January 12th.

It was another beautiful day in Mwanza. It was Alinda’s turn to join Steve and Gayle for spinal surgeries at Bugando. We had two successful spine surgeries, and today I could tell the Tanzanian surgeons had much more confidence in what they were doing, and would ask Steve specific questions relating to the surgeries they had done yesterday, and then confidently applying a similar technique to the one they were doing. The atmosphere was one of focused fun again, and all of us were bopping our heads and moving our feet to the fun music, and light banter was being thrown around. One of our “runners” was quite the dancer and would often break out a move at the back of the room whenever he wasn’t busy, and helped keep the mood light. I loved being able to know that the patients that had crookedly walked into the operating room would hopefully be able to painlessly walk well again.   Dr. Andrew made rounds on the postop patients that we did surgery on yesterday and they were all excited because they had relief of pain and can now ambulate without pain.  Their lives will be changed forever.

Gayle was able to visit some of the surgeons that Hope Ministries has sponsored in residency program.  She was so proud to see them being a lead surgeons in many OR rooms.  She was a proud Mama.

Julius, Lynn and I headed to Fonelisco orphanage for a day of teaching and games. I had printed bible verses (John 13:1-17) for the kids in Swahili and Julius read aloud with them the story of Jesus washing the disciple’s feet. We discussed the importance loving your neighbor and I gifted each child a bar of soap and a washcloth, along with their printed bible verse. After our lesson, the kids enjoyed learning to play duck duck goose, Simon says, and Obo Shinotintotin. While the kids showed off their dance moves, my heart melted as a little girl named Doreen fell asleep in my arms while I held her. One of the kids showed me a bed where I was able to lay her down for a nap. Before leaving the orphanage, we passed out candies to the kids and gave plenty of ‘nipi tano’s’ or fist bumps as goodbyes.

When Gayle was here in July, they did total hips and knees and she stressed the importance of keeping the sliding OR door close and to minimize the number of people who went in and out of the OR.  To her surprise there was a list on the wall.  When she asked about it, they did they had a staff meeting and discussed it and decided it was very important so they hand the rules they established in each room.

As we headed out to a local barbecue for supper, we met Julius’ twin, Tom 🙂 When Gayle started wondering aloud where Julius could be (which is a common occurrence), Lynn was startled as she thought the man sitting right next to her was Julius. We all busted out laughing and laughing, and we waited with our new friend for Julius to arrive. We even joked that the two talked very similarly.

Thank you for your prayers and supporting us in our journey.

God Bless,