Sunday, August 22, 2010
Wednesday, September 15th, noon-1PM
UTHSCSA Room MED 409L
For more information, please email uthscsaethiopia2010 (at) gmail (dot) com.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Our journey began long before June 13th. For me, it started on November 1st when I was offered the position of team leader, charged with the task of forming, organizing, planning, and running the 2010 Ethiopia trip. Of course I had my own worries. Would we be able to raise the money and plan the trip and purchase the medicines and bring the medicines? In the meantime, would we have enough time to study for our first year medical school classes? The ensuing weeks had all sorts of ups and downs: from selecting a team, to hosting a very successful bake sale, to entering our program into the ideablob contest, to watching ideablob go bankrupt mid-contest. Some people might have called that an omen. Me? I had no idea. The Spring semester brought with it a slew of challenges. Between confusion regarding fundraising policies and the recasting of our school’s international program standards, there were times where we thought our trip might not happen altogether. At one point I remember saying that it would be a miracle if our team even made it off the ground. Would our team be allowed to go to Ethiopia? Would we be able to fundraise and run a well-planned trip under such short notice? Now, I look back on all of that chaos and realize (1) yes we could and yes we would and (2) it was all worth it. If anything, I learned great lessons in perseverance. Thank you to all of our supporters who gave us such great encouragement and words of wisdom in that time.
But this post is really supposed to be about Ethiopia! Arriving in Ethiopia, itself, felt like a triumph. Of course, as many of you know, our medicines for our clinic were confiscated by customs shortly after landing. Prior to arriving in Ethiopia, we asked all of our contacts if we needed to file any paperwork or bring any documents to help us get our items through customs. We were informed that we shouldn’t have any problems. Little did we know that a few days prior to our arrival, the Ethiopian government had begun enforcing new policies regarding healthcare and the handling of medicine. What a nightmare. That week, as we shadowed physicians and toured a number of different hospitals, our guide, Negusse, ran around the city pulling all the strings he had to help us get our medicines back. Two weeks later, Dr. U arrived and spent several days getting everything straightened out. Thankfully our medicines were returned, but it was not easy! On a personal note, I am grateful that the government is enforcing rules regarding what is allowed to come into their country. And we’ve learned many lessons that will be very useful for next year’s team!
On the first day, Wade and I had been conducting Maternal Health surveys with our translator, Girum, all morning. I’ll be honest, after lunch I was tired and not terribly excited about going out to collect more surveys. Nevertheless, we arrived at another home and asked the head of the household if we could question the women there. He obliged and we reconvened our procedure of asking questions and recording data. Once we finished the survey, the man asked us if we would take a look at his daughters. One had a heart problem and another had fallen off a motorcycle the day before. She limped out and I quickly glanced at her wounds to see that they were infected. Maybe it’s because I was exhausted, or maybe it’s because I was tired of just observing – but I looked at Wade and exclaimed, “She just needs first aid! They’re infected. We have first aid supplies. All we have to do is clean it. I’m pretty sure we can help her.” Girum tells the family that we’ll be back and the three of us walked back to our compound. I frantically search all around our room for whatever supplies that customs hadn’t confiscated. Myra passes me some hydrogen peroxide, gauze, and tape. Wade and I return to the home where Girum proceeds to inform us that the family had already been to the clinic. We proceed to clean her scrapes and gashes again, and cover them with band-aids and gauze. We tell the father that the clinic had treated her correctly, and that he should take his daughter back if her wounds do not get better.
Sure enough, they came to our clinic before we even opened on Monday morning. Demekech was the very first person that Dr. U saw. He learned from her grandmother that she was HIV positive. Additionally, he noted a very large, painful mass extending from her cheek to her neck which seemed to be lymphadenopathy. He concluded that she either had an odd-presentation of tuberculosis or some form of lymphoma. A diagnosis of tuberculosis could undergo the standard regiment of rifampicin, isoniazid, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol; with treatment, 95% of TB cases are cured. A diagnosis of lymphoma, which could not be treated in Aleta Wondo, would be fatal in 3-6 months. I remember looking up and seeing Demekech’s grandmother cry as she listened to the news. It seemed like Demekech’s only hope was to be admitted to Mother Theresa’s Mission in Addis Ababa where she could be treated for her HIV and lymphoma. I took Demekech away to take her mind off her illness. She was feverish, and obviously not feeling well.
