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1/23/05 (Sunday)

6:00 AM.  Back in Quito.  I slept some and am getting a headache, probably the altitude.  We will be leaving about 6:30 or so.  Rob is excited to be here and work with us.  He is semi-retired and lives in Florida for this winter.  That made it easy for him to come on a moment’s notice.

Thank You, Lord, for this opportunity to serve You.  I pray for Rob this week.  I pray for his soul.  I pray for our testimony and witness to him.  I pray for Jane.  Give her wisdom in making decisions.  Be with me this week as well.  Wrap Your hands around our hands as we reach out and touch the people we see.

11:30 AM.  Our road trip to San Lorenzo went well.  Rob forgot his razor so we stopped in Ibarra at a shopping area but the store was closed.  The sun was out and the scenery was even more spectacular.  The sky was clear and Cambaya, a prominent snow covered volcano was visible.  I got some scenery pictures and also pictures of a large landslide that covered the road by at least 15 to 20 feet.  The roadway was cleared between these large mounds of dirt.  San Lorenzo had recently had rain and all the dust settled into mud.  We plan to eat lunch and then start seeing patients.  We have 20 scheduled.

We stopped to catch this shot of a beautiful waterfall.

We stopped to catch this shot of a beautiful waterfall.

9:20 PM.  We spent the past 8 hours in a sweltering room seeing 20 patients.  Out of this group we scheduled a few more surgeries.  The last 4 were infertility problems.  All of these women just couldn’t understand the complexity of this problem and were very disappointed that we didn’t have a medicine they could take to make them have babies.  Infertility counseling and workup are complex and difficult frought with an emotional roller coaster ride.  Add another language and medical ignorance into the mix and the problem seems insurmountable.  Also, making the day long and stressful was the clinic system.  Jane is the director and the clinic runs just below chaos most of the time.  The patients will interrupt you with their own questions so you have to keep the door closed.  The clinic crew continually comes to Jane with questions and she has to tend to these on the spot.  Thus, the patient visit takes 3 times as long because Jane has to leave the room to deal with the interruptions.  I am sure the patient feels her problem is less important than the others because the others get quicker attention.  I want to talk to Jane about this.  The system at this point is too chaotic for me and is very stressful.

These long days sap my energy and leave hardly any time to read and refresh.  We finally ate at 9:30 PM – cold rice and fish.  I begged Jane to come and eat but she was busy managing chaos in the clinic.  This ws a Sunday and the workers spent the day and evening away from their families.  They are a dedicated team but that, too, can run out.

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