Saturday, June 25, 2016

New visitor

On Monday we received a new visitor  for the next month from Gig Harbor, Washington.  He is Michael Miller.  He is a surgical tech at a hospital in Tacoma that one of our alumni's works, Lindsay Tozier Storby.  She suggested he come here and now he is here.  He is going to University of Washington, working on his pre-requisites to go to Medical School.  We have put him to work with the other visitors.  This morning we were unpacking boxes from our last container and he was able to sort the O.R. equipment for us.


While he was sorting instruments, Abbey was taking things I unpacked to the different departments.  She has been enjoying watching surgeries, going to vaccination clinics and helping me with some of my research paperwork.  I have really appreciated her being here.


Caleb and Amanda left at 0400 to go to Harare yesterday with our driver to get their visa renewed for another 30 days.  They spent the day running around and doing errands with the driver.  They got some shopping done and finally got back at 12:45 a.m. today!  We didn't see them for breakfast today!


We have a container on the way to Chidamoyo and there is another one that just arrived and need to be cleared.  We are so thankful and look forward to all the great thing in there.  We will busy this naext week starting to unpack!

Sylvia has been in Gweru visiting here family this week and so we have been texting and talking on the phone each day.  She leaves for home tomorrow and is excited to leave the cold and go back to warm weather!  It has been great having her close for 3 weeks!

Michael sorting surgical instruments


Abbey helping to sort out boxes and equipment to put away

Sylvia working at ART clinic

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Urology team leaves and new guest Abbey arrives

This past week we continued to do a lot of hernia surgeries and also an open removal of a prostate by the urologists. Dr. Palleschi shared with our staff in our Continue Education meeting this week on some urology issues. Their team of 3 nurses helped with out-patient vital signs, went to an ART/Immunization clinic to help us this week.

On Sunday evening we welcomed Abbey Carson a senior in High School from Seattle, WA who has been doing her college prep to become a nurse.  She has been following Caleb and Amanda, doing some paper work in our ART clinic and seeing lots of deliveries and surgeries.  She is here for her whole summer--until September.

The urology team kept busy all week and enjoyed some hiking around the mission.   Jeff taught some classes at the school (he teaches in Santa Rosa) and James, his son and a medical student who starts this fall kept busy at the hospital and went to outreach clinic with us.

My sister, Sylvia, worked doing a lot of vital signs at our outpatient department and went to ART clinic with me Thursday and helped in our research project for kids in which we have to draw Viral Loads.  We also took Dr. Munodawafa with us so that he could "experience" his first outreach clinic.  His car had a flat tyre on the way to the clinic  and no spare so part of our team enjoyed an African experience for awhile until we could get another car to them!  

We had Dr. Munodawafa drawing blood too.  James worked with us making Dried Blood Spots of the blood.  His father Jeff and Lynn worked giving vaccines and oral vaccines with the Immunization team while we were doing the ART clinic.  Sylvia remarked how eager and open the people are now to get their ART drugs.  We had a big group there and they all welcomed us with singing and dancing.

Sylvia and the 2 doctors and I have been getting up early to see the 3rd and 4th quarters of the Warriors game at 4:00 a.m. the days they play on TV.    We cheered hard but they haven't been doing well the last 2 games.  The last game is Monday morning our time but all my supporters are gone!  I tried to talk them into staying to watch the last game with me!!  They said they were tempted, but...

The Santa Rosa team left for Harare early this morning.  Sylvia was going on to Gweru to spend a week with her family before she left.  They had some time to do some shopping at the flea market and have lunch before Major dropped them at the airport to fly home.  Major will stay in town to pick up the next visitor on Monday afternoon.

Abbey, Caleb and Amanda and I headed up to the hospital this morning and worked on catching up our ART patients paperwork and doing discharges.  

Abbey Carson at work

Dr. Munodawafa drawing blood


Kathy and Sylvia working at ART clinic drawing blood on kids


 James making Dried Blood Spots for us

Dr. Palleschi teaching staff

 Team saying good-bye at hospital devotions on Friday morning



Saying goodbye with Dr. Duckett on Saturday morning

Saying goodbye to Jeff and James



Saturday, June 11, 2016

Urology Team is here!

