Sunday, May 11, 2008

Guinea Screening

Returned yesterday afternoon from a great screening trip to N'Zao (near N'Zerekore) Guinea. It was by far the most productive of our journeys over the past month. We held screening at the N'Zao Hope Clinic operated by CMA. A missionary there has sent us patients since the Anastasis was in Guinea in 1998-1999. We were blessed by the hospitality of the CMA missionaries there. On a very practical level, it was nicer than any of our other three trips and more productive. Because N'Zerekore is at a higher elevation, it was cooler and more comfortable than Monrovia tends to be. The clinic uses solar power for most of their needs. It was nice to know the lights would turn on without the rumbling of a generator in the background.

During our stay in N'Zao we scheduled 21 patients for surgery. The first of these, Alimou (young man in the middle photo above), will fly to Monrovia this week for surgery on board. Aminata, the girl with the cleft lip and palate that I'm holding in the lower picture, will come for surgery at the end of August. She didn't speak or even attempt to speak although her hearing seemed ok, but she was very willing to be held and played with. I'm looking forward to seeing her on the ship shortly before I leave September 1.

A friend who was on the trip with us is working on a list of "You know you're in Africa when..." observations. One of the items we added to that list on this trip was, "You know you're in Africa when it takes 350,000 of the local currency to buy 3/4 of a tank of diesel." And you thought gas prices were going up in the US!

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