Saturday, October 25, 2008


After almost 2 months I am home in my own bed with my own bathroom...doesn't get better than that! And I was able to spend my birthday at home - doing what I wanted - nothing! It only lasted a day so I am not worried about turning into a doorstop that doesn't do anything.

Everything from Dad's house has been taken care of - either with Dad to his new house, to Janet's house, or to mine, or sold or given away, and we are all happy. What could have been a relationship destroying activity turned into a bonding time with my sister and me. I couldn't have asked for anyone to be more caring and willing to give and take with others in mind that my sister, Janet. I was truly blessed.

Remember the patterns I told you about that she bought for me? I'll start adding pictures of them so you can what treasures were in my bag. The sizes and their measurements are a little shocking...according to what is printed I would probably be a 22 or so.

The 14's have a bust of 34 and the 12's a bust of 30. The size 12 1/2 is size 33 ????? This is just a start of the patterns as I will add some each time I post. It might be after the first of the year before I get a chance to try any of them. Can't wait.

And now to bed - in my own bed!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


From James:

My life as a cripple began insignificantly enough.

As far as I can tell, it started with digging that latrine last Sunday
morning. I must have accidently hit the inside of my right ankle with the
pickax. Whatever the cause, by Sunday night it was swollen and painful. By
Monday morning, I could barely walk and it was red and angry. I tried to go
to work, hobbled around on lightning rounds before I couldn't take the pain.

At the same time, I was hit with the worst attack of Malaria since the first
time I got it in 2004. By the time I hobbled home my muscles were twitching
so badly and my teeth chattering so hard you'd of thought I was in the midst
of a Danish blizzard instead of 110 degree sub-saharan Africa.

I slammed down 8 anti-malarial combo pills straight in from China and
huddled under the blankets desperately trying to fight off the cold.

Did I mention my ankle was killing me?

After a day or two, the malaria was better, but as of last night, I hadn't
walked in a week.

I'd been hoping there wouldn't be any surgical emergencies as you can
imagine. Despite two symphysiotomies performed resting my bum leg on a
stool on wheels in order to bring in two floppy, but eventually revivable
newborns, things had been relatively calm.

Until last night...

After a leisurely Saturday lounging around with my foot elevated to control
the edema listening to David Asherick talk about living in the End of Time,
I found myself strangely drawn to the window around 5pm that evening. I
picked up my crutches (hand made in Chad and borrowed from a bed-ridden
patient) and limped over to the screen door facing the fence between us and
the Emergency Room.

It was hard to see because of the two screens and the distance between me
and the action, but I saw a group of people gathering hurredly. A couple of
push carts moved back and forth. Two people were carrying a stretcher.

I was not surprised to see one of the Intern nurses, Aimée, coming up the
path a few minutes later.

"There's a situation," she blurted out, gasping for breath. "There's been a
fight at the market. They've brought in a bunch of victims. One woman's
dead. A man has a huge knife wound to his neck. This other woman is all
beat up around the head and unconscious. There's a baby that's been

"Ok, ok, I'll be right there."

I pull on some scrubs as quickly as a cripple can and somehow cram my
swollen foot into my crocs and hobble over. Crutches over moist, sandy soil
is not easy.

I pull aside the curtain to the ER and see groups of people huddled around
bloody clothes with arms and legs sticking out everywhere. Some are on
beds, some on the ground. Sarah looks up.

"I think this one is the most critical. She's pregnant too. We can't get
the baby's heart beat. She has a huge wound on her head."

In the midst of a bloody pile I see a slender, young Arab girl with a
bulging middle sticking out of a brightly colored dress made even more
bright by her life's fluid spilled all over it. Her face is irrecognizably
swollen, contorted and bloodied. One eye is completely swollen shut and her
long, tight braids are matted with the dark, drying human liquid.

Jason tells me one pupil doesn't react well. I don't bother to confirm.

Samedi and Abel have arrived. Simeon is there shortly. Ansley, Kristin,
Emily and Jacob are also there.

I start shouting out orders.

"Get IV's started on everyone.

"I want one liter of Ringers running full speed.

"Give them all 2 grams of Ampicilline.

"Where's Stephan? Stephan, get a carton of those 1 L Ringers that just came

"Is there a pharmacist? Where's Pierre?"

Andre has arrived and speaks up.

"I'll call him and get him right in," he says already punching in numbers on
his cell phone.

