|Boarding the plane in Toronto, CA|
Dad and I left the US early early Saturday morning, had quick layovers in Toronto, Canada and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We arrived into Abuja, Nigeria where an SIM driver met us. We then drove about 5 hours to the city of Jos and got settled into the guesthouse.
Currently Nigeria is in the rainy season, so it rained at least once every day and everything was very green! Jos is also in the Plateau state, so it stays a bit cooler than the rest of the country. Highs were in the low 90s the whole week we were there!
|The road from Abuja to Jos|
|Driving up the pass to the Plateau state|
|Fields of groundnuts (peanuts)|
|Our first view of Jos|
|The guesthouse on one of the SIM residential compounds in Jos|
|Everything is so green!|
|The entrance to the hospital|
|The operating room in the VVF hospital|
|Talking through interesting cases in Dr. Shephard's office|
|The Lewis Wall VVF Hostel (formerly used as a hostel for pre- and post-op women, now used for the clinic exam room, offices, and the new OR)|
|The Arrowsmith VVF Clinic, named for Dr. Steve Arrowsmith who founded the VVF hospital nearly 25 years ago. This is currently where women wait on clinic day|
|The records room--there's an amazing wealth of information on fistula just waiting to be published!|
|Outside the PT department for the Bingham University Teaching Hospital|
That evening we had dinner with the director and his wife. Throughout the trip, we had meals in missionaries' homes; it was fun to hear their stories and it helped me imagine what life would be like.
On Tuesday, I was in the VVF clinic with Dr. Shephard and a OBG/GYN resident. They saw about 15 new ladies with urinary leakage, as well as examined a few patients from the ward who'd undergone previous repairs unsuccessfully. At that point Dr. Shephard set the surgery schedule for Thursday (and sometimes surgeries run into Friday, in the busy season).
|The screening room|
|While waiting in clinic, the women can watch the Jesus Film. The hope is to also include other Biblical presentations in Hausa as well as short video clips about fistula, safe childbirth, basic sanitation, and other health topics|
|A sign in the clinic reminding women that labor should not last more than 12 hours|
|Lunch at the Shephards' house with Matt, a med student from Alabama|
|Gay Lynn and me|
|Kangyang helping me pick out fabric|
Wednesday afternoon Nikki took us to visit the girls' transitional home on the outskirts of Jos. Here, 18 beautiful young women aged 14+ live together with a house parent. Currently, they're on school holiday, but were busy farming and making small crafts to raise money for the next year of school fees. You can read more about the program here.
|Nikki and the girls showing me their garden plots|
|The girls' home|
|It's easy to make friends anywhere!|
I enjoyed seeing each girl's garden plot and watching them make beaded keychains. We were so blessed when they decided to sing for us! YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO THESE VIDEOS!
On Thursday morning I was in the operating room with Dr. Shephard and Dr. Lengman. I got to see two EUAs (examination under anesthesia) and two VVF repairs.
|This is the door to the OR of the main hospital--the VVF center OR is not up and running yet|
|There are two operating rooms on the left, the recovery/PACU area is on the right, and the instrument sterilization/scrub station is behind the wooden partition in the middle of the photo|
|Dr. Shephard performing a VVF repair|
|Medical students observing in an emergency Cesarean section in the next operating room|
|There are always goats, sheep, or cows walking along the road. Here, the young boys are often in charge of the animals|
|This church is nearly finished. Much of the construction in Nigeria is done with cement cinder blocks|
|It is potato season! In small villages, the women will be selling their crops alongside the road.|
Next stop... Niger!