Thursday, December 19, 2013


I've been slacking. We've been busy! Between work and studying for my boards and getting everything ready for everyone to come for Christmas tomorrow (TOMORROW!) I guess I've just not had much time to write here. And we were gone for half of November, so that didn't help either.

Anyways, I'll be back after the New Year:)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

On Love and Marriage

So, I definitely should be in bed right now. But despite reading an article recently stating that night owls died earlier than early risers, I've not been able to break that habit.

For some reason I've been introspective recently. It happens sometimes. I've been thinking about relationships, marriage in particular. It tough, you know? But it's amazing, all at the same time. I think that it is not that easy to stay in love with someone for years and years and years. It is much easier to let another person who passes you by catch your eye. But your reward for that effort is tremendous. To have someone to stand by you, through thick and thin. To have someone that, no matter what, is there. Someone that you can be completely vulnerable with. You can voice your fears, desires, anxieties, and dreams. And they won't laugh or think you're weak or deranged or anything other than just you. No front. No pretense. Just you.

And it really has to be about you and that other person. No matter where life takes you. It's no longer about you, per se. It's about the plural you. As a couple. So if one person gets an amazing opportunity in Nebraska (which according to Charlie's grandma may as well be Alaska) you go. And you embrace it. Even if you don't immediately have a job or a place there. How hard must it be for him to tell people in this little town that he "works in my office" right now? We are living in a place where a lady doctor is a rarity, let alone a house husband so-to-speak. And his help in the office is undeniable. He has such a better business mind than me. And he's worked in corporate America, so he's a lot better at personnel stuff than I am. He has thrown his whole self into making sure that I - that we- are successful here. And he's there when we walk at night and I say, "What if I'm not cut out to be a surgeon? What if I can't do this?" And he says, "Then we'll figure it out. But I think you're cut out for it."

When I left residency everyone told me how brave I was. To go out and just do this. Take over a practice. Jump right in. I think that I am often the brave one that is willing to take the leap. I'm always ready to just drive in, head first. No matter what it is. But I think that it is Charlie that finishes it out for us. He's the one that is the steady voice. The optimistic voice. If it was up to me I feel like I'd crumble into an anxious ball of nerves. But he's the voice that says, "you can do this. I know you can. And if you don't believe me, ask someone else, but I think you can."

He is not perfect. Neither am I. We fight sometimes. But not like we used to. Over the last 12 years or so we've learned a thing or two about relating to each other. But I feel so blessed to have found someone like him. Someone who's idea of what a marriage aligns with mine. Someone who is in it for the long haul. Someone who understands that there is an order in things, and that our marriage needs to come before almost anything else in this world, because without that, what do we have really?

I just wish that it was something that people were guaranteed to experience in life. Because it's a different kind of relationship than any other. And I would not trade it for anything.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Just a quick note to update everyone. My SIS (saline infused sonography) of my uterus was normal, as we thought it would be. So nothing else to do now except pray:)

Friday, October 4, 2013


Went to the Ob/Gyn here in Nebraska yesterday. We talked about things and he agreed with my other Ob/Gyn that a slew of genetic testing was probably not worth the money. They already checked all of the more common things and that was all normal, so for now, no reproductive endocrinologist, which I am happy with.

I'm going in next week for something called an SIS I think. It's basically a 3-D ultrasound of my uterus to make sure that after the septum was removed I didn't develop any adhesions or anything like that. Then he had me start taking a baby aspirin every day, and he gave me a prescription for progesterone to start taking the day I find out I'm pregnant again. The aspirin and the progesterone are sort of voo-doo. Some people swear by it, there is little in the literature to support it, but there is very little in the way of side effects for either one of them, and some women have success after starting them.

So we're back to trying. And I think I'm ready. I don't get so upset or angry about it anymore. Another of my good friends told us she was pregnant recently, and I was able to feel happy for her. Another just had a beautiful baby girl, and I was really happy for her too. Sireesha, who just had the baby, had some issues with infertility herself. She and her husband had tried to get pregnant for over two years before they finally figured out what was wrong.

I hope that it is in the cards for us to be parents. I think that if we have another miscarriage we will probably start to look into adoption though. At least that's what we think right now. We go back and forth. In some ways we both feel that if we can't have kids of our own, maybe we just won't have kids. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. One crisis at a time:)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Pumpkin Pancakes with White Chocolate Buttercream

Ok, does that not sound amazing, if not good for you?

Most of you remember Beth, one of my good friends growing up. She now is mostly a SAHM, but she also has a website that she runs, called Nestlette. It's so funny because looking through it, you can totally see the girl I grew up with. In so many way we were so different, but this is totally Beth. Organized, clever, crafty, girly and sweet. She posts some really cute things on there, so I like to go every once in awhile and check it out. You should too:)

Friday, September 20, 2013


You know what I get tired of? Women who have had one miscarriage and a healthy baby or two thinking that they know what it is like to be me. Or people who have 4 kids and have had 8 pregnancies or something droning on about how horrible it is to have recurrent pregnancy loss. Or friends saying things like, "Well, because of my 'history' I have to go to the Ob/Gyn early in my pregnancies" when "history" means they had one miscarriage, and now two healthy pregnancies. Or people who name the babies they lost and remember them on what was supposed to be their due dates. I've had so many miscarriages I can't remember all the due dates, and I don't have enough unisex names to name them all, nor do I really want to. And if I already had 4 kids there is no way in hell I would be putting us through all the pain that recurrent pregnancy loss brings to a couple.