"That guy there is probably the second sickest," Sarah shouts across the
room as she attaches IV tubing to the arm of the first woman.

A young man is staring at me calmly. His once white pants are now tie dyed
in his own color of red wine. A bundle of gauze has been taped under his
right jaw on his neck.

I pull it off and see a 10cm laceration cut neatly from right under his chin
to under his ear. It's about 5 cm deep and oozing a lot of blood until I
push the compresses back in the gaping wound. It doesn't appear he got his
jugular or carotid though. And he's breathing fine.

"Nathaneal, come and push on this as hard as you can...right there in the
center of the wound. Don't let go."

IVs are running and nurses are frantically mixing up and administering

"Jacob, you and Abel aussi...go get the gurney from
surgery...ABEL...LE BRANCARD...AU BLOC!" I yell at Abel since he's almost
deaf, but one of our hardest workers and head nurse in surgery.

"Jacob, never mind, Jason and Abel can get the gurney, here take my keys and
bring me the ultrasound from my office."

I briefly look at the other two women who are beat up and bruised but
otherwise look ok. One is pregnant and I quickly do an ultrasound
confirming the fetus is doing well.

Justine walks in with the baby who's mom had been killed, strapped to her

"She's not injured at all luckily, we just thought so at first because she
was covered with blood."

"C'est bon!" I quip and head off to the OR.

In the OR, the lights aren't on so I hobble into the battery room/solar
panel master control room and flip on the switch giving us solar power to
light up the OR.

People scrambling around. IVs going up and flowing in. Needles, seringes,
gauze, scalpels, instruments, suture, gloves, scissors, razors, shaved
braids, and blood, blood everywhere.

After Abel finishes taking off a life's worth of braided African hair in a
few minutes time, Samedi gets going suturing up the huge upside down V
shaped gash in her scalp. She starts to moan, she had been unconscious we

"Simeon, get her some Ketamine and Diazepam and put her under."

Meanwhile, there's a baby with anemia that no one has been able to find an
IV on all day. They'd brought him to me at the house and I had tried
putting a needle into the bone marrow of his tibia, but I didn't have the
right needle and the others just kept bending. It was about this time that
I was called for the mass casualty. Now, the baby is before me again.

"Jacob, give the baby a milliliter of Ketamine IM and strap him into the

As Samedi starts suturing up the head wound, I slice into the baby's ankle
and dissect down to the saphenous vein. I find it and slide in an IV
catheter. We hook up the blood, see it's running in and I suture the wound
closed around the IV.

They've now brought in the young man with the neck wound.

"Kristin, you and Ansley take this baby off to peds. Simeon, you and
Jackson (Jason) move the man onto this gurney."

"If it wasn't for Allah, I'd be dead." The young man stares at me
earnestly, speaking in Chadian Arabic.

"Alhamdullilah!" I reply and he nods and closes his eyes as he starts
softly repeating Koranic verses.

I stay seated on my stool as Simeon puts him under anesthesia with the usual

A couple sutures to bring the muscles together after washing it out well and
a few loose skin stitches and I'm done.

"ABEL...PANSEMENT!" I point to the gauze bucket and to the man's neck.
Abel and I have our own sign language between us. He nods and dives right

Meanwhile Emily has brought the ultrasound in to the OR and I do a quick
ultrasound on the woman that Samedi has just finished stitching up her
scalp. Her fetus is also doing well and at 32 weeks should survive even if
the mom dies if we can do a C-section quick enough.

I grab my crutches and swing outside. Sarah is coming from the OR.

"They've just brought in another guy...a Nangjere man. The sous-prefet's
truck is out looking for other victims. This one doesn't look too bad."

He's got some cuts on his hand and a stab wound to the shoulder blade that
isn't deep. I leave it for Samedi and hobble home with the volunteers.

After a game of Settlers of Catan our second game is quickly interrupted
with the arrival of more victims.

This time there're people scattered all over. Camouflaged gendarmes armed
with AK47s and Kalishnikovs are unloading people from the truck. I just
head straight to the OR and tell them to bring the worst one's in.

Samedi is just finishing up with the man I'd left him.

