The last two days have been pack-filled with patient care at both St. Gabriel’s and the local village, Namitondo. We have been using a rotating system where we would each take a position of either lead PT, assistant, or scribe. Currently, we have three patients recovering from CVA’s, three patients with fractures and on traction, one patient with cancer and associated low back pain, one patient with hip muscle abscess removed related to TB, and a handful of pediatric patients with medical diagnoses including burns, hand contractures, cerebral malaria, and fractures (from falling out of mango trees!) Some of the patient’s cases have been heart-wrenching and emotionally difficult, but we are optimistic that while working with the medical team at St. Gabriel’s, we can do our part to improve the quality of life and quality of movement for our patients. Even over the course of the last week, some of our patients have improved drastically which is very fulfilling as new clinicians!
Yesterday, the four of us attending a course on pediatric CPAP devices. The class was held by a German pediatrician who provided a lecture on general principles, indications, and application of CPAP devices. After the lecture, we were even able to practice a CPAP application on a fake baby which I found to be much more difficult than anticipated! The class served to be interesting and useful for CJ, Abby, and I in our future cardiopulmonary clinical practice.
In the mornings, Abby and I have been waking up early to enjoy a leisurely run through robustly growing corn fields, bright yellow bamboo forests, and down dirt paths alongside of many children on their way to school. One of our favorite aspects of the run is getting to interact with locals going their way. Malawians are a very social and personal group of people which results in them running alongside of us in order continue our conversation! We are continually surprised by the sense of community and genuine nature of these warm people!
Although the people in Malawi are wonderfully kind, the bugs are a different story. As you can tell from many of the photos we’ve posted in previous blogs, the three of us have picked up a hobby of documenting all of the interesting bugs/creatures here. Its astounding to see the shear number of bugs as well as the diverse population native to the area. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen most of the bugs that I’ve seen here. Although I react like a typical teenage girl when I see a spider the size of a silver dollar in our kitchen, its absolutely fascinating to look at all of these unique bugs! Subsequently, we are all very careful with our bed nets every night. However, hanging a bed net is not as easy at it looks! If I have three corners of the net suspended, I consider it a success!