Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Palm Sunday Miracles

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It’s hard to believe it’s APRIL already and Palm Sunday too!!

Lent flew by so quickly. At first I was disappointed to miss Easter at home (especially since it is my all time favorite holiday) but after today, I am actually ver excited.

We got to church early this morning to find several small children with palm leaves twisted and braded into all sorts of decorative shapes. Our friend, Henry, came up to us also with a decorative palm leaf.

“Today is Palm Sunday,” he states very matter-of-factly.  “We know,” we told him. “Then where are your palms??” he looks confused. I explained our traditions and he smiled indicating his understanding. He tells us to wait in the front of the church entrance.

In the mean time, some woman comes up to us and begins blabbing something about a “walka” and the palm leaves. The she begins singing a song. She is trying to teach us the words unsuccessfully. Them I realize that she is trying to explain to us that there is a procession through town with the palm leaves.

Henry returns with three beautifully folded palm leaves for us and confirms the lady’s story. The priest soon follows so I walk up and introduce myself. He explained to me that the church in Kamakwie (St. Peter’s) is actually a chapel so they don’t have a permanent priest. Instead, the priests from the surrounding four parishes rotate through each Sunday taking turns.

After his quick explanation he gathers everyone around and we follow him through the neighborhoods and houses until we reach the other side of town and the main street through the market. He lines everyone up two by two and the cross bearer leads us through the busy 9am market with the priest at the back of the procession.

We sing and chant a bunch of Krio songs while waving our palm branches all the way back to the chapel. It was such an amazing experience! I was so absolutely glad that I got to participate. I cannot wait for Easter.

This evening Steph and I went in for surgery on a lady with an acute abdomen. She had severe epigastric pain and hadn’t had a bowel movement in three days. When we opened up her belly yellow pus and fluid spilled out everywhere.

We started suctioning immediately. Dr. Tom pulled out her small bowel. It was covered in a thick fibrin material that looked like the thickest snot I had ever seen. The entire bowel was covered. We start pulling it off as we run the bowel from her abdomen looking for any perforations or holes from the Salmonella typhi that she contracted from the dirty water she uses to cook with.

The bowel ends as we pull through the first part of her duodenum where it attaches to her stomach. Still no holes had been found. All this fluid had to be leaking from somewhere. We continue searching. Her liver and gallbladder are both covered in the fibrin “snot”. As we make it to the stomach, the nurse points something out- a hole the size of my index finger.

Dr. Tom begins to suture it closed. With five stitches and much maneuvering of the abdomen, the perforation was resealed.

I was amazed at the fact that we had just spent over two hours repairing a hole that in the US could have been fixed with a little electricity, a scope and a couple of staples. I guess the important thing is…

The outcome is the same.

Our friend, Henry, outside of St. Peter's chapel in Kamakwie.

Praying over the patient before we opened up her abdomen.

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