Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Off to Butare

Brian and Daniel are getting settled in but still without luggage. Daniel is finding it hard to have people staring at him, laughing, running and calling "muzungu". Still, he loves seeing the smiling faces of the children.

We had another tough day in the OR yesterday. The Datex monitor showed the room temperature hit 30.9 and there is no ventilation. However – very exciting – they now have scavenging hoses connected to all the anesthesia machines with tubing going out the windows. This way we are not also breathing anesthesia gases all day. We still find that with the heat, smell, poor ventilation and general chaos, our days are quite exhausing.

Ariane had another very challenging case yesterday of a patient with HIV/AIDS with a massive airway tumor (probably Kaposi's sarcoma) and severe respiratory distress, who needed a Cesarian section for her fifth baby. This woman will not likely live more than a week. They did the surgery successfully with spinal anesthesia.

Last night, my friend, Steven, came over. He young man who is a genocide survivor. I met him last November at one of the genocide memorials. At that time he was sweeping the streets of Kigali for work but was hoping to write a book based on the experiences of himself and others in 1994. Genevieve and I told him that since he spoke such good English, he should do private English tutoring. We gave him some encouragement and I have stayed in touch with him by e-mail. This time I brought him many materials such as English grammar books, books on writing, dictionary and a netbook so he can write.

Steven has accomplished so much in a year. He has many private English clients, has a regular teaching job in the morning with school children and has applied for a government loan to go to university. He has been working on his book with a pen and paper so was very happy to get the netbook last night.

He told us more about how he actually survived during the genocide, when he was eight, and on his own. He is a strong person to have made it though.

We are not sleeping well for all kinds of reasons but managing to keep ourselves quite well. We are cooking healthy meals every night and exercising regularly. The warm hearts of the people keep us going.

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