22 March 2008

laissez les jeux de langue commencer

The other day, I had a patient from WestAfrica who spoke French and some African languages . . . NOT A WORD OF ENGLISH! So, using a website that will translate English to French I was able to get a few usable sentances so that we could get something done for the session.

At one point I needed her to stand up (cherades weren't working due to some cognitive deficits) so I looked it up and said (or at least thought I said) "levez-vous." But instead of standing she held out her arms and started "scrubbing" them. I tried again "levez-vous." More of the same. Turns out, I was pronouncing it wrong . . . saying "lavez-vous" which means "wash." HA! We had a good laugh over that.

18 March 2008

Mouvement des Peintures

There is a new video about Galmi Hospital. I tried uploading it to the blog, but it's too big. Here's a link to the Galmi Hospital Expansion Project page . . . the video is available on the page. ENJOY!!

09 March 2008


Yes, I'm still in North Carolina at SIM Candidate Orientation. I will have my interview with the US Board tomorrow (Monday, 1o March) at 5pm EST.

These two weeks have been fantastic! And now one more to go. I had the opportunity to meet one of the doctors I'll be working with at Galmi; he was here for a few days with his three kids. The kids gave me the inside scoop on life at Galmi: Esther (OB/GYN) makes the best ice cream . . . you get used to the heat . . . the locust taste like "fleshy popcorn" . . . it's a toss up as to which season is worse: the hot season (or rather, the "hotter" season) or the dusty season . . . when at the market, always buy meat that still has the tail attached ("goat isn't nearly as good as lamb!") . . . if I want to be able to talk to the nurses, I better do well at French school . . . Niger rocks (but isn't as cool as Singapore, and way less fish) . . . there are freshly grown mangoes on the compound . . . .

I have a nice long list of skills I will need to develop before getting to Niger. Just to name a few:
  • identify the powdered milk equivalent to cream for the ice cream maker
  • DIY crockpot: wooden box covered with scrap metal, leave all day in a sunny spot, and voila, dinner is served
  • symptoms and treatment options for tetanus
  • proper tying of a headscarf (this is a challenge for those of us with a small capital circumference)
  • how to pronounce "schistosomiasis"
  • competent manual driving