I spent a lot of time with Demekech. Every day that week during our free time I would sit and play with her. I love kids, I really do – but my threshold is usually around 3-4 hours. After that I get tired and irritable. But I never got tired of Demekech, I never stopped loving her. I don’t know if I ever came to terms with the differential for Demekech’s illness. I was stuck on the fact that she was HIV positive and orphaned by AIDS. I can’t imagine what it must be like to watch your parents die from AIDS, and then to find that you are destined for the same fate. Demekech’s brother, Zerihun, also had a large mass indicative of lymphadenopathy but he refused to be tested for HIV. One day, Tsegaye and Tesh spoke with him and he decided to get tested.
He tested positive.
Even as I write this, I’m not entirely sure how to share this story, or which parts to share and which parts not to. And I can’t figure out why, but for some reason or another, my heart still breaks whenever I think about Demekech.
Because we were traveling through Awassa, we agreed to take Demekech, Zerihun, and their grandmother to Mother Theresa’s Mission in Awassa. When we arrived at the clinic, we spoke with one of the sisters, but it seemed like there was a protocol that would need to be followed in order for Demekech and Zerihun to be admitted and transferred to Addis Ababa. I started to worry that they would lose out on their only chance for a cure; I don’t know when the last time was that I prayed so hard. On the bus ride, as I held Demekech on my lap, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have to say goodbye to this little girl. And I realized then that no matter how much I loved her, no matter how long I held her, there was nothing I could do that would bring back her parents, that would cure her of her HIV, that would shield her from all the problems that she has and will encounter. And once again, I was reminded of my own humanity. Regardless of what disease she has, she looks forward to a very difficult life.
We were told by Mother Theresa’s mission in Awassa that we would need to wait for them to get permission from Addis Ababa before we could bring Demekech and Zerihun. In the meantime, we took their family with us to the Hot Springs in Wondo Genet for some rest and relaxation before heading back to the states. It was a marvelous time and I think we all enjoyed those last moments together.
The next morning, we were getting ready to head back to Addis Ababa when Dr. U noticed Demekech cough. A cough means one thing. The diagnosis is more than likely tuberculosis than lymphoma. Dr. U completed another physical exam on Demekech before calling Dr. H to discuss her case and whether or not she should stay in Aleta Wondo or head to Addis Ababa. Afterwards, Demekech’s grandmother pulled out the medications that Demekech was on.
And there before us was a little bag labeled “Isoniazid."
Demekech had already been diagnosed and was being treated for TB. And everything was decided. Demekech and her family would return to Aleta Wondo where she would continue treatment for TB (with multiple drugs rather than just one) and HIV. It was very much the epitome of a bitter sweet moment: on the one hand, I think we were all hurt that we had been missing this crucial piece of information; on the other hand, TB has a much better prognosis than Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The wounds of Ethiopia run deep. On the one hand, there is an extreme lack of healthcare. Every day, hundreds of people who had walked 30 to 40 to 50 kilometers would line up outside our clinic hoping that we would deliver some sort of panacea. On the other hand, despite the poverty, overpopulation, lack of water, lack of access to basic necessities of life – Ethiopians are an extremely loving, hospitable, friendly, happy group of people.
My heart still longs for Africa. There are mornings where I wake up and wish I could step out of my hut to see the cows and horses grazing in the field, to enjoy a fresh (and I mean fresh!) cup of coffee and a simple, homemade Ethiopian breakfast. But mostly, I long to see Demekech run to meet us and give us hugs, or do fist bumps with G-Alshogoleet, and run around and play with Aymanut. My story of Ethiopia is not nice and neat. It’s messy. But life is messy. And it is in the midst of that mess that we find joy, hope and love. I think Ralph Waldo Emerson put it rather well when he said, “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” I feel like Ethiopians gave me so much more than I could ever have given them. I experienced such love and kindness; and I learned great lessons in what it means to be joyful in hope and patient in affliction. Admittedly there are times when it seems like the work we were able to do is only a drop in the ocean. But I look forward to seeing the ripple effect of that drop -- in my teammates, in future Ethiopia Outreach teams, and in the community of Aleta Wondo. Upon our departure, we rest easy in knowing that there are amazing people at Common River who continue to seek progress for the people of Aleta Wondo and that really, everything is in God’s hands.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Assimilators were people who, upon return to the US, could easily get back into the swing of things. Alienators would feel guilty about a lot of things, like spending $20 on a new shirt when that money could probably feed a person for 20 days in Ethiopia. Integrators were the best to be – they would take what they learned abroad and somehow “integrate” it into their daily lives here in the States.
