Friday, August 26, 2016

National Conference and more visitors coming and going

Last week we kept busy with the Outpatients department and also more C/Sections kept coming in! We did one at 0100 and by 0700 Monday and we were doing another two on Tuesday, 15 for the month, so far!

On Thursday last week 9 of us left about 11 a.m. for an 9 hour drive to Dewure Mission for our Annual Church Conference.  All of our Churches of Christ throughout the country came together and close to 2000 people were there.  Abbey Carson from Seattle went with me and the rest of my visitors all stayed home.  Everything is in Shona but the singing and dancing of all those voices is something you can all look forward to hearing in heaven if you have not heard it here on earth.  We had lessons, sermons, lots of fellowship and Abby was very popular to have your picture taken with.  Major and Patience and their daughter Carolyn, Zebedee Togarepi and his wife and Abbey and myself all stayed together in a brand new house that rents out 5 rooms--so we enjoyed that too! Carolyn and Abbey hung out--Major refers to them as his 2 daughters since Abbey is 2 years younger than Carolyn and they enjoy being together.  We left by 9 a.m. Sunday morning and got back home just after 6 p.m. to my other 3 visitors I had left to hold down the fort.

Monday Tori and Brenden left for Harare and a quick 2 days in Victoria Falls and they are headed home this evening, back to Reno.  They texted to say they enjoyed rafting and the sundown cruise on the Zambezi.

Monday afternoon Zebedee Togarepi and Dave Thurman, a minister from IN and frequent Zimbabwe visitor arrived to spent the night.  Dave and groups he has brought have stayed many times at my flat in Harare in their comings and goings, so we have visited him many times and even stopped by to see him at his church in IN last year in October.  The last time Dave was here at Chidamoyo was in 1972 when he was a missionary kid.  We had the National Conference here for all our churches and he came with his family who were missionaries in Masvingo then.  He wanted to see the changes made in the last 44 years!  We enjoyed having them overnight until they left the next morning going on to Kariba.

Tuesday Dr. Megan Fitzpatrick, a 3rd year Pathology resident from Stanford, came from Harare to work with us for a week. She had visiting in early July before.  She is doing a research project with us to look at the incidence of HPV in women in our area and also teach us to read Pap Smears so we can follow our AIDS women more closely who have a high risk of getting cervical cancer.  She will be with us on and off for the next year.

Major is in Harare today picking up a new visitor, Makayla Hunt.  There have been some unrest in town since Wednesday so he wasn't able to go and pick up our medicine because the police had all the roads blocked that way.  I told him to get out of the mess and come home, we will try again next week after things calm down!  We are all fine and far from all the rioting!


Riding to the National Conference, Abby and Carolyn


Riding to National Conference--Major with our ministers


 Major preaching at the National Conference

 Carolyn and Abby (Major's daughters) at the National Conference

Abby and Carolyn dancing with the youth during the National Conference

 Stopping for drinks on our travels back from the National Conference!

Major saying goodbye to Brenden and Tori at devotions at the hospital


Major and Kathy with Brenden and Tori


Dave Thurman, Zebedee Togarepi, Major and Kathy


Four young ladies who are with us from University of Zimbabwe Medical School

 UZ students helping with a C/Section


The UZ students helping and Abby and Kennedy (holding new baby from C/S)


Dr. Fitzpatrick with UZ medical student seeing patients



Saturday, August 13, 2016

Lots of C/S's

This week started with 2 holidays on Monday and Tuesday (Hero's and Defense Forces Day)  and so we got to sleep in a bit and work only until 1 or 2 p.m. and we did our 2nd C/Section of the week on Tuesday morning during rounds.  We had to stay a bit later to get discharges and dressings done.  Abbey and Tori have taken over for Caleb and Amanda doing dressings each day.

Tuesday morning we said good-bye to Caleb and Amanda who headed for home after 3 months with us.  Their time went by so quickly and they were a big help to us in many ways.  They arrived home in Kansas on Wednesday minus their luggage which caught up with them a day later.

