(Note: If you're squeamish, you may want to avoid looking at the pictures below. On the other hand...)
With all this talking about parties and cake and movie nights, you all might be wondering what happened to the original focus of the trip, which was for me to help with some of the medical needs of the children in the school and, as it turned out, their parents. To reassure you that I'm on the job and that the supplies you gave and I brought over are having some effect, I'd like to show you the 'before and after' shots of one 5th grader's leg.
Ferolini, 11 years old, is a sweet young lady in my health class. Several weeks ago, while teaching my class, I noticed a large, open sore on her right leg. It was about the size of two Ping-Pong balls; the edges of the sore were turning black; the whole thing oozed pus and blood, sending little rivulets of red down her leg. I learned from the Civales that she had been bitten by a dog a couple months earlier. The clinic had given her some aspirin, but hadn't bothered to do anything else; the witch-doctor had come to her house and done her rituals, but, not surprisingly, without the least effect. In fact, after she left, it was even worse than it had been before. Her parents wanted to take her to another island for some more reliable medical assistance, but they didn't have the finances to do so. I asked Miss Emi if she thought it would be alright if I took my turn at helping Ferolini, and she gave the green light to start treatment. I began a routine of cleaning the sore, anointing it with antibiotic ointment, and bandaging it every single day. I also gave her some vitamins, two per day.
Within two days, Hannah and Luisa could see a difference in the wound. Within a week, scar tissue was starting to form. Two weeks later, and the wound had shrunk to half it's original size. Now, there's no pain when she touches it--a scab has formed, and the sore is almost healed. Of course, there's lots of scar tissue, but at least she won't get gangrene or something ghastly! It's a wonderful feeling to see her walking normally, instead of limping with pain, and to see a mere scab instead of that oozing sore. Thanks to everyone who gave!
Also, if you throw your mind back to my previous post when the American team came through, I mentioned a lady who came to me for assistance with a puncture wound in the back of her foot. She'd stepped on a nail, and the whole area was red, swollen, and obviously infected. I gave her some medicine, ointment, and advice about keeping it elevated and bathing the puncture and keeping it covered. Just today, this same lady dropped by the house to ask Miss Emi a question. She said to me, "Thank you for your medicine. My foot is well now." She showed me her foot and ankle--you could hardly tell there had ever been a wound!
Thanks for praying for these needs. Now I need to go help Salamolama, who has an infected burn. It never stops here! :)