To tell you the truth, I didn’t really know what being an Integrator meant. Typically, I’ve always been an Alienator. I had a fantastic trip to Ethiopia, but there were several emotions that I felt the last few days before I left and the first few days back in Texas.
But first, a set of questions.
Did we understand healthcare in a third-world country better? Yes. We shadowed several doctors/surgeons at many clinics and hospitals. Not only were we lucky to get in contact with these very busy care providers, they were extremely compassionate and informative, and they gave us a startling awakening into their access to healthcare – a very dismal picture compared to what is offered to us as Americans.
Did we set out what we accomplished to do? Yes. We had five clinic days in which we met with over 400 patients. Some of them had never seen a doctor before and Dr. Usatine was their first chance, ever.
Did we live simply during our time there? I believe so. We didn’t have electricity some nights and took cold showers several other times (we were just thankful it was clean). We ate without that full, satisfying feeling we are so use to experiencing, but we were grateful for the food we were given.
Did we get a good grasp of family life in Ethiopia? Yes. Our maternal health survey allowed a 3 day window into the lives of some very precious mothers, their children, and their homes.
I had a very heavy heart leaving Ethiopia. I felt that in spite of living the way Ethiopians lived for three short weeks, at the end of the trip, this would not be the final reality for me. At the end, I was sent back on a gigantic plane, only to have my car, washing machine, hot water/tub, and warm bed to greet me. My fridge will always be stocked full of food and I won’t think twice about my electricity or my clean water. Sadly, the people I met in Ethiopia, many that I had gotten to know and love, will stay where they are. Their lack of access to clean water will continue to create a host of diseases that will attack their bodies, while their lack of basic healthcare will continue to leave them mostly defenseless.
My final thought as I left Ethiopia was this: Why were we blessed to have so much while so many in the world have so little? While I am still working out the details of this thought, I have come to one conclusion that I am sure of: Even though I have personally been given so many wonderful blessings in my life, I have also been given a responsibility to not take these blessings lightly. As a citizen of this world whose actions can greatly change the lives of others, it is my duty not only as a medical student but more importantly, as a human being, to help my neighbors here and abroad.
One quick, but shining story during this trip that I completely attribute to the power of God’s timing is the story of Abraham. He was a 10 year old child who was kicked out of his home when he was 6; when his mother had died, his new stepmom did not favor him. He spent the last 4 years working at a teahouse in exchange for food and shelter and a week before we arrived in Aleta Wondo, he fell ill and was thrown out to fend for himself. He eventually heard that foreigners had come into town on a medical trip, so he found us during out week of clinics. We found Abraham lying in a patch of grass outside our clinic with a fever of 106.7 F. After quick action on the part of our team and the healthcare staff at the clinic, we were able to get his fever down. On the last day of clinic, he was healthy enough to be released from the hospital. Abraham is currently being adopted by Common River where he will never have to worry about food or shelter and will be attending school in the Fall.
Though much of our work in the clinics and medications only provided temporary relief, we did make some permanent footprints. We provided quality care to a population where most had never seen a doctor before or had anyone really listen to their clinical ailments. We helped conduct a survey that will hopefully branch into maternal programs for women in Aleta Wondo. And lastly, we helped a young boy get a second chance at life.
There is much I would like to say, but to be brief, this trip was nothing short than incredibly life-changing. As a future physician, I can say that my passion for medicine has not only increased exponentially, but the faces of our patients we saw will drive me to work harder and better for the patients I will see in the future. In addition, I have not only been completely humbled by my time in Africa, but am hopeful to the future as I have seen the compassion for the needy in both my teammates as well as the very competent and caring doctors in Ethiopia.
Needless to say, it will not be my last time to be in Africa.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Looking back, I feel the trip has exceeded my expectations and goals; we were able to see healthcare in the capital by visiting Black Lion Hospital, CURE Hospital to watch orthopedic clubbed foot surgeries, ALERT Hospital specializing in leprosy treatment, and Luke Society Clinic serving the poor. In comparison, we saw the limited resources available in Aleta Wondo--there was a health clinic run by nurses and health attendants, but no physician available aside from private clinics.
Most importantly, I have learned much from and admire my teammates. Dr. Usatine did an incredible job of teaching as well as guiding our efforts. Team leader Katie Gong: nicknamed Cumem for spicy, bears the weight of the world on her shoulders, responsible, loving. Myra Liu: nicknamed for her calmness, she is caring, easy to talk to, wonderful roommate. Annie Lu: nicknamed konjito for her beauty (inside and out), she is our superwoman that gets the job done, a spiritual fortress. Josh Essel: nicknamed Joseph (for what reason I forget), great listener, kind and gentle. Wade Murray: nicknamed Demolash (Demolisher) because he looks like he can take you out, fun-loving, caring. Matt Murrell: nicknamed Tasfaye for 'my hope', compassionate, knowledgeable, and great at cheering us up. Edward Shipper: nicknamed Alemayo for 'one who sees the world,' brilliant and our comic relief. As for me, nicknamed Tsahai for 'sun,' I've been told that I have a gentleness that commands respect--not too shabby! =)
Thank you all for your support and prayers. God bless.
We went into our first day of clinic consumed with the archetypal fear of the unknown. For starters, we did not know how many people would show up. In performing a maternal health survey the previous week, we had informed the almost 200 women interviewed about our clinic, but it was impossible to know how many more people had been alerted by subsequent word of mouth. Perhaps more importantly, although the Tena Tabia itself is a free clinic, it is staffed primarily with nurses and public health workers. As we were told, our clinic would in all likelihood be the first time many of the people from Aleta Wondo would have the opportunity to be seen by a credentialed medical doctor—a fact which might inflate the demand for our services.
While Monday graced us with a manageable assembly of Ethiopians, tidings of our free clinic rapidly spread throughout the week, such that by Friday literally hundreds of people were gathering in mob fashion in front of our doors before we opened at 9 AM. It is difficult to describe in words the surreal experience of sifting through this throng. Men, women, and children of all ages would beg, yell, and even physically grab the poor student running intake tasked with the duty of choosing which patients would be seen by Dr. Usatine that day. Often times, these people would remove their shirts or pants without modesty or reservation to expose a rash or mass that the student might deem worthy of admission. Indeed, Wade and Annie suffered open wounds on their arms due to the clawing of several overly eager Ethiopians.
While the scene outside the building personified the quality of entropy, the setting within the walls of the clinic offered a more controlled sense of chaos. Amidst the constant chatter of patients, translators, students, and doctor, we treated a number of patients afflicted with a wide range of pathologies, many of which typically would not be seen in the United States. One of the most common disease types we saw was a skin infection, usually fungal but also bacterial. Most of these diseases could be cured with some combination of oral and/or topical antibiotics. Trachoma, a bacterial infection of the eye, was another prevalent illness. If left untreated, the disease will ultimately lead to blindness, so being able to cure trachoma with a single dose of antibiotics was particularly gratifying. Unfortunately, whether because of lack of resources or lack of treatment options, not every disease could be cured, but in total, we were able to see over 415 Ethiopians. Our thanks go out to Dr. Usatine who visited with every single one of these patients over the course of the week and never once seemed stressed with the burden of a constant patient flow.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Thank you all for your prayers, kind thoughts, words of encouragement, and constant love and support. Just a quick update -- 23 hours of flight and 12 hours of layovers later -- we are all home and healthy! Unfortunately, the town of Aleta Wondo has not had internet for over a month, so we were unable to post any updates regarding our experiences there. However, as you might notice, we have been posting retroactively! So keep an eye out for our thoughts and reflections on our last week in Aleta Wondo as we hosted clinics for the community of Aleta Wondo, as well as our own personal team reflections! We look forward to sharing with you the remainder of our journey :).
Much love and many blessings,
Last week we drove the scenic journey from Addis Ababa to Aleta Wondo. The eight hour trip was pleasant—staring out of the window ain’t so bad when there are kilometers (versus miles) of untouched land to admire. We passed the time by belting out lyrics to a variety of jams, a little Strawberry Wine and Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing were top hits for us.
The compound at Common River is breathtaking. There’s a beautiful field just outside of our huts where we can find horses and cows grazing. Yesterday morning I skipped team breakfast (being the rebel that I am) to sit outside and enjoy the scenery; soon afterward I see a heifer and its calf galloping together onto the field…California’s a joke, the happiest cows live in Aleta Wondo, Ethiopia!
We conducted a field survey on Maternal Health in order to get an idea of sex education and healthcare available for the residents living near Common River. I had the opportunity to participate in a health census in my previous medical trip to Nicaragua and I remembered this being my favorite part of medical missions abroad. Essentially, you and a teammate walk from house to house with a translator and ask questions while sitting inside someone else’s home. Clinics do allow us to provide a diagnosis and treatment, but they do not allow for us to actually see a patient’s living conditions or family situation. One of the questions we asked was about female circumcision, also known as female genital mutilation. Female circumcision typically entails cutting of the clitoris and sometime the labia minora. When I first asked this question during our trial run and heard her affirmed response that our interviewee had experienced it for herself, I couldn’t help but think of what a terrible, terrible experience that must have been. The responses overall seemed to be that most mothers were circumcised as children, but the government has made it illegal and girls nowadays do not undergo circumcision. Interestingly, the elderly women felt that the government should not interfere with their traditions since it is part of the culture-- the people should be left to do as they please. I can’t say for certain how women under 60 felt since they may have given biased answers to please us as ferengi (the term they use for foreigners). Those women replied that it was a “different time” in the past. It is difficult to ask such personal questions and probe for their opinions for a multitude of reasons which include having to translate questions and answers through a third party after barging into their daily routine. From what I understand, younger mothers seemed to react positively to the change of no longer circumcising young girls.
The women appear to be well educated about HIV/AIDS and family planning, somewhat a surprise for me given such a rural community. The purpose of the survey was to get an idea of what Common River can offer in terms of education for the surrounding community.
Another high point of the trip was our opportunity to watch the World Cup (taking place in South Africa) match between Ghana and the US in an African equivalent of a dive bar within the small city of Aleta Wondo. Our team was a bit torn since Ghana is the only African team to still be in the running; moreover, one of our very own teammates Joshua grew up in Ghana! Most of us still rooted for the US amongst a crowd of at least one hundred Ethiopians, cramped into a small room with the game projected onto a stone wall. The whole experience was amazing—sipping Ethiopian St. George’s beer and exchanging high fives and hugs with the locals…wouldn’t trade it for the world. Still in awe of the fact that I am here.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Today, after some pre-trip reflection, we dived straight into packing. As I was packing my personal bags the other night, I was slightly intimidated by the piles of team supplies stacked up in my closet. And as my teammates arrived carrying boxes upon boxes of donations, I started to wonder if we would ever get everything to Ethiopia! But a luggage scale, some teamwork and Matt's crazy packing skills can go a long way. By 4PM -- we were sitting in my living room with 18 pieces of luggage packed and ready to go.
To say it's been a rough semester would be somewhat of an understatement. Waiting to see if this trip would happen was rough, and pulling everything together in a period of about 6 weeks was not easy. I recall stating that if our project even made it off the ground, it would be nothing short of a miracle. And lo and behold -- I see on every side of me miracle after miracle after miracle. In the past few months I have learned so much about what it means to be a leader and plan a trip, to coordinate people from all different places, to work with peers and superiors. But above all -- I think I've learned a lot about what it means to perservere in the face of adversity.
I'm excited to be leaving tomorrow! I'm sure that our team will have a great time in Ethiopia and that we will learn plenty. And I look forward to the next life lessons that await us as we embark on this portion of the journey. Until next time, au revoir!
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Nonetheless, I sure am glad that there's a second portion to the verse from the book of Proverbs which entitles this post!:
Katie begins reading quickly and aloud through the letter to get to the portion that will state the fate of the trip. Soon, it comes: "... I have decided to allow this summer's trip to Ethiopia.."
We get to go! We get to go!!
Though we were exhausted from the wait, we knew now that there was hope again! The desire is still on course to be fulfilled. What now lays ahead of us is immense fundraising and preparation.
Life will bloom from the seeds of service and patient-care that this trip will plant in us. We are eager.
Roots of hope are reaching and establishing in us. We are filled with it.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Medicine is often framed in terms of a dichotomy between science and humanism. On one hand, the practice of medicine is rooted in the unwavering principles of science that are applied in a rational and predictable manner. As a first year medical student, I often feel inundated with the teachings of this part of the dichotomy, which I like to think of as the what of medicine—what tests and procedures do I need to perform to diagnose and treat the disease? Less apparent in the first year curriculum is the human aspect of medicine, which testifies to the why question—why do we treat disease? For me, this query is more appropriately answered wearing the patient’s cap. Anyone who has had a broken leg or a horrible case of the flu knows why he or she needs medical treatment; spending eight weeks on crutches or being confined to bed with a debilitating case of nausea is simply not the way human beings are supposed to enjoy life.
This ability to wear the patient’s cap, to understand and share the feelings of another, is more formally canonized in the doctrines of medicine as the quality of “empathy.” To empathize with another is to step out of one’s own shoes and to try to envision life in someone else’s. As I contemplate my upcoming experience in Africa, I find the ability to empathize with Ethiopians particularly challenging because the Ethiopian experience is so different from my own to the point that it seems impossible for me to emulate it in my mind’s eye.
I have never been to Ethiopia (much less Africa), so what little I know about the Ethiopian culture and condition has been gleaned from the impersonal transactions between myself and the information that has appeared in books and presentations about the country. In the context of our medical trip, I have been confronted with sobering statistics about the abysmal state of health care in the country. As I ponder these statistics, I find them compelling, but I think I fail to appreciate fully their significance. As much as I try to empathize with the plight of Ethiopians, I have never felt that truly visceral reaction that I expect will come with the actual experience of living among the Ethiopian people and knowing first-hand what it means to live in one of the poorest nations in the world. I hope my experience abroad will allow me to feel truly for the suffering of those with conditions so difficult for me to imagine right now.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
There is no debate that Ethiopia desperately lacks in healthcare, but one fact that I have been thinking about the most the past two months is the lack of clean, drinkable water in the country. Honestly, I have never really thought too much about water and the lack of it in my life - ever. Clean water is something that I always thought was available no matter where you were, and stories that indicated anything different was a vague concept that seemed somewhat unreal. But after seeing several pictures of women filling up water containers with brown, stagnant water and hearing stories about the fact that so many of their medical problems stem for this lack of a basic necessity humbled me in understanding this major issue that faces so many Ethiopians.
Now, everytime I turn on a faucet, take a drink of water, brush my teeth, or do laundry, I think about how easy it is for us to do any of these things, but without clean water, none of these activities would be possible. I have only recently noticed how amazing it is to take a shower with hot, clean water. So many of us are so "rich," and we don't even know it.
Without clean water, we, as first year medical students, will see countless cases of Trachoma, the leading cause of treatable blindness in developing countries. Without clean water, we will see children and adults with scabies because they can't wash their dirty clothes and sheets. And without clean water, we will see gastrointestinal diseases, malaria, and other infectious and water-related illnesses.
Though these sessions, I'm sure, will continue to raise more reflection questions, I am sure I will not be able to comprehend the extent of the issues in Ethiopia unless we are there; and even then, those three weeks wouldn't be near enough time. However, I am excited for our team and for the opportunity to make even a small difference in the lives of Ethiopians.
Thanks for reading!
Monday, February 15, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Dr. Berggren also touched upon the interdependence of health with nutrition and clean water. Due to the vastness of that concern and the limited time and resources we have while in Ethiopia, we will be working with Common River, an NGO, to help alleviate this issue. Primarily, we will focus on providing treatments for diseases and educating the communities about preventative measures to ensure good health. Overall, our meeting with Dr. Berggren helped us to grasp just what it is we can hope to accomplish through Ethiopia Outreach and we left excited about what lies ahead. As for me, our meeting was a reality check about the great responsibility it is for us to head to Ethiopia as med students trying to treat patients. At the same time, it was encouraging to hear Dr. Berggren speak about the treatments for common ailments such as dehydration from diarrhea because we actually understood the physiology and biochem behind oral rehydration therapy! It's all making sense...
For more information on community service learning, see http://texashumanities.org/csl.cfm
Sunday, January 17, 2010
For our efforts, Katie's parents contributed a monetary donation to our trip fund--thank you! Special thanks also go out to UTHSCSA Haiti trippers Krista, Tiffany, and Matt, as well as Ethiopia friend Shushan, for their generous donation of time and labor over the three day weekend.