By Thursday we had another C/Section (#3) just when I got dinner on the table and sat down to bite my first bite--I got called!  The other guests decided to eat dinner and miss the C/Section  which would have been my choice too, but off I went and got home about 8:15 p.m. to finish my dinner before bed!  I was happy it was early in the evening and not during the night!

Thursday Tori and Brenden went off to help with a Well Baby Clinic at Mudzimu.  They helped weigh kids and give Vitamin A and Tori took Blood pressures for the mom's who wanted Family Planning!  They came home saying it was great, but exhausted from lifting kids and all the screaming.

All week I have been helping Dr. Munodawafa get some lunch after I get back from lunch as Out patient clinic has been so busy!  So I have been busy seeing patients and many are very sick and need admitting to the bed.

Last night we got home to eat at 6:30 and had invited the Mereki family over for Pizza.  We had prayer time, enjoyed a bit of the Olympics and headed for bed by 9:30 p.m. very exhausted!  By 4:30 a.m. this morning I was awaken to go to the hospital for a C/Section (#4).  All went well and got home at 6:00 a.m.  Decided to stay up and take a nap later in the day, so had time to get breakfast ready for the group, watch some Olympic highlights and put a load of wash out before breakfast at 8:30 a.m.

Major came over to eat breakfast with us and have some coffee before he headed for Batanai and his village to get some work done.  We got to the hospital by 9:30 a.m. in time to hear one of the ladies might need a C/Section.  We decided to give her a little more time as the doctor finished rounds and at noon I went to check her and found she was complete.  I tried to Vacuum it out and no luck--off we were to another a C/Section--#5 for the week!  We finished by 1:15 p.m. and then I had to finish discharges and get people on their way home before we could go home eat some lunch and get a nap in!

Dr. Isala is on leave for the whole month of August and that is why I am on call for anesthesia for C/Sections!  We usually do 5 C/Sections a month and so far we have done more than 10 for the month!  Hope it slows down a bit for the rest of the month!  We have a lot of mother's in our Waiting Mother's shelter and we have had a lot of deliveries, so we keep going!

We have been enjoying watching some Olympics all this afternoon and are happy to be cheering Team America on from Zimbabwe.  We were happy Kristy Cox got a bronze medal in swimming for Zimbabwe--her 5th Olympics!


Kathy with Caleb and Amanda the day they left Chidamoyo

Tori suturing a wound with Dr. Munodawafa


Abbey doing dressing changes


Brenden putting Petty Cash receipts into the computer


Brenden labeling tubes for blood draws

Tori at Well Baby Clinic

Brenden helping to set up for Well Baby Clinic


Tori being a baby nurse for a C/Section


Tori, Brenden and Abbey helping with a C/Section



 Abbey with new C/Section baby




Monday, August 8, 2016

Busiest week ever!

This week is the busiest week we ever had maybe ever!  Monday we had a busy day and 11 of us continued in the hospital and at home.

Tuesday morning Caleb and Amanda led the nurses in-service on wound care--something they have been doing a lot since they have been here.  This was their last week with us.  We were able to give out Fanny packs and Stethoscopes that had come in the container to all our staff who came.  We are so thankful for all these gifts.

On Tuesday we were joined for a few hours at lunch by the Director of UNAIDS in Zimbabwe, Michael Bartos and his wife Mary.  We had a good talk about our AIDS program and they toured our new Waiting Mothers Shelter and we presented the need for more beds as the ones we have were provided by UNFP.  He is passing our need on to the right people at UN.  They also gave us a generous donation to our hospital.  They joined the 11 of us for lunch--so that day we had 13 for lunch.

