The thoughts of a woman trying to live simply yet abundantly, contentedly yet expectantly, wisely yet adventurously... all for His glory.


under the tree, into the ward (screening day)

Thanks for your patience with me friends! I arrived back on the ship from Niger last Friday and then we set sail for South Africa last Sunday... I'm writing to you from the middle of the ocean. But, with the comparatively-fast ship internet I can now post pictures! Enjoy!

Monday (day 5): under the tree, into the ward (screening day)

Today the rest of the team arrived: both surgeons and the anesthesiologist. After they'd settled in and eaten a quick lunch, we headed to the clinic area to start screening the women.

We found the women waiting under the tree as usual. Some women had previously been operated on in May and were returned for a check-up; some had been screened previously and were already on this week's surgical schedule; some had simply heard of the fistula center and came seeking hope.

The ladies brought their mothers, daughters, sisters... 

Marouka and Aichatou

We set up our screening area in the maternity clinic, and one by one the women came through to be examined. I assisted the surgeons with the physical exam, handing them supplies and trying to anticipate their needs. We screened somewhere around 20 women, although I am not sure of the exact numbers. 10 will be operated on this week, and some of the others will return for surgery in November when the next VVF team comes.

Screening VVF ladies in the maternity clinic in Danja

At the end of the day we had a surgical schedule made up for the week, and we brought the first two women from under the tree into the ward that night. Similar to on the ship, we had to teach the women how to shower in preparation for surgery the next morning. One of the local nurses working with us explained that for many people in this region of Niger, you are considered clean if you have bathed your face, hands, and feet. This makes sense when you also consider the great distances that many people have to haul their water!

Tomorrow: the first two surgeries!


Anonymous said...

Beneath the tree

To pour out our hearts, lays us vulnerable and raw
To lend an ear, draw near to cradle, to endure
Beside others who hurt, to weep for their wounds,
To pray and to be the shelter beneath the tree of a friend
Takes us on with our Father, to learn of His heart, teaches
That favour is won through the heart – one soul to another,
Tears that are shared, fallen softly on cheeks that express
Words felt yet unspoken
Language is cultural yet across the divide tears are universal
Raw and real
Speak then oh heart; cause me to feel, to know how to be
A branch of the tree

Friendship is a sheltering tree. ... Samuel Taylor Coleridge

August 2010

lindsay said...

thanks so much for the poem... I especially love the line "to learn of His heart." So true.

Thanks for sharing, whomever you might be! Much appreciated.