14.9.07

Week 3

Wow, three weeks since we left home. Times like these have a way of flying by and simultaneously seeming like you’ve been here forever. The rains are just starting to lighten up (meaning 1 or 2 showers per day) after a solid 10 days’ taste of the monsoon season.


We both had last weekend off, and the lovely hospitality of our newfound friends here filled up the time nicely. We went to two Bengali churches last Friday, the first being a rather large one near the hospital, and the second being off the beaten path a ways, where a friend of ours was invited to speak. This little congregation of 45 met in a mud floor/bamboo wall building, maybe 10 feet by 15 feet in size. Wonderfully cozy. Eric was afforded a bench of honor in the back, made for people with shorter legs, and Rachel sat on the opposite side on the floor, trying not to offend anyone by touching them with her feet while in these close quarters. We loved it. =) Later that night, some other people invited us over for cards and mango milkshakes.

Sunday we traveled to Cox’s Bazaar, a small seaside town (by Bengali standards, maybe 1 million people. There are people everywhere in this country) that is home to what is reported to be the world’s longest uninterrupted beach, some hundreds of miles long. It was kind of cloudy, and Rachel would have had to swim in her Shalwar Kamiz, so we quickly dipped our feet in the Indian Ocean and grabbed some Thai food for lunch.

A few quick words about night call. There are only a few docs here currently, and so we are taking a total of 16 calls this month, with veteran docs as our backup call. The way it works is that, if we are needed, we are either called on the phone (newly up and running again!) or a peon (see previous blog) is sent to find us with a chart. What follows involves us having a hard time understanding each other, repeating ourselves lots of times, and usually with one of us heading down to the hospital, via a very cute bike, ridden often through the rain, over the brick path to the hospital. Most of the time, the doc’s role is minimized during the night, so being on call this frequently is feasible, though Eric was up all night this past week with a lady who ended up dying from what we assume was bacterial sepis after superinfection of her amebic dysentery.

The picture is meant to be humorous, and there is an element of bizarre humor to be found during those late night purple bike rides, but these times are also probably our biggest challenge, mostly because of the communication difficulties mentioned above. As in most everything in life, and especially in medical training, we’re slowly finding our way in caring for more and more patients and their unique problems.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love the roach story!
Wish I could pop by and say hi...
I'm probably off to China in a few weeks, so although I will be in the neighborhood...I won't be that close.
Love you both!
Carla

Shar said...

Ohhh, yuk, that is disgusting. How big were they? You could have made a good roach soup with that many roaches.

Tim said...

I'll try this- Love those Monsoons! Always wet but getting used to it, then it back off. When you see a water buffalo, take a picture. I've always wondered their size.

Kyle said...

It really is a cute bike.