Cheri Gail and Abbey Carson decided to treat us to a great dinner for Larry and Cheri and LeAnne and Charlie's last dinner. they cooked up stirfry and sweet potato pie and apples fritters--wow!  We bid them farewell on Wednesday morning as they left with Major for 2 nights at Rhino Camp.  We had such a great time with them and their time went by so fast.  They went to several schools to give out soccer balls.  We got our last container totally unpacked and Larry helped Major type up some work he needed to do.  Cheri and LeAnne kept busy doing vital signs and helping Maternity patients.  Charlie fixed some things for me and helped in our outreach clinics and worked unloading containers and sorting throw the chapel!

We had one night with only 7 of us and then on Thursday 6 people from Harare came.  They are people we are working with on our research project on adolescents and also a new doctor who is going to do research here.   She is a pathology resident from Stanford University in CA and will be helping our Laboratory do some basic pathology tests along with her research--so we are excited about that.  The IT people came and worked with us to put a form on a tablet that will help us capture our AIDS patients records easier.  We had a great time and for lunch and dinner there were 13 of us and for breakfast on Friday.

On Friday we lost 9 people who left after breakfast!  The three UK med students left for Harare after 2 weeks with us.  We appreciated their time with us.  they kept us laughing and they were very enthusiastic about our American food!  They loved all the different patients and diseases they saw here, nothing they will probably ever see in their future practices.

The 6 people from Harare also left after breakfast and Abbey decided to go to Harare and come home with Major on Saturday night.  So Caleb and Amanda and I had a quiet lunch with just three of us--I was actually so tired I slept through lunch.

Friday we prepared for the surgeon and anesthesiologist from Harare to come.  Mr. Kundiona and Dr. and Mrs. Kajese came.  They arrive at 8:30 p.m. after working in Harare and started right in on operations at 9 p.m.  They worked until 2:30 a.m. and then came home for dinner and went off to sleep at 3 a.m. and up by 7 a.m. to start work again.  Then they worked straight through until 11:30 p.m. Saturday.  They only stopped for tea time and something to eat once when we had to kick them out of the operating room for an emergency C/Section that happened!  

The Kajese's brought their sweet 11 month old baby, Alexis whom we got to play with, as Mrs. Kajese worked hard as the scrub nurse!

I did rounds so that the doctor could stay in the Operating Room for the day and work with the doctors and we had 2 women in labor with twins, and a baby we had to resuscitate.  Then one of the twins got stuck and we had to rush to get it out--the arm was bent by the head and not coming out!  Had to tell them to sew the patient they were working on quickly as we were kicking them off the table for the C/Section.  They moved fast and we moved fast and we were done in 30 minutes!

The doctors had planned to leave Saturday after work--but they were so exhausted.  They came for dinner at 11:30 p.m. and then slept from 12-4 a.m. and left for Harare at 4 a.m.

Major went from Rhino camp on Friday with Larry, Cheri and LeAnne and Charlie and then saw them off at the airport on Saturday morning.  Saturday evening he picked up our two new guests Tori Davis, a nurse from Reno, NV and Brenden Hinen, from Reno, NV.  They are here for 3 weeks with us.  They arrived at 12:30 a.m. Sunday morning--so after the doctors left for bed I stayed up to welcome them in!  At 4 a.m. I was awake to see the doctors off and then went back to sleep until 6:45 a.m. when I got up to clean up my house and put more wash out!

We have 2 holidays today  and tomorrow--so looking forward to catching up on some rest around the house.  We spent a few hours at the hospital discharging a lot of patients and catching up on some paperwork this morning.  

God definitely gave me the energy to keep going this week and we hope to take some deep breaths and slow down a bit this week-ha!  

LeAnne, Charlie and Larry and Cheri with Kathy when they left Wednesday

Mary and Michael Bartos

 Kathy with Michael, UNAIDS Director in Zimbabwe

David helping Dr. Munodawafa with a C/Section


 Xavier stapling the C/Section closed

Caleb and Amanda giving an inservice on wound care



Mr. Mujudgi and Major with their new Fanny packs

Nurses getting fanny packs and stethoscopes after in-service

Kathy and Cheri--20 years later!



