Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2013

[another in a series of pre-scheduled blog posts.  we’ll see how close this comes to reality.]

I don’t mean to poke fun at our surgeons Charlie and Joe, but I couldn’t resist this video from a Seinfeld episode.

Except for the Junior Mints and the viewing gallery, this could be an operating room in a hospital in Ecuador on one of our mission trips.  And our students Lily and Seth will get a chance to view surgeries and possibly to assist in a small way.  An opportunity like this would never come their way in the U.S. until medical school.

Junior Mints, however, are available over-the-counter.

Read Full Post »

Ecuador: the market

[I’ll schedule this to post tomorrow, Monday.  Today is Sunday the 17th and most of us spent the morning wandering around the market a few blocks away.  Some of us attended church service next door (see blog post below, churches).  The market is mostly indoors with open sides, with some vendors out on the sidewalks.  The streets around were nearly impassable to traffic if not blocked altogether for pedestrians, and because today is also election day the nearby schoolhouse became a voting center.  Police and military personnel all around when voting started at noon.]

 mercado 1

mercado 2

mercado 4

mercado 5

mercado 6

mercado 8

mercado 9

Our dining hall at Hotel Jarfi in Salcedo, where some of that good food ends up.

Our dining hall at Hotel Jarfi in Salcedo, where some of that good food ends up.

Read Full Post »

Ecuador: a few churches

On Sundays we relax, maybe go into town (or out of town for an excursion), and those who wish may go to a church service.  Sometimes we hold a service ourselves on the hotel grounds.  Often, there are volunteers from an evangelical church nearby who have been helping us all week with food and logistics, and we’ve become friends with them and attend their church.  Or, we have the option to attend a Catholic service.

Sorry no photos of evangelical churches.  I have photos of the insides of a few of them where we’ve set up clinics, but these churches tend to be low-budget—and only the posters inside or the signs over the doors outside can distinguish them from a house, an apartment, or even a barn.  Often they are based in the back yard of the pastor’s home.

The Catholic churches are always a work of architecture, even in a small town, and always adjacent to the town square.  One of the things I love about Ecuador is their city planning:  the downtown will be laid out as a grid with a beautiful park at the very center.  Across the street on one side will be a church, and along another street usually municipal buildings and also shops.

It’s better than going to the mall!  It’s a very clean, safe area for all ages and on weekends—besides church services—there may be celebrations, or outdoor markets on Saturdays.

But here are a few typical churches from previous years:

[liveblogging edit:  I’ve added a few photos of the Catholic church here in Salcedo, across the street from our hotel.  A few of us attended service this morning.]

One of at least three Catholic churches in Cotacachi, and the most modern.

One of the Catholic churches in Cotacachi, and the more modern of them.

Interior of the church above in Cotacachi.  The posters have a verse from Acts, chapter 4, in which the apostles Peter and John are warned by the religious authorities not to speak about the risen Jesus.  They replied,  "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard."

Interior of the above church in Cotacachi. The posters have a verse from Acts, chapter 4, in which the apostles Peter and John are warned by the religious authorities not to speak about the risen Jesus. They replied, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”

Another church building in Cotacachi.

Another church building in Cotacachi.

An older church building in Cotacachi.  Notice the park in front.

The above church building.  Notice the park in front and the dome in the center of the building.

Church in Salcedo

The Catholic Church in Salcedo where we’re working this year. This and photos below were taken this morning or Wednesday evening.

Church in Salcedo by night - Ash Wednesday service as I was walking back from work

Church in Salcedo by night – Ash Wednesday service as I was walking back from work

Church in Salcedo - Ash Wednesday evening service - no flash -

Church in Salcedo – Ash Wednesday evening service – no flash –

Church in Salcedo from the park

Church in Salcedo from the park

Read Full Post »

[pre-scheduled blog post]

In Ecuador it’s called el día de San Valentín”  and often “el día del amor y de la amistad” (the day of love and friendship).  There’s usually some kind of recognition among the team-members, and often something with our Ecuadorian hosts.  

