Monday, July 5, 2010
Found this little guy when I was walking home from the hospital, I hear that there are several living around the IU house. Perhaps one of them is George - past star on our blog.
Today was a day to see many friends. I'll introduce them, so that you have a little background on the cast of characters for the next month.
Joe Mamlin - Patriarch of the program, all around amazing human being
Dr. Abuya - the prior Head of Department of Radiology.
Kelvin Ogot - One of the Kenyans who helps me with IT, especially when I'm not in Eldoret.
Jane Carter - Wonderful pulmonologist from Brown, who does a ton of Tb research.
Dr. Kimutai - Current Head of Department of Radiology.
Pamela - One of the people works with Kelvin entering data into the system
Helen - Secretary for the radiology HoD
Other people who I haven't run into yet:
Dr. Wanene - another one of the hospital's radiologists. Definitely the most tech savvy of all of them.
Sarah Ellen Mamlin - Another extraordinary human - she runs the pediatric center that Lisa volunteered at in the past.
The hospital has installed a new CT scanner. It's a Philips dual channel scanner. Looks like it produces pretty good images. They now have a working power-injector which is a step in the right direction. They are still printing everything on film, which is especially tragic for CT because so much information is lost in the slices that aren't printed. They are burning studies to CD periodically, but we all know those aren't archival.
Interesting bit about the new CT scanner - they couldn't put it in the CT suite in the main hospital. The CT scanner currently in the main hospital suite is a major POS. It was not the model that was described, they were bait and switched awfully, and it was a lemon, never functioning properly for more than a few months. Turns out that the lemon vendor's contract stipulated that the hospital could not replace the lemon with a scanner from another vendor. Guess we add contractual nightmares to the list of "little differences"
Dinner at the IU house is one of the best things about coming to Kenya. Tonight's dinner was memorable, to say the least. There weren't many familiar faces at dinner so it's about meeting new people. Turns out two of the new folks at dinner aren't really with our program at atll - they're missionaries. One of them got really sick and is here for medical treatment, so I guess that they're part of the crew while he recovers. Before I learned all of this, I posed a question I soon came to regret: "What are you doing here?" We were all treated to stories of their immersive experience with a primitive tribe called the Pokots, who are similar to Masaii. They wear blankets and carry spears, mainly subsisting by stealing cattle and animals from neighboring tribes. The tribe is still fairly untouched by western society and speaks entirely Pokot. This also means that the english-speaking missionaries have no way of communicating with them. They just "hang around" and "learn about their culture". Apparently the program has been going for the last 15 years, and for some reason they weren't smart enough to bring a translator on the 15th time around. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get up after the introduction of the story and proceeded to hear about a ritualistic killing of a goat that was cooked, hide and all, over an open fire. Sick missionary #1 was smart enough to avoid drinking the goat blood that he was offered, but he thought "what the hell" and ate some of the meat. Perhaps we've identified the source of his aforementioned illness? The entire experience was described summed up eloquently as "intense". Hope I pick a better dinner table tomorrow night.
Well, I'm almost falling asleep, so I'm going to go read some comics on my giant ipod touch - thanks Monkey!