Greetings! It has been a while since our last post, and a lot has happened since then. To briefly catch you up to speed, here are a few highlights:
1. I was a bachelor for the month of August as Lindsay and Cathen returned home to the US to celebrate Rory’s wedding with Mike Ruma. Their arrival was a surprise to the entire Sallach clan (except for Bob – who did an excellent job of keeping it secret)! They had a great time with the family, were able to take part in the beach wedding, and also spent time with my parents and many of our friends who live back in North Carolina. It was a long month here in Mbingo, and even though I missed them terribly, I am glad they were able to be there to celebrate with Rory and Mike and to catch up with family and friends.
2. After almost eight months in Mbingo, and only four trips off the hospital compound, we finally took a family vacation. Shortly after Lindsay and Cathen returned from the US, we took a weeklong trip to Kribi, a beautiful beach town in southern Cameroon. We went with the Barriers and had a blast. It was a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of the hospital. We were blessed to have two pediatricians and a family practitioner here to cover the wards in our absence and to continue the resident education.
Kribi: enjoying the waves with Mommy & Daddy
Taking her animals (courtesy of Uncle Brett) on a walk
4. The pediatrics ward was interesting the last few weeks leading up to our vacation. We had fewer patients than typical, but the severity of illness was stunning. Again, dealing with the reality of death here in Cameroon has been a difficult transition for all of us.
5. We currently have three new isolettes/incubators under construction for use in our neonatal nursery. We were hoping to build a new building for the nursery to move into, but after reviewing the building schematics, we will likely reallocate and reorganize space within the current building. We are also excited that a neonatologist will likely be coming out to visit and help with modifying/improving our algorithms and with teaching. There is a lot of work to be done, but we are getting there.
6. Our newest member to the team, Dr. Christy Lee, an OB-GYN, arrived a few weeks ago as part of the Samaritan’s Purse, World Medical Mission, Post-Residency Program (the same program we are here with). We are thrilled to have another colleague here and a partner to work with in the maternity ward.
Those are some of the highlights of the past month. We are all safely home together and have now restarted work on the wards and in clinic. Betty, Angela's mother, has been with us for the past two weeks as well, which has been excellent.
We plan to post some other photos of the past month on Shutterfly, and we will include a link on the blog in the next few days if you are interested.
Thank you for your prayers and support. Blessings,
JR, Lindsay, & Cathen