April 20, 2013

Yesterday I finally met up with the man who does physiotherapy here. Samuel was trained for 6 months by a PT from the US, has had additional training by an athletic trainer and, if I understood correctly, had some training by an orthotist as well. He has some good books for resources and said one thing he really needs is a French/English medical dictionary, because he has learned the English vocabulary for what he does, but the patients speak the local language or French.

He told me he puts casts on fractures, gets amputees up on crutches, does range of motion for various diagnoses, and does some massage for back and neck issues. He has a nice room but needs some closets to store stuff. I didn’t see any hot or cold packs but there were some weights for ankles and wrists. He’s been doing this about a year, so I imagine he is still getting set up. I mentioned that my background is working with children with developmental disabilities and it didn’t sound like he had much exposure to basic things to do when children with common diagnoses as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, or spina bifida come in. So maybe I can leave him with some basics.

The doctors seem to understand what my background is so I may get some kids sent my way after they’ve seen the child. The 2 patients Samuel saw were a 13-year-old who had a stiff knee following surgery for an infection in the knee area and a young man who had been in an accident and whose lower leg had been broken, treated improperly elsewhere, become gangrenous and had to be amputated after arrival here at ABWE’s Kempton Memorial Hospital. He is learning to get around using crutches while the stump heals. I hope to spend some time next week with Samuel and see some of his other patients.

It is hot here! After lunch today, I noticed a thermometer in the dining room where we eat our meals. It said 88 degrees (that’s inside), and it’s hotter outside in the sun. The dining room has ceiling fans, which makes it quite bearable. Bill and I are staying in a comfortable room in their guesthouse with a ceiling fan and a floor fan. The room also has a window-type AC which we run for an hour or two before we go to bed. We have been sleeping well (except for Bill’s rough night). Fans make such a big difference.

In the morning one quickly begins to glisten and it doesn’t take too much activity for it to take on more of a dripping look. The missionaries have found that loose dresses and shirts are the coolest. Using the Togolese fabric made into clothing by local seamstresses, the ladies’ dresses and the men’s shirts are very colorful, reasonably priced and comfortable. I may even look into getting a dress made!

This is the beginning of the rainy season so heavy rains are cropping up many afternoons. The grounds here are quite pretty- lots of palm trees, heavily laden mango trees, lots of flowering trees and bushes and plants I don’t know all the names of. And there are lots of bugs and quite a variety of lizards. What an abundance of evidence of the Creator’s artistry and imagination. We truly are blessed as we witness the Lord’s creation in so many parts of the world. We are also privileged to see not only God’s creation but also His working around the world to bring people into His family through the saving knowledge of the Jesus.

I’ll be sharing more about how He is working here.