Liberia 2017

Kwendin #8 | February 23, 2017

After I sent the email last night I got out my guitar and sat at the table where Kate was reading. She finished her book and Bob sat down with us so we sang a few songs together. Spencer was already in bed (reading, I think) and Kristie was outside with some of the kids (in the dark, mostly visiting). It was a calm and gentle time of singing together and we needed it.

Last night was memorable. By the time we went to bed, it was the usual hot and sticky, and as usual there was visible lightning flashes on the distant horizon.

But just after 10 (I think every one of us was already asleep) the wind picked up and slammed some of the doors. The sky was really lighting up with the lightning, although it was still too far away to hear thunder. But the wind was really howling. I got up, and Bob was already up. We could hear the rain on the trees coming closer, so we closed all the louvred windows to keep the rain from blowing into the house.

Pretty soon the rain hit. Absolutely pouring. All of us got up for at least a while. We watched the gutter spout pouring water into our rain tank and we watched the rain pour down. Never did get a close lightning strike. The rain went on for about half an hour and we got some hundreds of gallons of water in our tanks. What a delightful feeling. In Africa, rain is life, rain makes things grow, rain gives food, rain is a gift from God.

We noticed one section of gutter that leaked a lot of water and Bob has already readjusted it and tied it into place with wire. So when they got some rain this afternoon there was much less wasted on the ground.

You can be sure that the louvred windows were all opened again once the rain and wind stopped. We need every breath of wind to relieve the hot sticky times. And the rain cools things right down. Till the sun comes up the next morning and bakes everything dry again.

Today was only half a day in the clinic for Kate and Kristie and I--we headed for Tappita at 12 to admit our surgery patients for tomorrow. But before that there were plenty of patients to see. And we left Spencer seeing the last few.

The process of admitting patients in Tappita was long and complicated. They have changed around the various offices and various functions, and it took a while to figure out what to do and who to see. Four out of our five patients showed up, so they eventually got properly admitted. Besides those there were three out patients that needed some investigations and coordination with the Tappita doctors. That was much more complex than the admissions and I spent most of my time on that side while Kate and Kristie shepherded the patients through the admission process.

One of the blessings was that the wi-fi network in the OR had the same password as last year, so both Kate and Kristie had time to check their email and facebook messages. Ahh. A short fix of electronic connection after a week of fasting. They were both smiling.

The surprise today was that our surgery dates have changed. We are booked OK for tomorrow, but the other 3 days have changed. So every patient needs to be contacted and told to come a different day. I'll see what eventually happens. Generally the moccasin telegraph works pretty well here, so most patients will get the message. But maybe one or two will slip through the cracks. We shall see. The critical date change is the upcoming surgery day--our next one is Monday, so we need those patients to come Sunday afternoon and none of them know that. We shall see!

Supper was fried plantain (for nibbles beforehand--hors d'ouvres you know) and a big batch of stir fries, and scrambled eggs. Bob decided to let the next rooster live one more day--there is likely to be chicken for dinner tomorrow.

Dr. John Potts