"James, I just heard the story of how it all started. It started with this

Apparently, the man was out in his field and saw some cows eating his rice.
He challenged the herdsman, an Arab nomad. The nomad started to pull out
his bow and arrow so the Nangjere man rushed him and grappled with him. The
Arab pulled out his knife and the Nangjere grabbed the blade with his hand
(hence the cuts). He quickly let go and the Arab stabbed him in the back.
The man fainted and the Arab fled. The women watching assumed the Nangjere
man was dead and ran to the market screaming bloody murder. When their
relatives heard that their "brother" was dead, they attacked a group of Arab
women just leaving the market. Hence our first wave of casualties. Now
both sides were on the prowl and apparently a group of Nangjere had headed
to the Arab village going from door to door dragging women and children out
and the Arab men were organizing their reprisals. There weren't enough
gendarmes to control it so they were just picking up bodies and wounded.

Samedi finished and wheeled the man outside. At some point later on, he
wisely dissappeared.

Now, they bring in a wiry Arab with the face of Kobe Bryant who has a huge
slash across his right lower chest. It's about 25 cm long and all the way
down to the ribs God gave him to protect his liver and lung. The other Arab
is a wizened middle aged man with cuts all over. His main complaint is
they've taken out his left eye but closer examination reveals a 10cm slash
across his cheek and a left eye swollen shut. Small laceration cover his
body and arms. An open dislocation of a finger I quickly "pop" back in. He
also has a stab wound to his leg which has broken his tibia.

I put the tibia back in place, wash out the wound well, slosh some Betadine
of a gauze and place it over the wound.

"Jacob, hold that tight. Jackson, keep pulling on his leg and hold it in
this position. ABEL...PLATRE...PPPPLLLLLAAAATTTRRREEE!" He doesn't
understand so I point him to the wound which he holds pressure to.

"Jacob, go get all the stuff for a cast. Just like we did last Saturday
night: webroll, tubing, plaster, a basin of water, scissors"

"Simeon, Diazepam and Ketamine for this guy too." I point to the man with
the chest wound.

"Ashadu Allah illaha ilalallah, wa ashadu ana Muhammador rasullallah." He
starts to repeat over and over his Muslim creed until he drifts off.

But he doesn't go quietly. He starts to have a reaction to the Ketamine and
tenses all up not wanting to breath.

"Sarah, get me some Chlorpromazine." She can't find it.

"Someone get me some from the Pharmacy."

"There is none." replies Samedi. "I needed some last night and we're all

Just then Sarah comes out of the inside OR, "I found one ampoule."

The man finally calms down and I do a running subcutaneous suture to bring
the muscles and fascia back together and then some loose interrupteds to
bring the skin partly together, still allowing it to drain since it's

"ABEL...PANSEMENT!" and I turn back to put the cast on the other Arab's leg
while Samedi finishes suturing up all the lacerations.

Meanwhile, Kristin and Ansely and Augustin (who's just joined us) are
working on another man just brought into the room on a stretcher.

"His intestine is sticking out his side and he's got a ton of cuts."

"Start an IV with Ringers. Simeon, Ampicilline 2g, Gentamycin 4 ampoules,
Flagyl 2 bottles! Augustin, urinary catheter. Abel, nasogastric tube!"

I turn back to the fracture and Jacob has already wrapped it well. I wet
the plaster and quickly wind it around the leg while Jason holds it in

"Hold it there until it's dry."

I turn to the guy on the floor. They've got all the antibiotics and tubes
in and an IV is running well.

"Simeon, start the generator. Let's move him into the operating room."

A few minutes later I hop in on one foot having just scrubbed my hands and
arms. I dry off and Abel puts on my gowns and gloves. The room is lit just
by the two overhead OR lights focused on the betadined abdomen. Jacob slips
me my stool and I position myself on the right side of the patient. We
drape him and then Augustin prays.

I open him up from his sternum to his belly button and dark blood surges
out. I suck it up and start exploring. There's no major gusher anywhere.
In fact, I don't see any injury. The liver is fine. There is no stool in
the abdomen. The stomach and intestines are undamaged. I pull out the
omentum which is what had come out his side and cut off the contaminated
part, tying off the vessels. As I can now examine the spleen as well I'm
surprised to see no damage to that either. Where's the blood coming from?

Finally, I get Abel to give me a good look at the wound and I see air and
blood spurting into the abdomen with each breath. Of course, it's coming
from his lung through the punctured diaphragm.

That would also explain his poor oxygen saturation. Duh!

I suture up the diaphragmatic tear. Suck out as much blood as possible.
Re-examine the spleen since I can't believe the knife left a 3cm laceration
in the diaphragm right over the spleen without touching it, but the spleen
is clean. I leave in a drain and close up.

