Dr. Bob Cropsey has been out here in Mango for a couple of weeks helping get the hospital in order for opening. He will be back around the opening date in March to help with surgery needs after the opening. He served for many years as a surgeon at the southern hospital so today I took a trip to Kara (2 hours away) with Dr. Cropsey to attend a church of a pastor he helped mentor years ago. I enjoyed the church service and the introduction to a couple of pastors in Kara.
Today fellow missionaries offered to watch our children for a few hours so Melissa and I spent some time together. We explored Mango a bit and also took a short moto (motorcycle) drive to the small local reservoir where at times hippos can be seen. We didn’t see any hippos but it was still nice to get out a bit.
Tis the season… Now that the rains have been over for almost two months, most of the people who raise crops have finished harvesting so the fields are burned. There is frequently the smell of smoke in the air and after dark you can often see an orange glow on the horizon from burning fields.
The Radio Flyer is getting lots of use during the kids’ recess time from school. There’s a bit of a story behind this wagon… The boys’ grandma works at a medical facility that used this wagon to cheer up their young patients until they received a complaint of a splinter and had to get rid of it. It found its way to our container and now is heavily used at break-neck speeds and we’ll count ourselves lucky if a splinter is as serious as it gets…
Melissa has been helping train the Nurse’s Aides and she’s also been helping with their testing and practical exams. Here Ezra is playing the role of a pediatric patient so that the class can get practice measuring, weighing, and taking vital signs on a baby.
Mmm… Chocolate shakes…
Yes, we can get mail here in Mango (and we love it)! We are so thankful for the wonderful letters from our supporting churches, friends, and family. A shout out to Taylor Creek Church… they actually had a letter waiting for us when we arrived in Togo and have sent encouraging notes and letters in the months that have followed. Here’s our address…
The Molsee Family (or one of our names)
L’hopital de l’espérance
With Christmas less than three weeks away it seemed like a good time to attempt a family photo.
Melissa is getting used to her moped! When she’s on call and needs to get back and forth to the hospital these will be her wheels. I think it needs a name. Any suggestions? THANK YOU VERY MUCH Hergert family for tuning this thing up and generally getting it all ready for its African life. After pulling it out of the container and gassing it up it was up and running in no time.
Julienne worked with Melissa on her French a couple times a week before the Nurse’s Aid Training began and even helped Melissa with some of the medical French for the Nurse’s Aid lectures Melissa is responsible for. However, since Julienne is training to be one of the Nurse’s Aides for the hospital she is very busy now with training.
Melissa has been doing some of the teaching for a nurse’s aid training course. Today and tomorrow she will be getting lots of practice on her medical French as she lectures on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
Do you know a good carpenter or cabinet maker who would like to come help for a couple of weeks in January? The hospital has a number of cabinet, counter, furniture type of projects that need to be finished before the opening in March. If you know of someone who might be interested in giving a couple of weeks to help Andy Jenkins get these projects under control let me know and I’ll give them further details.
Despite Andy being crazy busy he took a time out of his Sunday afternoon to put together a kitchen island for us and probably doubled the counter space we now have in our kitchen. We are so blessed… Would you believe that this kitchen island was made for us by a cabinet maker from the northwest who delivered it crated and ready to ship to our container when we were packing our container in Seattle. Today as we put it together, we discovered he was able to exactly match our current counter tops and the wood style (just from photos) so that it is almost hard to believe that it was not part of the original kitchen.
Happy Thanksgiving! We have SO much to be thankful for. We are thankful we are able to celebrate this Thanksgiving in Togo. We are thankful for supportive family, friends, and churches. We are thankful for our team in Togo. We are thankful for… and the list could go on and on.
This morning I joined a few others from our team as we were invited to hear the President of Togo speak at a rally here in Mango. This was quite the BIG DEAL… The road in front of the hospital that goes from the airstrip into town was grated (after being terrible for years and the city claiming they didn’t have the funds or equipment to make any changes), large trash piles by the side of the road were leveled, dry grass was burned and hundreds of school children with machetes made short work of brush and grass beside the road. Thousands of people gathered at the local soccer stadium to hear speeches by dignitaries (and eventually the president), watch dance routines, and see skits promoting public health issues. The president last visited Mango 5 years ago and with elections just months away it was hard to determine if the reason for his visit was to showcase public health issues or improve his image. Since our arrival in September a military base has spring up across the street from the hospital on the airstrip property. We are told this base will eventually be home to between 300 and 500 soldiers. The president’s helicopter came over the hospital property and landed at the military base across the street. In the coming weeks we will have a number of new-hires, nurses, OR techs, etc. who will be relocating from the hospital in southern Togo to Mango. With the influx of many soldiers, suddenly finding adequate housing for our new employees has become a challenge. We are hoping and praying that… our employees find the housing they need at a reasonable rate (prices have really gone up since the camp arrived), the military camp’s location just across the street would be a help and not a hindrance to the work and security of the hospital, we would be able to reach into this group of men with the Gospel.
In other news…Today we celebrated Thanksgiving as a team (there were around 60 of us). We joined around 1pm for a Thanksgiving meal which everyone contributed to. As a team we purchased 6 live turkeys in Kara (about an hour away), they were transported here to Mango on the top of one of the missionary lady’s cars and have been living at the Farvers place for the past couple of weeks. Tuesday they got butchered and delivered to the six people who agreed to cook the turkeys. They were much smaller than they looked with their feathers on and were similar to the wild turkeys in the States. So they did not have the artificially large breasts and weren’t pumped full of who knows what. So I guess we were getting closer to what the original pilgrims would have experienced with our organic turkeys. Of course any similarities between our feast and the meal the original Pilgrims experienced end at our turkeys, which were moist, tasted great, even if they did require a bit more chewing than Butterball turkeys. There was quite a feast complete with all the things you’d expect for Thanksgiving including lots of dessert. After eating the children recited Psalm 100, we sang some songs, played some games, and went to the pool to cool off.
Ezra is growing up quickly.
We finally got some of our books and furniture unpacked.