On Sunday the 5th of June a team from Santa Rosa, CA (my hometown) arrived.   Dr. Palleschi, Dr. Duckett (urologists), Victoria, Sylvia, Lynn (all nurses) Jeff  (father of James) and James (starting med school in the Fall)  arrive ready to help our urology patients.  They have been doing some surgeries, seeing patients and enjoying their time here.  Dr. Palleschi has been with us 4 times now and Victoria 2 times and Sylvia is my Zimbabwean sister who lives in my hometown with my family as her family.

Part of the team went to an Immunization Clinic on Thursday and enjoyed being with the screaming kids, giving injections, and polio and Vitamin A drops to the kids after weighing over 300 kids!  They were very tired when they came home that night.

We have been very busy on Tuesday and Thursdays which start with CD4 blood draws.  We have kept Caleb and Amanda busy drawing blood and visitor Lynn drew with them this week.

We have been enjoying watching the NBA finals here.  They are on live about 2:30 a.m. but we tape it and watch it later that evening.  All of us are Warriors fans and so far we are very happy.  With it being 3-1 we are happy!  GO Warriors!

Today was our support group for our older kids on ART drugs to treat AIDS.  All of kids were born with AIDS and more than half have lost their parents.  We had a morning of games, video, talking about adherence to drugs, why they should take drugs and encouragement to continue taking drugs.  We ended with tea and everyone went home with drink mix, cookies, pencils and pen and sweets.  They were so excited and happy.  They will come back in three months for another group meeting.  We had 42 kids between 13-18 years of age.  Many of these kids we have been treating since they were 2-3 year olds, so it is always a JOY to see them growing up big and strong because of medication!

 Dr. Palleschi and Dr. Duckett operating


Caleb and Amanda drawing bloods 

Lynn drawing blood

 AIDS support group playing games

 Group watching video with Dr. Munodawafa

Support group singing


 Time for tea and bread--O.I. staff and counsellors serving


Selfies with a support group kid



Sunday, June 5, 2016

Check out an article on us

Busy week, lots of visitors

Julie left on Wednesday morning ( we miss her!) and Wednesday evening we had a team of 5 from Mashoko Hospital and then another hospital board member arrive for dinner.  We had a start of a 3 day meeting with our AS HE IS board that oversees our 3 hospitals and 3 clinics in Zimbabwe.  It was our time to host the meeting.  Thursday, Makonde hospital joined us for breakfast and then a tour of the hospital and our meeting and lunch.  So we had 17 for breakfast and lunch Thursday.  Then they went to Major and my village  in the afternoon and then back for dinner.  Friday morning we had breakfast and they left after devotions at the hospital.  We got the food on the table in time, and still got our patients seen at the hospital, which was so busy!  Everyone had a great time.

This week the company we bought kitchen cabinets from came to install them.  This is for our newly rebuilt kitchen from the fire we had in 2013.  We are going to buy appliances and some wiring we need to finish off the project shortly.

Caleb and Amanda are keeping busy at the hospital doing dressings and drawing CD4 blood and helping the doctors.  They seem to be enjoying their time.

Yesterday (Saturday) we had a support group meeting for our 8-12 year old AIDS kids.  They came for their medicine and we had some activities arranged for them. These are all children who have been born with AIDS and 40% their mother has died and they are being taken care of by a granny. We played games, watched some video, talked about them taking their medicine each day, and had some tea and egg sandwiches.  We had 33 kids and they went home with pencils and drink mix.  They all are excited to come back again!  We all had great fun.  Caleb and Amanda helped me with the games and passing out prizes.

Dr. Bungu from Mashoko


Board members from Mashoko and Chiredzi being introduced by Mr. Mereki


New cabinets and countertops installed in our rebuilt kitchen



Window faces out to serving window to dining room





Caleb and Amanda doing a dressing change



Caleb and Amanda weighing kids for ART drugs



Games being played with AIDS kids during their special day

Counsellors talking with kids


 Tea Time for AIDS kids