Then I poke in a chest tube, hear the welcome rush of released air and a
smattering of blood, hook him up to the water-seal/suction apparatus, suture
up the large gash on his arm, the three small gashes on his back, and
finally come to the left buttock.

Jacob and Abel hold him as we roll him on his right side. The wound is 15cm
long and 10cm deep and bloody. I use a huge needle to bring the deep
muscles together and then sew the fascia shut. I leave the skin loosely
approximated and Abel and Simeon dress all the wounds.

It's a half hour after midnight when I get home. The truck drives up again
an hour later but since no one comes to get me I fall back asleep. At six
o-clock, my haggard, yet still beautiful wife shakes me awake.

"Well, they brought in a bunch more Arab women but they all only have minor
injuries so I didn't wake you. They also brought in three more bodies. "Do
you want to continue antibiotics or anything else on that guy you operated

Oh yeah, post-op orders would be nice. Sarah smilingly holds out an OR
order sheet that I quickly fill out.

She comes back at 8am showing me her lab slip.

"Yeah, not only was that the craziest night shift I've ever done, but I had
malaria the whole time!"

An hour later, I limp over to the hospital on my crutches to see the
patients. Everyone is doing well. All the women are awake, and while in
pain and swollen all over are able to sit up and take some water. The neck
and chest wound men are also awake and praising Allah. The man with the
punctured lung is also stable but not too awake yet.

Just then, a huge group of robed and turbaned Arabs flows in accompanied by
a bunch of soldiers with machine guns. They go through and out the back
gate to the morgue. I continue to the ER to see the other patients who'd
arrived after I'd gone back to bed.

I've just started and Djibrine, the nurse in charge of supervising our
district's health centers comes in.

"The governor and the sous-prefet want to see all the wounded."

I find them in the wards packed in with Arabs and gendarmes. I send most of
them out with the full support of the sous-prefet except for a couple of
guards for the governor and the rest of his team. I show them around as
they take town everyone's name and injuries and put them either on the
Nangjere or Arab list.

I finally make it home at noon and my ankle has ballooned.

I think I might always be a cripple.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Can't Believe It!

I love to read sewing blogs and learn as much as I can. Lately I have been reading the discussion of vintage patterns. To be honest, I hadn't given "old" patterns much thought but was interested to see the patterns others were purchasing. The styles are wonderful but I was intrigued by the pages of instructions. Don't get me wrong, I love to have patterns that can just be zipped up quickly, but the intricacies of these old patterns that are posted really drew me in.

When I was at my Dad's in Texas my sister and I were discussing sewing and I told her how I thought maybe Mom had had some of the old patterns that were listed on e-bay and that I would be interested in them. It was disappointing to go through everything and find that she had gotten rid of all of her vintage patterns and that was the end of the discussion.

Today I received a call from my sister telling me that I owed her and she would take 2 dresses in her size and in the fabric that she would choose. Of course, I had no idea of what she spoke. It was then that she told me that she had been to her FIL's girlfriends garage sale and was able to purchase 36 patterns from the 50's to the 70's. One of the ones she wants has buttons down the side and she said the pattern is beautiful. She doesn't sew clothes but she was excited after she saw the dresses. When I get back to Texas next week and get the patterns I will post some pictures of my newly acquired patterns. (She only paid $.25 per pattern!) I am so excited!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Not Sewing but Having a Great Time

It should be a bit of relief to leave the intense heat of Texas and arrive in the cool breeze of the plateau of Tennessee - but I am a heat lover! and am having to grab the blankets to stay warm. But it is worth it to be with our son, his wife and two children for a few days. We don't get to be with the grandkids too often so we are having such a great time playing games, going to the park, cooking and singing until the hour they are whisked off to bed by the parents.

While here I was able to take pictures of some little backpacks that I made for the kids about 6 months ago. I had forgotten all about this pattern until I reorganized all of my patterns and found it at the bottom of the pile. They were fun to make and the kids seem to love them. My DIL is expecting the third child, a boy, in December and just let me know that she would be expecting a backpack for the new little one....a frog! There was no frog pattern included so I will be staying up at night to come up with, design, create, copy, a frog backpack.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Le Weekend

From James:

Boy, am I glad I went to bed early Friday night!

It was still dark and sticky when I woke up around 4am thanks to the pitter
patter of little rat feet running back and forth directly over my head as I
lay in a profound sleep. Now, I can't go back to sleep. Every time I'm
about to find dreamland again I hear the scurrying or the flapping of a bat
outside my screen window. I give up and get up.

