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8/20/05 (Saturday)

Today was a much slower day.  We slept in and then made rounds and sent several people home.  We have 4 people staying overnight and they should be ready to head home tomorrow.  Our plan is to head to Quito tomorrow if we get all the patients discharged.

 

We had an interesting experience today.  After making rounds we then fixed a bunch of scrambled eggs for breakfast.  We then received word that we were invited to a big lunch by the family of one of our patients.  This lady we operated on Monday and did a gallbladder.  Her family wanted to treat the clinic staff to a special lunch.  As it turned out, the lunch was a big party for the father of the family who had his 52nd birthday today.  So it was a big party with several friends attending as well.  We went into San Lorenzo and managed to get to the home where the party was being held.  The outside of the house made you wonder about whether it was safe to step inside.  However, inside was very nice and clean.  The floor was hardwood and the house was spacious.  The family served a big lunch for the entire party.  So we spent a couple hours at the party eating and enjoying the fellowship even though we couldn’t understand much of what was going on.  The father of the house who was having the birthday was very happy that we came and welcomed us over and over. 

  

 

Jorge and Gonzalo at the party

Jorge and Gonzalo at the party

 

 

Angelita and Maria Luisa at the party

Angelita and Maria Luisa at the party

After lunch we came back to the clinic and Jane and I saw 5 patients who came in for various things.  Before we left for the party a man came in bleeding from a saw injury to his left hand.  He had cut across his index finger right at the knuckle cutting through tendon down to bone.  We cleaned up his wound and put it back together.  I didn’t tell him I was a gynecologist.  After the party we saw the other 5 people.  One was a minor surgery, another was suture removal, another was a 15-year-old girl with a big breast infection, another was an old man with a headache and the last was a post-op patient who was complaining of pain. 

 

Once we got that work done, we then went downtown to walk around and see the sights.  Phyl got to see all the beauty of San Lorenzo.  I think she was impressed, or should I say appalled, at the dirt, litter, and squalor that exist here.  We went to the Hotel Continental to meet Rosa and have an ice cream cone.  As we sat there on the benches at the sidewalk in front of the hotel, we watched all types and sorts of people walking by.  It was interesting just to people watch.  We went down to the waterfront and watched the kids swimming in all sorts of pollution and trash floating in the water.  I got a picture of this beautiful sight.  The city was humming with activity…mostly people just going from one place to another, walking, on bicycles, on motorcycles, cars, buses, etc. 

  

Swimming with the pollution floating in the water

Swimming with the pollution floating in the water

Other swimmers

Other swimmers

 

 

Phyl and Jane in a serious conversation

Phyl and Jane in a serious conversation

An ice cream vendor

An ice cream vendor

Tonight, we will spend our time packing the suitcases and getting ready to travel to Quito.  This has been quite the week.  All total, Jane and I did 31 surgeries counting the minor surgeries under local anesthesia.  We saw between 80 and 100 patients in the clinic.  The fulfilling part of all this is seeing lives impacted positively with the medical care rendered.  The people are so thankful for whatever care we can give.  Otherwise, they have nothing and no hope of getting better. 

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