We all arrived safely in Denver, CO Oct 22nd. Malin drove and I flew with the girls. Our sisters Megan, Kiersten, Ana and there families all live here and we are enjoying our visit. The 70 degree weather also helps and reminds us of the pleasant temperatures we will soon be living in Cameroon.
At our mission conference and orientation we met 1-2 people (out of hundreds) who had lived in Kumbo. Apparently it's beautiful, but hard to get too because of the dirt roads. We were somewhat discouraged that so few physicians/dentists had been there. So while Ana and I were at Whole Foods sampling coffee from Africa I mentioned to the roaster that I would soon be in Africa. He asked, "Where?" When I told him, he smiled and said his last job was installing water pipes and filtration in the Bamenda/Kumbo area. He said the people were wonderful and the scenery was spectacular. Sometimes God provides encouragement in the strangest of places.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Cameroon recently changed the process for obtaining a work VISA for the next two years. Therefore there is concern that our VISAs will not arrive before we our scheduled to leave. If this happens we will not leave as scheduled Nov 18th. Please join us in prayer, that our VISAs may come soon and on time.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Just some pictures after the wonderful time we've had with Grammie and Grampie. Orientation starts tomorrow and we're now in Boone, NC. Beautiful time of year to see the trees preparing for winter.
Prescription for renewal ended Sunday at The Cove. The purpose of the seminar was to encourage physicians to pursue short term medical missions. We both thought the best part was meeting other physicians who are full time on the mission field. We also heard several amazing speakers/preachers. One missionary spoke on Isaiah 58: 10-11 "and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."
We did also learn some discouraging news. The general surgery residency at Banso has been cancelled because of personality conflicts. I was really looking forward to teaching residents.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Amelia and Meredith enjoyed playing with Grammie the past 5 days. Malin and his dad biked the C&O canal trail (Pittsburgh to Washington D.C.) during that time. Malin will have to blog about their trip sometime. I packed, cleaned, visited friends, and used a spa gift certificate.
Tomorrow we leave for Asheville, North Carolina to go to two conferences. The first, Prescription for Renewal, encourages medical professionals towards mission work and provides some training on 3rd world hospital settings. For example, I'm going to a workshops entitled "Tools for the resource poor surgeon" and "Common fractures and their treatment", "HIV", "Malaria", "TB" diseases I've read a lot about, but rarely seen. The second conference is our orientation to World Medical Mission and will be in Boone, NC. When we return, we'll have 3-4 days to finish packing the house and then leave Akron Oct 22nd.
We've been planning this mission for 2 years. So the count down started in years, then months, and now it's weeks. 6 left before we go.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Residency officially ended at 1200 am today. We celebrated last night with a glass of champange. My certificate of "satisfactory completion of an OB/GYN residency" is in my hands and I am grateful. Grateful for the encouragement of Malin, love from Amelia and Meredith, and support from many other people who helped me survive.
The girls also said, "Goodbye" yesterday to Ashley. We are going to miss her. She had cared for the girls the past 18 months. Meredith ran each morning to the window to scream, "ASH.....LEEE." And Amelia couldn't wait to play with her. Hopefully we can find someone in Kumbo who will love the girls as much as she did.