 Research group from Harare and UK Med students on left





Abbey, Nic, Xavier, Cheri, Chantel, LeAnne, Major, David and Charlie at Sanyati River

Caleb being scrub nurse with David and Dr. Munodawafa


Major saying goodbye to Larry, Cheri and LeAnne and Charlie at the hospital on Tuesday


Dr. Kajese very tired doing anesthesia and Mr. Kundiona on right and Dr. Munodawafa assisting


 Alexis Kajese enjoying her bath

Brendon and Tori



Saturday, July 30, 2016

Lots of visitors and lots of work done!

On Friday the 22nd of July we welcomed three medical students from Norwich, UK; Xavier, Nic and David.  Xavier came last year for a few days with another student and liked it so much he came back with more friends.  They are final year students and so they are enjoying all the pathology and work they are doing here.  They are so excited to do anything and so I am using them to do anything!  They have been busy drawing blood for our research project and helping the doctor in surgery and with OPD.  They have assisted in 2 C/Sections.  They seem to be having a great time.

On Sunday evening the 24th we were joined by Larry and Cheri Gail--our dearest friends and founders of "Friends of Chidamoyo"(like us on Facebook! ) They brought with them Charlie and Lee Ann winners of our "Trip to Chidamoyo" at the auction last year in September.   They are writing each day and posting on Facebook about their trip so follow it there.   They are here for 2 weeks and so there are 11 of us for each meals as Caleb, Amanda and Abbey continue as visitors.

We have been busy all week having them help in Well Baby Clinic, Antenatal Clinic, ART clinic and working in our chapel to sort and clean!!  They are working on getting our last container completely unpacked.  One day Cheri lead Lee Ann and Abbey to clean up my office while I sat in my chair saying "keep that, throw that!"  They promised me a recliner chair and a fan if I would do that in the chapel with them!  If you have seen our chapel you would know that isn't even tempting!! Abbey has been working hard to work with them in the chapel.

We have been working all week with one doctor because the other was at a workshop, and next week the other doctor starts his leave for a month.  That makes me on call for anesthesia so it keeps me busy!

All the group but Caleb and Amanda and me headed off with Major this morning to spend a night at our village at Batanai!  They will go to church there tomorrow and come back in the evening.  The Medical students decided to ride on the roof rack there!!

So this afternoon I have been busy doing wash--I'm on load #6 so far and cleaning out fridges and freezers, doing inventory of food, clean my house and even had time for a nap this afternoon!  Looking forward to our Steak braii (BBQ) tonight and a quiet even watching a movie.

Next week Larry and Cheri and LeAnn and Charlie leave on Wednesday for a few days on safari--but 6 people are coming Thursday and Friday about our research project, then Friday our doctors and scrub nurse team from Harare arrives for 2 days of surgeries.  No rest for us!  The beds don't even have a chance to cool off between guests!

First job--Larry cleaning solar panels on the roof of hospital


LeAnn at Well Baby Clinic


Abbey and LeAnne busy at Well Baby Clinic


 LeAnne measuring arms to asses for malnutrition at Well Baby Clinic

Charlie measuring heights of kids at Well Baby Clinic



Xavier and Nic drawing blood for CD4s

Caleb, David, Xavier, Nic all drawing blood for CD4s and Viral Loads


Xavier assisting Dr. Isala in a C/Section while David looks on


Cheri and Major doing what they do best--having a Coke at the township!


 Larry, Abbey and Cheri setting up the Co-trimoxazole dispensing station at ART clinic

 Abbey weight ART patients as charlie holds the baby so mom can be weighed!

Larry handing out Co-trimoxazole to patients


Kathy and Larry with our fresh eggs--Friends of Chidamoyo sponsored our chicken project to help support the work of the hospital!

The Med students off to Batanai!