Day 3

It’s almost 9pm here and it’s pouring down rain. I just got back to the hotel after walking to dinner and back. I hope to get to sleep a bit earlier tonight after a long and hot day seeing patients. It has been nice to be away from the cold, but hot is still hot.

We continued to see a few new patients today, but much of the day was spent seeing follow up patients. These are women who had surgery with a prior mission and were told to come back for a check up. It was really heartwarming to see how transformative this surgery is for these women. There was a noticeable difference in their appearance and their smile. They seemed better dressed. Maybe I am projecting, and this certainly was not a randomized controlled sample of women, but it made me happy to see them happy.

All of the women are given a gift of perfume as a thank you for coming back. I giggled when one of the women asked what do do with the perfume. I wondered what they thought about this gift, and what they would tell their family.

I am part of the team that sees the post-operative patients, and this is a crazy mad process. There are usually 2 American doctors, 1 Rwandan medical student who acts as interpreter, me, and an American ob/gyn resident. We carry their charts, a bag of medical supplies (gloves, tape, medications, hand sanitizer), and we see each patient at their bedside. We must write a note in our chart and the hospital chart. The notes are brief, but we go at a rapid pace. The resident and I hope to refine this process over the next few days, though I have to remind myself that I have now done this twice before and it never feels organized.

I haven’t taken many pictures yet, but I hope to do more over the next few days. I did take one picture of a beautiful baby who was playing with his mom in the tent.

As I mentioned, I walked about 1.5 miles to dinner up and down the very hilly streets. I went with a friend who is an ob/gyn resident at another hospital. Though it was after dark, the streets are well lit and many locals were out. I am certain that my parents would not be happy that I was out walking after dark, but I was quite safe. We ate at a restaurant with an open balcony and looked out at the beautiful night sky.

This is two days late so I will post now. Trying to catch up!!