Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tafaye Village

by Heather Quinn

Today we got up a little later to go to the Tafaye village. Phebian has been doing a community focus group there made up of village leaders from different groups like Christian, Muslim, women, children, and the tribes. They have a lot they want to improve in their village like education, sanitation, and health.

Children in Tafaye village
When we arrived at the village, we were greeted by a crowd of school children who started jumping up and down for joy that we were there. We couldn't help but take their picture and I took a video of them. There zeal is contagious! The village leaders came to greet us as well and we were escorted down to the village center for the community meeting. We did a round of introductions and were welcomed with cheers. They gave us fresh bananas and oranges to snack on. They were yummy! After the introductions, we proceeded with the community education. I started the session with CPR for the community. After, the TBA's come up front to meet us and they sat sit close up. The men were then kicked out of the area but most chose to leave as Olivia taught about the birth kits. The women were so interested and asked some good questions about the birthing process. Kirk taught an impromptu emergency birth plan lesson. The TBA's really connected with this and we could tell they learned a lot. Vicki then taught about helping babies breathe. A storm blew in just as we were finishing and we were escorted to a building where they served us lunch. It consisted of onions, Irish potatoes, and bread. It was good!

TBA's in Tafaye village

Since we wanted to go see the man in the hospital, we left the village early. It was an hour back to Koidu. The long bumpy car rides have caused us to really spend quality time together. Imagine Kirk, Vicki, Olivia and I in the back seat of the truck with Phebian riding in front with Mohamed, the driver. The windows are down as we speed down flat roads and slow down over potholes. The truck is awesome and handles the roads so well! Pastor Joshua had been riding in the truck bed and has been a trouper. On the way, we met a man who Phebian knew and she told us after that he is a volunteer who fixes the roads. We were so impressed at his initiative. We noticed that there are just so many people out and about, sitting outside their huts, walking to the wells or marketplace, cooking, cleaning, chilling wood, and washing clothes. When we drive by and people spot us they wave and yell 'white man' which I can't remember the Creole word for that. It literally feels like we wave at everyone. We've met so many people with employable skills yet they can't find paid work like carpenters and teachers. 

We arrived at the Koidu hospital and I was shocked at the conditions. Tears started to well up in my eyes as we walked into the men's ward to see our patient. It's basically a large room with cots, no dividers or curtains, and a mosquito net over the cots. It doesn't look clean. It barely seems humane to me. Kirk checked out the patient and the nurses aid gave a a quick update. He's doing better but not great. Clinically, his lungs are more clear than yesterday and it's hard to tell if his abdominal swelling has gone down. We met the charge nurse and the only medical doctor staffing the hospital at this time. No one seems to really know what's going on with the patient. The documentation is poor. We plan to check on him tomorrow. Phebian continues to advocate for him. We plan to spend more time at the hospital another day. We stopped by a local pharmacy to buy some meds and our JRM office for medical supplies. It's so cool to see all our supplies / equipment from the crate in our storage space. It's a nice area! We got to meet Kai who is Phebian's brother. He does a lot of errands for Phebian and even transports patients for her while she's out at the villages during the days. He hopes to come out to one of the villages with us. We got back to uncle bens earlier today, had a nice dinner, and went to bed early. We were warned by Phebian that the clinic tomorrow will be well attended so we need to get some rest. We took her advice. 

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