I put on a headlamp so I don't wake Sarah with the overhead light and go out
to the kitchen table. I grab my French Bible and finish preparing the
sermon I'll give in church later on this morning. At 5am I'm finally able
to catch a few more winks before the pink early morning light filters in the
windows accompanied by the ever vigilant roosters.

I eat a simple breakfast of local peanut butter on toast with guava sauce.
Meanwhile, Sarah has gone out to feed the horses and locked me in! I stare
out the bedroom window waiting for someone to come within calling range.
Kitty hops up to the window sill to join me in my quiet contemplation of the
African dawn. Some purple, pipe-cleaner type flowers have shot up just
outside the screen and a zebra looking bee is buzzing merrily amongst the
bristles. Everything is green and the guavas are getting bigger and bigger
although they're still very green.

Finally, I spot Emily, a volunteer just arrived yesterday who responds to my
pleas for freedom and unbolts the outside latch on the front door. I pack
up my books in a tiny bag and hoist my heavy, hollowed out tree trunk drum
to my shoulder and head off to the church.

The ancient French hymns sung off key that come wafting out of the church
are soon replaced by a more African rendering as Allah, our new nurse
Augustin's 10 year old son, starts pounding out some rhythms on the drum
accompanied by my little tambourine.

I have a very interesting discussion with a bunch of young people interested
in finding out what Christianity is about. We talk about the Bible and how
it came about and who wrote it and why it's important because it's a
collection of stories telling us how God interacts with people despite all
their warts and wrinkles.

Then I preach my sermon in French with Nangjere translation. Afterwards,
Simeon is waiting for me outside.

"There are a couple of patients you should come see."

I hurry home, change into scrubs and mosey off to the hospital.

Our friend, Polycarpe, the child with the bleeding disorder we've been
transfusing almost every week for the last few months is having severe
abdominal pain. He also had some bloody diarrhea. I'd been saving the
plasma part of other people's blood transfusions by storing them in the
kerosene freezer. Yesterday, they were supposed to thaw it out, let any
remaining red blood cells filter out and give Polycarpe the plasma. It
hadn't been done. I quickly hook him up to the plasma and give him some
malaria treatment. I hope to avoid another transfusion.

A three year old child with a hemoglobin of 4.3 g/dl still hasn't got a
blood transfusion. Seven family members have been tested with no one who
can give her the blood she needs. Her blood type is B-, the same as me. I
just gave blood last week, but what the heck. I tell Simeon to call the lab
guy, find an IV and I'll be back.

I figure I'd better eat something first. I go home and Sarah has heated up
yesterday's eggplant spaghetti sauce. We eat and then I drink another liter
of water and head back to the hospital.

Mathieu is waiting for me. I lie down on the examining table in my office
as Mathieu prepares the blood bag, wraps a tourniquet around my arm, uses
alcohol soaked cotton to wipe off the skin over the big vein in the middle
of my arm and slides in a huge needle effortlessly into the vein. I pump my
fist to make the blood go out faster and I've quickly filled up the 450ml
bag. Mathieu takes out the needle and puts a cotton ball over the puncture
wound. I flod my arm up, sit up and get ready to go.

"Already?" Mathieu asks, astonished. "Aren't you dizzy?"

"No, I just ate and drank a bunch so I'm fine."

I head out the door and meet Sarah at the house where she's already saddled
my horse, Bob. Sarah takes off on her horse, Pepper, while the volunteers
follow on foot. I change into jeans, grab some water bottles and jump on
Bob. Allah, my drumming friend from this morning is coming with me. I
swing him up by his arm into the saddle behind me and we take off at a trot.
Allah bounces around and we have to stop and walk often but eventually we
catch up with the others.

The rice fields are completely swamped and the path is nothing but a swath
of still water meandering amongst the rice stalks already starting to bend
at the neck from the weight of their kernels.

It's blazing hot and the water splashing up from Bob's hooves is a welcome,
mild relief from the sweltering heat.

The river has way overflown it's banks swallowing up all the familiar
landmarks except a few trees bravely sticking their branches up from the
swirling eddies. We wade out towards the current through what used to be a
large field leading down to the cattle crossing. Jason, Jacob and Nathaneal
have already almost reached the current as I start out and they are quickly
swept downstream. I find the current and swiftly catch up to them where
they rest holding onto some branches sticking out of the water as the water
rushing by makes it sound like we're in a mountain stream rather than a flat
river winding through the African bush.

