Monday, May 28th

Monday, May 28th

Hello! This is Sydney, blogging from hot and humid Mwanza! Today was our first day at Bugando Medical Centre, which was to say the least, an experience. The 1000 bed hospital is pretty much a skyscraper compared to all the other buildings in town, but apart from its architectural prowess, it is not as glorious on the inside. The smell of infection is prominent, and once in a while a cockroach can be seen on the wall. But despite its hygienic flaws, we were very impressed by the medical staff and their professionalism!

Dr. Mark, Gayle, Jasmine, and I arrived bright and early at 7:00 am to speak with the orthopedic residents. Dr. Mark went through a few patient scenarios with them and answered many questions about each case. We also discovered that two of the residents sponsored by Hope Ministries will be graduating this fall! Later on we were escorted by a massive entourage of medical students to a variety of patients on the ward for morning rounds. We saw several severe cases – some patients were scheduled to have limb amputations. We were absolutely blown away by the complexity of each patient and marveled at how the Tanzanian doctors treat these difficult cases daily. 

After a 4-hour marathon of rounds on the ward, we headed to the ‘theatre’ (this is what they call the surgical unit) to see if there were any operations Dr. Mark could assist with. One case was presented at the last minute in which Dr. Mark was asked to help the very surgical resident he is sponsoring! It was cool to see both physicians working alongside one another. Oh, and I got to scrub in as well! I would say the highlight of my day was being able to stick my finger into the patient’s knee during surgery – it seems the excitement of gory medical opportunities is finally beginning to appear in my personality.  

Robert spent the day with the social workers at BMC, and he enjoyed learning about the cultural and social differences regarding psychology in the hospital setting. Along with the social workers, Robert visited the psychiatric ward, which he described as ‘haunting’. He found it a little disturbing to see how the entire spectrum of mental illnesses seems to be lumped together and treated as a whole. Overall, Robert was pleased with his experience and loved talking with the social workers!

The rest of the group – Shawna, Carol, and Courtney – spent the day ministering to children at Fonelisco orphanage. The team loved playing with the kids and found it refreshing to interact with such joyful spirits. Shawna also presented a teaching project about the colors in the Bible which the kids seemed to enjoy.

We all headed back to the lodge around the same time and enjoyed the view of Lake Victoria before going to supper at Delish Foods. We ordered several varieties of chicken and chips, and then the best surprise of the week appeared – we got to hold 2-week old puppies! We almost started crying out of sheer joy and contentment. Reluctantly, we handed over the puppies and came back to the lodge to rest up for another day in Mwanza!

Thank you for all of the prayers, and we graciously ask for your continuance in this practice for our last few days in this beautiful country!?s