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6/18/04 (Friday)

7:30 AM.  With the fan blowing on my all night I did get a good night’s sleep.  There weren’t many loud sounds, at least I didn’t hear any.  The roosters announced dawn; however, I was able to roll over and get a couple more hours of sleep.  We are just north of the equator and Jane tells me the climate is the same year round – hot and humid – even at night.  You don’t need covers at night.  We did see people dressed in long sleeves and sweaters yesterday.  I guess it takes getting used to the hot weather.

The needs here at San Lorenzo are great.  This little clinic is so primitive, yet good care is given.  Jane wants to build a wall around the compound for security purposes.  The roof over the patient area leaks from many areas.  She said $2000 would put a new roof on that building.  There are other projects and improvements needed.  I admire Jane for following God’s call to reach out to these people.  I feel pulled to support her with financial and physical help.  The challenge is great but our God is greater…indeed!

Today we see more patients in the clinic as well as tomorrow.  Our surgery schedule for next week is filling up with some difficult cases in front of us.  However, our God is greater and He will be there with us too!  It is time to eat breakfast and start our day.

3:00 PM.  We stopped for lunch.  We saw several patients and scheduled more surgery.  Each patient takes so long to take a history, do an exam, decide what the problem is and how to best manage it.  Then we have to explain it through translation to a patient who knows very little about medicine and may not even know how to read and write.  Many times the signature is a thumbprint.  Yet, these people will sit for many hours just to see the doctor.  They don’t complain about the long wait.  I wonder how Jesus felt when He saw all the need and felt compassion for the people.  There is so much disease and no understanding from the people as to what to do.  No wonder they came in droves for Him to heal them!

Jane suddenly got nauseated and felt hot.  We are stopping for a break, eat lunch and get fresh air.  Our exam room is so stifling hot and humid.  You sit still and just sweat continuously.

Our day is finally done!  Our last patient has a hard, tumor-like mass in her left cheek near the left side of her mouth.  The mass is the size of my thumbnail, rock hard and looks malignant.  Jane did a fine needle aspiriation to send to Quito for pathology.  Based on this result, she can plan the surgery.  She has no ENT or oral surgeon to refer to so she will likely do this surgery herself this next week while I am here to help.  We have some strange cases to deal with this next week.

Tonight, Jane is going to set up her laptop so I can send email.  Then it will be bedtime again.  It has rained on and off all day and there are lots of mud and mosquitos.

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