This video has a good example of folk music, or música folklórica, around here, and the scenes of fiesta and people in the streets are pretty typical of a celebration day in a small city like Salcedo in the Ecuadorian highlands.  Some of the lyrics say about Salcedo, “for it’s the land of love.”  We shall see.

I don’t know if there will be any kind of extravaganza going on while we’re here, but if so this would be pretty typical.  Although I have never seen any bullfighting.

[Live update:  I had forgotten that it would be Carnaval time when we got here, and we arrived on the day itself, called Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday elsewhere.  People were partying in the streets, music blaring, kids shooting people with shaving cream cannisters (I got sprayed as did many of the others) and water guns and throwing water balloons.  All in good fun.  Yesterday wa Ash Wednesday and more subdued.  A lot of the patients had a cross of ash on the forehead.]

Read Full Post »

Ecuador: duct tape

[I’m scheduling a number of posts, some of them foolishness, to show up automatically while we’re in Ecuador.  The wonders of WordPress.]

Remember what Karl Malden used to say?  “American Express Travelers Checks:  Don’t leave Karl Maldenhome without them!”  And then the ad would show a horrible scene of a honeymooning couple who did leave home without them, lost everything and went crying to the embassy, destitute.

With credit and debit cards, travelers’ checks are now as out of style as Karl Malden’s hat.  But what has never gone out of style, like ketchup on A Prairie Home Companion, is good old-fashioned duct tape  (click link for 101 uses).

I won’t say that our surgeons use duct tape as extensively as the ones in the cartoons below, but the stuff is so useful on these medical missions that we never leave home without it.

[Liveblogging update from Salcedo, Ecuador:  while we were unpacking and sorting the medical supplies this afternoon, Mary T the O.R. nurse (aka Boss Mary, as there are four of them this year) looked for a roll of duct tape and when she found it said, “The most important tool in the O.R.”  Sometimes these blog posts just plain write themselves.]

Glasbergen - surgeon nail clippers duct tape       

Rhymes with Orange - surgeon duct tape

Thanks to http://www.glasbergen.com and http://rhymeswithorange.com

Read Full Post »

HCMMpatchworkheading

Thanks to Mary O (or “Tall Mary”; there are four Marys on the team this year) our website has a facelift.  She has also started a Facebook page under “Hancock County Medical Mission” and that is proving to be really popular andcolorlogo interactive.

Check us out at both places:

www.hcmm.homestead.com

https://www.facebook.com/HancockCountyMedicalMission?ref=ts&fref=ts

________

Thanks to Rick H for the people tree logo, now in living color.

Read Full Post »

Normally the medical team arrives in Ecuador late on a Saturday night.  We may board a bus right away for our destination or, if too many hours away, spend the night in Quito and travel on Sunday morning.

After  settling into our hotel (this year in Salcedo, three hours south of Quito) we unpack and sort the duffel bags of medical supplies, and the surgical team will waste no time getting to the hospital to talk with the administrators, look at the operating rooms and equipment available, and possibly begin screening a few patients for surgery on Monday.

Often, we are hosted also by city officials, mayor, council and always, always the press.  Sometimes we’ve been on national TV.

Here is our medical director, Doctor Charlie Hendricks, in the hot seat with officials in the town of Cayambe last year.  At his right elbow is Pablo Logacho of InterSalud, our host organization.   It was a very friendly exchange and we were introduced to members of Operation Smile, who were to be holding a clinic to repair cleft lips and palates in the near future (see the poster Operación Sonrisa behind).

Doctor Charlie in pale green shirt.  Pablo at his right hand.

Doctor Charlie in pale green shirt.  Pablo at his right elbow.  The posters hanging in front of the desk advertise our team:  “Because you are important, medical caravans are free in Cayambe” and the dates of our availability.

On the balcony of the city hall after the press conference, in view of the church.  Heavy rain interrupted traffic as well as the conference.  Here a cleaning lady sweeps water from the balcony.

On the balcony of Cayambe City Hall after the press conference, in view of the church. Heavy rain interrupted traffic as well as the conference.  Here a cleaning lady sweeps water from the balcony.

Web Cayambe cleaning lady

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »