Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 29


We've been in Nyankunde for almost a week now.  It has been a busy time.  We've been setting up the new operating room facility.  This has involved going through a lot of stuff, cleaning things, making an inventory of instruments, fixing things, etc.  It all sounds pretty unexciting, but it is a necessary step.  There is still a tremendous amount of work.  I come home every night feeling like I should have done more.  

There is also the inescapable challenge of patient care.  Tomorrow I am schedule to operate on one man's prostate, wire someone's jaw closed, operate on a mass that is growing out of a young woman's face, repair a rectovaginal fistula (if you don't know what this is, don't ask), and do something else that I can't quite remember.  There are a few Congolese doctors here and they take care of the routine stuff, but there are always those challenging cases...

In the evenings it is quiet and peaceful.  The climate is pleasant.  There is no traffic, no TV, no city noises. 

There are lots of questions that we will need to answer as we consider returning in January.  Some of them are questions like, "Do we really need to employ a gardener?"  Others are big questions like, "How do we find fellowship here and what are ways in which we can have a spiritual impact in this community?"  We don't have many answers now, but we are at least learning which are the right questions.  

One daunting matter is simply the considerable expense of living here.  You wouldn't think it, but it's pretty expensive to travel to Congo and actually live there.  Still, we continue to trust that God has called us here and He will provide whatever we need.

Thanks for your prayers and emails.  It is great to feel like we're still in touch.  We will be back in mid-September for a few weeks, then it's off to Sudan.  

I am attaching a link for two panoramas I made.  It should give you a little glimpse of how beautiful it is here.  Don't spread the word too much!  Otherwise everyone will be wanting to come and live here!

Warren (for both of us)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The long journey from Charlotte to Nyankunde, DRC Aug 22

Greetings from Nyankunde!

It's been a long journey to reach here.  We left Charlotte and flew to Washington DC.  From there we flew to Addis Ababa, and then to Entebbe.  From there we took a taxi to Kampala, where we spent a day seeing the city and getting to know the SP Uganda staff a bit.

Yesterday we took an bus from Kampala to Bwera, which is on the border with DRC.  We crossed over into DRC and were met by some Congolese folks.  There was the usual delay at the border (the man with the proper stamp for the passport was in a meeting) but we managed to get in the country without even having our luggage opened!  This is kind of miraculous.  From Kasindi (on the Congo side) we took a car to Beni.  We passed through the thick of the Virunga National Park, where Lindsey claims she saw a gorilla.  I think it might have been a guerilla.  It can be hard to distinguish the two.  We spent the night in Beni.  This morning we made it to Nyankunde.  It was a long trip, but it's good to know that it is doable.  You never know until you try.

Things at Nyankunde are going well.  The new OR/ICU building looks fantastic, but it is pretty much empty.  It will take a lot of work to get things going.  Now it is evening.  You can't imagine how peaceful and quiet it is here.  There is only the sound of the crickets and the wind in the trees.  I asked Lindsey whether she would get bored with only me around in the evenings.  She said no, but she did hesitate a little...  We'll see.

Warren (for the Coopers)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

One day in Kampala

This is a panorama of the SP office in Uganda.  See if you can find Lindsey's disembodied head!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

 Warren's class for the hospital staff on how to operate and trouble-shoot a portable x-ray machine, as well as how to develop film.  He did this all in French and made it look easy!  

Climbing into a nearby gold mine....I watched
A few more photos...
We are preparing for a month-long trip to Nyankunde (leaving August 18th), prior to our anticipated January 2013 departure.  The new OR/ICU building has been completed and dedicated and the work to make the building functional has begun.  We will be traveling with our friends Charlene (OR nurse) and Howard (supporter) to help set up the operating theatre, work on surgical sets, training in OR procedure, set-up of the ICU/PACU/library/exam rooms, etc.  We anticipate that it will be a full month and are looking forward to work with the Congolese on this exciting venture.  Stay tuned for pictures of the new building.

Here are some photos we took a year ago (June 2011), when I visited Nyankunde for the first time.

Thanks for your interest in our lives and your prayer support.  He is faithful and is able to do much more than we can ask or imagine.