Thursday, November 15, 2012

Screening Day

Sunday - November 11th, 2012

Screening Day

We woke up early and headed to the hospital after eating a big breakfast.  The screening began right away and so did the chaos!  It was a fast paced day filled with many families anxious to see their outcome.  Screening took longer than usual, but the children and their parents were unbelievably patient and respectful throughout the process.  The Liberian nurses were a great aid in translating Liberian English for us to understand.  We screened 127 patients in total and found that a majority of them were here for hernias.  

The kids contently coloring while waiting for their lab results. 
All of the families lined up in the hall to meet with the surgeons.  We screened 127 patients today.
Tired and hungry, we were fortunate enough to enjoy a Moroccan feast cooked for us by a local restaurant.  The food was delicious, but after such a long day, we were all ready for a good nights sleep.  

Sightseeing & Orphanage

Day 2 - Saturday, November 10th, 2012

Sightseeing & Orphanage

Today the group split up, one group going to see the historical sights in Monrovia and the other going to a local orphanage.  

Dr. Tetzlaff and Dr. Moore with 2 kids at the orphanage

Kids at the orphanage during one of their dance numbers.

The first option was to go to Monrovia  to experience the culture and vibe of the downtown area.  On our way into town, we stopped at the beach to put our toes in the sand and dip our feet in the Atlantic.  Once we arrived in the city, many locals and their kids were out at the market selling anything from toilet seat covers to expensive fabrics.  We were able to stop at a collection of art vendors and several of us purchased carvings and paintings from local artists.  Peter was even able to find a helicopter made out of old flip flops.

The second bus picked up Debbie from Orphan Rescue and Relief and headed out of town to go to the Francis Gaskin orphanage.  We were able to play with the kids and had such a great time.  The kids even put on a little show for us, entertaining us with songs and dance numbers.  On our way home we were able to stop at a market as well to purchase souvenirs and other local goods.  

We arrived back to the Guest House to a delicious Thai buffet, complete with pad thai, curried chicken and vegetable, and fresh pita bread.  

We all went off to bed early to prepare for our busy screening day tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Finally Arrived!!!

Thursday - November 8th, 2012

Finally Arrived!!!

Even before we arrived in Liberia, our adventure began!  Friday morning we found out that our last flight between Ghana and Liberia was cancelled, potentially causing the mission to come to a halt.

We made it to JFK in New York, still unsure of the plan once we arrived in Ghana.  We didn’t know if we would have to spend the night in Ghana or if another airline would be available to take us all the way to Liberia.  Our plans in Ghana didn’t matter at this point as Delta wasn’t going to let us on the plane, due to the fact that we didn’t have Visas for Ghana.  Sue worked tirelessly to get us Visas for once we arrived in Ghana, but Delta wanted us to have them before they would let us on the plane.  After hours of verbal persuasion and negotiating, 2 plane delays and potential bribery, we were finally able to board the plane.  12 hours later, a representative from Firestone met us at the Ghana Airport, informing us that a Kenya Air flight for Liberia would be leaving shortly; unfortunately our bags would not be able to make the flight.  

More Firestone representatives met us in Liberia.  They took all of our passports allowing us to bypass customs.  We were then transported immediately to the Firestone Guest House where we were finally able to eat dinner and relax after a very stressful day of travel.  

It is a miracle that we finally made it here!