|Smiling Pretty before Thanksgiving dinner.|
Starting from front left is Jessica, Me, Marc, Brian, Sam, Sarah, Terry,
Jeannie, Lynn, Audra, Junior, Azariah
In my last post on my rundown of what happened during November I forgot to mention some of the good things that have happened as well. Of course there was Thanksgiving and we actually took the afternoon off in order to celebrate. At that time we only had long term volunteers (about 11 of us) and so it was a little bit quieter and relaxing. I had the opportunity to try out my cooking skills by making pumpkin pancakes for all of us for breakfast and they seemd to be a hit. It gave us a little flavor of fall time in spite of it being 90 degrees.
For our Thanksgiving meal we transformed the hallway into a dining room and made it look as festive as possible. When Nathan and I last came back from the States we packed our suitcases full of Thanksgiving goodies. The TSA people were amused when they found all these canned goods in our luggage and had to run it through the x-ray machine a couple time, but it was worth it. It was quite the group effort to make a whole Thanksgiving meal on 3 hot plates. Although, since the prosthetics lab wasn't being used we were able to use their oven that bakes the prosthetics and instead baked our stuffing, green bean casserole, and sweet yams in it. It worked out well and they didn't even turn out tasting like plastic! It was quite a treat to have all of us sitting around a table at one time and able to enjoy some quiet and fellowship together. It was certainly something to be thankful for. We finished off the day with cherry pie (also made in the prosthetics oven) and games. Perfect!
A week before Thanksgiving Jeannie and Terry Dietrich arrived at the hospital. Terry is an orthopedic surgeon and Jeannie is a nurse and they have committed to being here for the next year. We are thankful for their willing hearts to continue to help out here. It will be nice to have a long term orthopedic surgeon here who will be able to bring continuity to the ortho program instead of having to train in new people each week. We will still be having a few volunteers come, but having a couple long term volunteers in the OR will really help things run more smoothly. Certainly another thing to be thankful for.
There are many things to be thankful for, but I was reminded of it more as I walked down the street today. I went down the road to buy some fresh produce and Mac (one of our faithful translators) took me and Lynn (one of our long term RN's) down some alleys and across some crowded, dirtly living areas to where people were eagerly hoping to sell their goods. This market was right next to the community that lives in the middle of the main road in PAP. Its actually a community of people that have built their shelters in the median of one of the busiest roads in the city. The median is only about 6 feet across and it is lined with shelters made of tin and whatever else they could find. Most of these "houses" are about 6 ft by 5 ft or so. I stood in the middle of the median and was amazed that people would even dream of building there because large trucks and buses were rushing buy honking their horns and causing dust to fly through the air caking everything with a greyish dirt. But for many people that is their home and it has been for some time. Evidently these people were living there even before the earthquake. It boggles my mind, especially when I saw someone who lived there had a little 2 year old playing 6 inches from the road. Obviously they had nowhere else to go so that is how they ended up there. I can't even imagine what living like that is like. I have no reason to complain about my sturdy room (even if it is inside the hospital still) because its 4 times the size of so many people's house. It certainly makes me appreciate what I have so much more and shows that I don't often need all the things that I think I do.