Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Another Airplane

Since the first time I heard of it, obstetric fistula had peaked my interest and stirred my heart. The condition occurs after a long, difficult labor which causes damage to the urinary system or bowels. Women then leak urine or stool from the damage incurred during labor and delivery. It is crippling for a woman and affects every area of her life. I've tried time and time again to get involved in more training during my time in Africa. And at last it worked out for me to go to a fistula camp.

I got on the plane and was off to Uganda. I arrived at the Catholic hospital which was the site for the fistula work. It's nice to work with a bunch of nuns, mostly because names aren't an issue - you can just call everyone "Sister" and it works. For someone like me, who is terribly bad with remembering names and faces (basically just can't remember people), it was a great perk. I was definitely the trainee among the physicians there. Other well established fistula surgeons had come from Great Britain and other parts of Africa to take part.

Word had been spread for weeks over the radio, and women had responded from hours and hours away to come for help. It was a good time for me professionally as I was able to learn techniques and get feedback from other doctors. I have been working alone for a good while now, and I really miss having other people within my field to bounce ideas off or or to get advice from. It was also refreshing to be in a different environment than usual and to see how other hospitals work.

On the way back out of the country I got to stay over for a bit in the big city. I have become much more easily entertained over the time I've spent in Africa, and was delighted to get to just go to the grocery store and look through all the merchandise. So many options. I love to gaze down all the bright, shiny aisles. Next, I had the luxury of going to a swimming pool where I swam until my fingers and toes were all shriveled up and water was stuck way down deep in my ears. And lastly, one of the greatest and most treasured opportunities was getting to spend some time with other Christians who I met along the way. What a delight to meet people who love the Lord and are willing to follow after Him wherever He leads. They are dotted across nations, tribes, and tongues spanning the globe. All with one great affection and purpose, Christ and His glorification.

Thanks to those of you who have given financially, you've made it possible for me to take this trip and begin learning more techniques that can help the women who I serve. And thanks of course to each who prays for me in my work here. I couldn't make it without you. 

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