I'm vaguely scared of hippos, though they probably won't like the fast
current, and am again glad there are no longer crocs in these rivers.

After several bends we pull ourselves up the bank by grabbing onto piles of
tall grasses and follow the sketchy, grown paths through the bush on the
bank of the river trying to be as loud as possible to scare off vipers.

Back where Sarah and the others are playing with some of the Chadian kids,
the guys and I head up river just a tad where we see a tree coming out of
the river near the bank and then bending out conveniently at a right angle
where we can jump off.

After some jumps to test the depth, we dive and do back flips venturing ever
higher on ever thinner branches until we've exhausted the possibilities.

Heading home on Bob with Allah I have a hard time holding the horse back as
he smells his dried corn at home already! Packs of mosquitos buzz along
with us in the twilight as the sun has gone down over half an hour ago.
Finally, Allah can't take any more so once we hit the first huts of the
village he gets off and I let Bob go rushing off through the approaching
night with the wind whipping around me leaving the mosquitos far behind.

I arrive in time to see Augustin returning from church. He informs me that
Samedi is looking for me as there was a motorcycle accident.

I quickly pull off the muddy saddle and harness from Bob, open the door,
strip off my soaked jeans, take a fast shower and pull on scrubs to head
over to the hospital.

The ER is dimly lit by it's one flourescent bulb crowded with buzzing
insects. A small pool of blood has formed at the foot of the bed where the
middle aged, portly woman lies with her left ankle at an impossible angle
like it's been shifted completely towards the middle. A blood soaked gauze
pad is tied on tightly over the lateral ankle where I assume the bone came
poking out. She has no other injuries.

They've also just brought in another elderly woman in a push cart who I can
tell needs an amputation just by the smell and the sight of the left foot
wrapped in dirty rags over a mud soaked gauze wrap. Sure enough, cutting
off the rags and gauze reveals wet, blackened toes with the calloused skin
on the sole peeling off and a large, pus filled central wound on top
revealing the tendons and bones.

The guy driving the motorcycle that had fallen over causing the woman's
broken ankle has a swollen hand with probably some fractures. As I wait for
the two women to pay for their surgeries, I quickly apply a combo plaster
and fiberglass cast to the man's hand and wrist, give him some Ibuprofen and
tell him to go to Moundou and get some x-rays.

The family of the woman with the broken ankle are having internal conflicts
as to who will pay so since the son of the woman with the rotten foot has
paid half and put his bicycle on as collateral, we start with her.

Hoping to do a midfoot amputation only I squeeze the blood out of her leg,
apply a blood pressure cuff as tourniquet and slice through the bottom of
her foot right into a pocket of pus. Her foot is gone. I quickly move up
to the middle of the lower leg and slice down to bone. I scrape the tissue
off the bone as far up as I can then painfully and slowly saw through the
tibia and fibula with a tiny inch long saw that keeps clogging up with wet
bone paste. Finally, I get the leg sawed off, identify the major vascular
bundles, clamp and tie them and close the muscles and skin over the stump.

The second woman has finally found a solution so we find an IV, give her
some Ketamine and Diazepam and I pull her foot down and out into position.
The fibula gets stuck on some tissue inside but with some manipulation I
free it up and get it into anatomical position. The medial malleolus (the
part of the tibia that makes up the ankle joint) is crushed in several
pieces. The fibula part of the ankle seems to have only one break, but it's
an open fracture. Abel mixes up some diluted bleach solution and I wash it
out well. I close the subcutaneous tissues, apply a dressing with Betadine
and while I try to hold the foot and ankle in as good a position as
possible, Jacob wraps the foot and leg up to the knee with web roll and then
applies a plaster cast. I am able to mold the ankle some more and get the
foot in a good position. The cast hardens and we take her out to her bed.

It's 11pm.

I go home. I haven't eaten since lunch, since giving blood, since riding to
the river, since swimming and jumping off trees, since riding back and since
doing two operations.

I'm slightly hungry and am so grateful to find a skillet filled with fried
rice and eggs. I devour it. It's only later that Sarah informs me that was
supposed to be enough for supper and breakfast the next day.

I fall fast asleep until the rat wakes me up again at 5:30am this time.
Sarah and I get up, grab the shovels and pick and go out behind the church
to dig a latrine...a typical weekend is half over in Bere, Tchad...