brought here. The children will also entertain us with native songs and dance.

In addition to all of the work we are doing here, we manage to fit in time to learn about and experience the local customs and culture. Later today we will visit a tea plantation not far from the hospital.

Deb Edwards and Annie Harris

About the Rwanda Medical Missionary trip
Dr. Peter Janes of Vail-Summit Orthopaedics and a medical team will be traveling to Rwanda July 22-August 11 on a medical missionary trip. The group will be providing no-cost surgical, medical and community health programs, education, training and relief in an area where health care is often limited or difficult to obtain. Most surgeons fled the African country or were killed during the major genocide in 1994.

The group involves 20 participants, eight from Summit County, working on seven defined projects. Dr. Janes will be performing surgeries and conducting workshops to train local health care providers on how to correct club foot in newborns. This year he will be at three different hospitals; Rilima, Mugonero and CHUK, for a week each. In addition, there is a surgical team at King Faisal hospital in Kigali, working at the orphanage, and a team building a gazebo at Mugonero.

The group is sending home daily blog entries with photos and depictions of their daily experiences. Be sure to check the VSO Blog http://blog.vsortho.com for updates.