This was the first day we set up clinic in Korah. If I remember correctly, we got a little bit of a late start – it was maybe 9am when the vans picked us up. The actual task of setting up took some time, but the stations looked great when we were done. We had five stations of seeing patients, and a small waiting area and table for the pharmacy. I jumped in and helped Beth set things up and run the pharmacy, partially because it was the safest area (no blood and guts) and partially because I already knew her and had dubbed her my “buddy” for the trip.
|The pharmacy med chest|
We had the pharmacy set up with a med chest on top, and then tubs containing cough and cold medicines, topical, gastric, and OTC pain meds. Eye drops and some of the topical were kept on the table where we filled prescriptions. I learned a lot about pharmacy type things, like Tylenol and Advil are dosed based on weight. You can’t give Ibuprofen to a pregnant or breastfeeding woman. Bactrim treats UTI’s and I think it probably a little resistant in the area because it’s so commonly prescribed. Ivermectin, a drug used to treat parasites, doesn’t work in the area because I don’t think the parasite is found in the area; we more commonly used Mebendazole. The most common things we treated were eye complaints (dry, itchy, bothered by the sun, etc) and stomach issues. Triage was given things like OTC pain meds, tums, eye drops, Neosporin and band aids in an effort to treat people there and only send big cases to the doctors.
I didn’t make any notes in terms of specific patients or things that affected me. This day I think spirits were high and we were stoked to be really starting to settle in doing what we came to do. I do recall that we were supposed to be able to leave our things in the church because the door had a lock, but it turns out that each day we were going to have to pack things up and move it all across the street to the church office. That was a bit of a pain in the butt but by the end of the week we had quite the system down and could set up the 6 station clinic in 20 minutes or less. We got to eat lunch as a group in the church. The lovely ladies at the Guest House had made rice and vegetables for us, and it really hit the spot. I didn’t eat much for breakfast because I wasn’t feeling super well but being able to put something on my stomach made me feel a lot better.
Clinic on Tuesday was a later one, and we didn’t start closing up shop until about 5pm. We went back to the Guest House and had dinner with the promise of ice cream later. I remember this dinner was candle lit but I don’t know what we had. Salad, because we all questioned whether or not it was safe to eat, and probably beef and pasta because we also ate a lot of that all week. We did a fair amount of sitting around after dinner, waiting to go to ice cream. We were told we’d be leaving around 7:15pm and didn’t hit the road until close to 8pm. I was surprised when we loaded up the vans, as I thought it was a place we were walking to. Apparently there is nothing safe to walk to within that radius of the Guest House, so we took a van into Greater Addis to a place called Kaldi’s. It was reminiscent of American Starbucks, selling coffee and some food, but the food was hardier than Starbucks, including things like burgers and fries.
Maste sat across from me and it gave us a good time to chat. I asked him about his life and he told me how Young Life came in and introduced him to the Lord. And how he went to University and studied Business Administration. For dessert he had ordered a vanilla frappachino, but unlike the states, the drink didn’t have coffee. I got chocolate and strawberry ice cream. Someone had ordered a plate of fries, and I started eating my ice cream with the fries. The ice cream was thick and rich and wonderful, although I’ll admit to being a bit skeptical of milk in Ethiopia. Maste was eyeing my concoction with some wariness but I convinced him to try it, telling him it really was good and reminding him that I was daring enough to stick my hands in injera. He tried, dipping a fry in my ice cream, and the look on his face was priceless. I think he had a bit of a hard time swallowing it. Haha. He said that Americans eat some weird stuff, but I say his distaste comes from a general lack of knowledge about desserts, since I don’t think most Ethiopians eat much dessert.
|Mmm, ice cream|