WOW!!! History was made today at BMC by Dr. Bill Rizk.  He performed the first ever laparoscopic procedure to remove a gallbladder.  The room was full of residents so that they could watch and learn.  We had a few equipment malfunctions, but the surgery was a success and Bill was challenged but remained so calm and patient.  Thank you God for this time, in which our teams continue to teach the doctors and staff procedures that can assist these doctors after we leave.  That is Hope Ministries is all about.

We received some good news from Rumisha from LIA orphanage.  The 3 children passed the entrance exams and I then sent them the information for the housing at the LOAMA school in Arusha, where the children will be able to stay.  Praise God…these kids are so excited.  They can finish their last year of high school and then hopefully have the opportunity to go to college.  I truly believe that it is throughout education, that can break the cycle of poverty in this county.  I then asked about the little girl in KCMC that has the large abdomen.  I have consulted with our doctors and the Tanzanian doctors and they are all in agreement that there is nothing that can be done for her and best to send her home and not cause her anymore pain. This little girl is weighing heavy on my heart and we continue to pray for her !  Please everyone pray for her. 

Hugs and kisses to all my family back home.  Missing you all and won’t be long and we will be headed home.


Jan. 19 & 20 – Fonelisco Orphanage

Today was my second day at the Fonelisco Orphanage in Mwanza. In the morning, we observed their lessons led by two outstanding German volunteers, Louise and Kiki. The lessons included copying Kiswahili sentences from the board into their notebooks and drawing/coloring a house by code to learn colors. After their lesson, we played with the children outside but was cut short due to the rain! We then shared a delicious lunch with the other volunteers and returned to the orphanage to play games, read books and put together puzzles with the children.
Throughout the week we have also been investigating a young girl’s arm that appeared to be infected with fluid-filled vesicles and was progressively getting worse even after the local doctor prescribed a broad spectrum antibiotic. I became very interested in figuring out what was infecting her arm. We determined that she needed to return to the doctor for a culture in order to determine the proper treatment. We still couldn’t believe a culture wasn’t taken from the very beginning! Today, I had the opportunity to accompany the young girl to the hospital. After seeing a specialist and getting blood work done it was determined that she had a fungal infection on her arm, in addition to malaria and typhoid fever.
Her medical care was graciously taken care of by one of the German volunteers (approx. $20 USD) which included the consultation and investigation in the lab. She also needed a total a six medications to cure her, but the volunteer was out of money. After meeting this little girl, sitting with her and holding her throughout her entire doctor’s visit, she touched a special place in my heart and I was moved to pay for all of her medications, which came to be 50,000 tsh or $25 USD. I would like to ask for your prayers for this young girl’s health and strength until recovery.
The children of Tanzania continue to touch my heart with their stories and smiles through the toughest times. I can truly see God’s beauty and strength in each of the children through their smiles and laughs. I will miss all of them greatly and hope to return very soon!

Taylor Kavaya

Today was another very full day for those of us at Bugando Hospital. After morning report and rounds, we spent most of the day in surgery. I got to see the removal of a cancerous tumor in the colon, along with about half the colon. Once it was out, we got to hold the removed piece of colon and feel the difference between the healthy colon and the tumor. I also got to witness the first laparoscopic gallstone removal made at Bugando, but unfortunately there were some equipment malfunctions which made the entire situation very stressful for Dr. Bill. The gallstones were extraordinarily large and numerous, but in the end, all came out successfully.
On the orthopedic end, the main surgeries were on a broken femur and a broken radius and ulna. I got to scrub in on the surgery for the radius and ulna, and so I got to hold some of the instruments in the arm as Mark and Isidore applied plates and screws to both bones.
The PT team got to see several appointments today, including therapy for one stroke victim, a head trauma patient who needed to relearn how to walk, and a little girl who had had a broken humerus and needed to regain range of motion in her elbow.
Michelle Clinesmith