Very relieved to have 2 fresh stamps in our passports to be able to officially volunteer. An amazingly efficient man came to our hotel only a few hours after I called him & within 4 hours had returned with our passports & stamps. Talk about door to door service! We had heard horror stories of visas taking 6 months but it seems to be who you know (& a tip!) can help immensely!
Things all seemed to go our way yesterday... Firstly the visas, then we found 2 potential houses & set up times to see them today, negotiated a 50%(!!) discount at our hotel to stay whilst we continue house hunting & have found a good deal on a car which we will check tomorrow!
Many of the cases I am seeing at Plaster House are so heartbreaking as most would never occur in a developed country due to revention or more intervention. I was seeing one little 10 year old with a prosthetic leg which was half a foot too short causing him to hobble with great difficulty. He removed it revealing an awful deformity with his foot twisted 180 degrees upwards to be hard against his leg with his toes pointed towards his knee, ie meaning he "walked" on his heel. I thought it was a very severe case of clubfoot but was shocked & sickened to discover his foot got contracted into that position after a burn many years earlier. Incredibly sad to think the contracture could have been prevented. He is having surgery on Tues (which I am attending...omg!!) to remove most of the foot as the toes get in the way. Such a shame but it will hopefully create a more comfortable stump to attach a new prosthesis to... which is the correct length at least! Its all happening without his family there for months as they live so far from the hospital. Hard to comprehend.
On a brighter note, I am getting some wonderful opportunities to help with the babies & children with clubfoot. If they get treated soon after birth, the deformities can be corrected without major surgery. I got to help plaster an adorable 5 month old massai baby & I hopefully will be here to see his severe bilateral club feet corrected over the next 6 weeks. He will be the first one I will be involved in right from the beginning as so far, the others, are mid way through treatment. We will do weekly cast changes to gradually turn the feet (Ponsetti method for all you medical/allied health people) and then he will wear maintenence splints till age 4. The physìo here has been fantastic in teaching me lots of tips from the specialised training you need to do to used this technique. I am going to also start seeing hand patients in the clinics at the hospital which will be great.
Work has continued to be fascinating as I also got to see the wonderful work done by the prosthetist near here. 5 of the children from Plaster House attended for measuring & to have initial moulds taken. Saw all sorts of upper & lower limb creations to enable people to be more independent.
I could continue on and on but thats enough for now!
La, la salama (sleep well!)