Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

Hello family and friends,

We have been VERY busy these past three days. Our team has been working at Bugando hospital and Fonelisco orphanage and have been able to accomplish so many things.

On Wednesday, we had two surgical cases that were a bit more complicated then we had initially anticipated, however, both cases had positive outcomes. Dr. Reeder worked together with Dr. Emmanuel and they began meticulously removing a tumor from a three year old patient. Many of us had never seen an exposed brain and we all were quite amazed with the work that these two surgeons were doing. I think everyone in the room learned a lot during this procedure. The surgery took about six and a half hours to finish. In our other operating room, Dr. Woodward and Dr. Isidor, the orthopedic surgeons began working on a spinal laminectomy with a spinal fusion. Many of the residents were also in the operating room and it was quite rewarding to see how focused and intent they were to learn from the surgeons. This surgery took about eight hours to accomplish. At the end of the day, we checked up on all of our patients and everyone was doing great. What I loved the most about my time at Bugando hospital was how well everyone worked as a team and the positive atmosphere that accompanied it. Also on Wednesday, Jamie, Ryan, and Kelsey went to the orphanage. The kids loved to play jump rope, soccer, and draw with chalk with the team. The team also got to visit the new land that the orphanage is hoping to build new facilities on and they were very impressed and excited for the future of this orphanage. Jamie and Ryan also did their teaching project with Jamie teaching about hand hygiene and Ryan teaching the kids some English terms. All in all, Wednesday was a very fun filled day for them.

On Thursday there were two cases. Dr. Reeder and Dr. Isidor worked together on a spinal fusion while Dr. Emmanuel worked on a complicated cyst removal. Both of these surgeries went very well. We were blown away with the kindness and patience of the surgeons and their medical teams. They were more than willing to teach and explain their procedures not only to the residents and staff that worked at Bugando, but to us nurses and nursing students as well. We were all so appreciative of the chance to work so closely together with these doctors on cases we may never be able to see back home. The team that went to the orphanage included Kaylin, Jamie, Taylor, and Alissa. The kids absolutely love to play soccer and I think we played soccer for about 2 hours before everyone got tired. Jump rope was also another highlighted game that everyone enjoyed. Kaylin and Taylor gave their teaching projects with Kaylin teaching about dental health and Taylor teaching about the menstrual cycle. As we closed out our final day at the orphanage we were given very big thank you’s from all the children and their director.

Today, we left Mwanza and flew back to Arusha. Our flight back was just over an hour and when we arrived we were greeted by our drivers with big smiles. Prior to our flight, we did one last set of rounds on our patients and they are all doing great. A big thank you to all of the donors, because without your help these surgeries would not have been possible!

What a very rewarding week we have had in Mwanza. Two of our team members, Dr. Reeder and Michael Boose will be leaving on a flight back home tonight and we are so thankful for their time spent with us.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for our team. We are cherishing these final days we have here in this beautiful country and look forward to tomorrow as we get to spend some time experiencing what the markets are like here.