Volunteer

Colonial Cuenca

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia

I had forgotten how beautiful Cuenca is. Perhaps because on the last trips I typically stayed in the hospital until night fall.

Yesterday Kathy, Jeanine- my Physio counterpart and I left the hospital at 3, and toodled around Cuenca. We went into a beautiful old cathedral that had its original wooden floors. We went to the artesenal market and flower market. The city has several rivers running through it and the architecture is colonial and beautiful. There is a lot of festivities (music, markets, fireworks) as the city is celebrating its 500th birthday!

At assessment clinic Ariana, one of my favorite patients ever from 5 years ago came to clinic. It is amazing to me that she and her mother remember my name. Ariana is doing extremely well and was happy to tell me she has a boyfriend.

Eleven surgeries were completed our first two days. Pedro, 18 years old, did super with his Physio and was sent home already. Today 9 surgeries are in the works. Our youngest patient so far is 14, the oldest 72. The 72 year old lady has the flattest affect ever. She did not smile or respond to any of my charming ways. At first I thought she had died, but I could see her chest rise and fall. Then I thought she was sleeping with her eyes open, but she did actually follow a few instructions (not as enthusiastically as Carlos a sweet 14 year old who jokes with me the entire time we do his exercises).

As my friend Frank says, ” the hips don’t lie!” The xray photo is typical of what we are seeing in clinic.  In some patients, their femoral heads are completely flattened and sitting up at the iliac crest instead of the socket. I don’t know how they function day to day.

Signing off with 2 happy and healthy hips.

Cheers from Tanya’s iPhone

Categories: Ecuador, Volunteer | 1 Comment

Mission in Motion

Twenty of us transitioned quite easily through the Calgary Airport, US customs and Ecuadorian Passport control and customs. Only real bump was the “landing in Quito”. I think the pilot forgot to lower the landing gear. The plane belly flopped onto the run way then came to a complete stop in approximately 10 feet. Even the most rotund passengers were sliding off their seats.

We transferred to a “hosteria” about 20 minutes from the airport. My colleagues sitting close to the front said there was a dead guy lying behind the drivers and passenger seat and the first reverse facing bench seat. I couldn’t see or smell such person but did notice the driver looked like she was 13 years old. We were winding through the slums and going down alleys. We all thought we had been abducted but were all slightly too tired to spring into any potentially life saving plan. Surprisingly we ended up at a quaint little hosteleria. Which is different from hosteria. The difference is the amount of people in one room. Now for those who know me well… or at all, you know that I like my privacy and don’t enjoy sharing rooms with anyone, other than my ever loving. I was with 5 others, 2 of which were female. Got to know the new male team members quickly. Well, not that well as we had 3 hours in the room before journeying back to the airport. Between coughing, snoring, dogs barking I managed about an hour sleep. Great way to start the mission, all bright eyed and bushy tailed!

Cheers from Tanya’s iPhon

Categories: Ecuador, Volunteer | 1 Comment

The countdown is on!

Two more sleeps until I leave for Ecuador. Kathy (friend/ Spanish teacher) and her husband came over this morning for a visit and to get organized. We supplied the lattes, they supplied the muffins, jam, and fruit!!! Biscuit was so excited he let his bladder leak, which made me shriek, and he ran, dribbling all over the main floor. So, our morning visit turned into wiping up a mess and cleaning the hardwood!!! You know your guests are getting an invite back when they bring the food and clean up the mess your dog makes!!!

I am hoping that there aren’t any other messes that Kathy needs to get me out of in Ecuador!

More later,
Tanya

Categories: Ecuador, Volunteer | Leave a comment

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