There are a lot of blogs out there written by people like me, and I appreciate that. It's good to know that you aren't alone. Most of them, if they are under 35 or 40, eventually have kids, which is an encouraging thing for me, but still doesn't guarantee anything.

I wish I didn't care. I wish that I didn't want kids. Then this would not be an issue. It gets harder with every miscarriage. We were so hopeful with the last one. So hopeful. It feels like the universe is playing a mean trick. 

This last one almost pushed Charlie over the edge. After everything that happened in Russia, he was ready to be done, no more trying, just accept the fact that we were not meant to have kids. I told him I wasn't ready to throw in the towel. I wanted to try for one more. And he said that if that one didn't work out I'd want to try again. I told him I didn't know if that was true or not, but I did know that I was not quite ready to give up just yet.

Anyways, it's a hard thing to be 30 and to have friends all around you having kids and knowing that you may not ever have kids. I pray about it, but it may not be meant to be. And all the praying in the world is not going to make something happen that is just not meant to be. I think Charlie and I would be good parents. If we have another miscarriage we might look into adoption, but that has its own series of heartache that can go along with it. 

I'm just tired of grieving. I'm tired of being sad so often. And I don't really want to get pregnant again and then have to sit around for 12 weeks going to the doctor every week and wondering if this is going to be the week they tell me I have to have another D&C.

I'm just over it. I'll give it one more go. I won't make any decisions about after that, but I'm getting close to my breaking point.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

One Month

Well, we've been here for one month now. It's hard to believe. In some ways it feels like it went fast, and in others it feels as though we've been here for a lot longer.

The practice is going well. I'm beginning to get paid, which is always a good thing:) The OR has been challenging, but I think that I'm doing OK and will end up on top. It's a very anxiety provoking thing to be the one in charge of someone's visual future. They are putting immense trust in me and I don't want to take that lightly ever. But to be less nervous before I go to the OR would also be OK.

We started out to paint 4 rooms. Two of them are now done, which is great. But this house is so BIG! I mean BIG! It takes twice as long to do anything it seems. So we have to put one more coat of paint on the entryway, which, we were all like, "Oh, it's an entryway and hallway, how bad can it be?!" and now we're all like, "Holy crap this is a big entryway." And then paint our bedroom. Then we are going to take a painting break before we lose our senses.

Our furniture is coming today! Yay for not lying on the floor to watch TV anymore!!! I'm very excited about that. Then we can start hanging pictures and making it feel more like home. Turning a house into a home is hard work, but I think we're getting there.

I'll try to post pictures once our furniture is in, FINALLY!

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Finally got to go to St. Patrick's for mass this morning. It's the only Catholic Church here in North Platte, but they do have a Pre-K through 12 school, which I think is a cool thing for a town this small.

When we walked in there were greeters at the door that welcomed you to the church as though you'd always been there. They could tell right away that we were new and asked our names and what brought us to North Platte. The priest is on the younger side, probably 40's or so. His homily was about humility and was one of the more relevant and practical sermons I've heard in a long, long time. He talked about reminding ourselves in the presence of Jesus that He is God, I am not. That when we come into church we do things like genuflect and bless ourselves with holy water because we are reminding ourselves that He is God, I am not. He likened our relationship with God to one between an infant and it's parents. He said that a baby does not know how much it needs its parents. Does not know what it needs. And without the parents the infant would not survive. So, too, is our relationship with God. Sometimes we go through life and think that we don't need God. But indeed we do, more than we know.

When we prayed the Our Father people joined hands across aisles, no matter if you knew anyone or not. After church a woman about my age who is a pharmacist in town and whom I'd met on one of my previous visits came up to us and said hello. We talked for a bit and exchanged phone numbers.

Not since I've been to church at St. Mary's have I felt a place this welcoming and with so much community. Looking through the bulletin, I think they are also pretty conservative when it comes to certain things, but it was just another little dose of reassurance that Charlie and I did the right thing following His path for us. Even if it did lead us to Nebraska. At least for now:)

Saturday, August 31, 2013


So, we've been in Nebraska for a few weeks now and things are starting to settle down, but only just starting it feels like:) We're basically moved into our house, but we're to that annoying part of unpacking where you just have piles of little crap all over the place that you have no idea where to put but you don't really want to throw up. This is when you ferret stuff away and then can't ever find it so you buy new and then when you move out again you find it and exclaim, "THAT'S where that was!" Hopefully with this long weekend we'll be able to get it all picked up and put away. Then there is wallpaper to strip and walls to paint. I"ll just have to get used to my house being in a relative state of chaos for a bit I think.

I started my job last Monday. I was talking to Rhonda a week or so ago, and I think that she said it right. Medicine is a weird world. I go from making hardly any money and having no control whatsoever as to when I work, how many patients I see, or anything. Then, all of a sudden, one day you are the boss. There is no slow gain of responsibility as you prove you can handle it. Just one day, that's it. And truly, for right now, Bonnie (my office manager) is my boss. She tells me what is what and I listen to her advice on pretty much everything. She's been so helpful. But ultimately I have to make the decisions.

And it's been going OK. I had her start me out slow with just 6-8 patients in a half day. By Friday I saw 11 in the morning and I was still sitting around a fair amount so we are going to add more spots still. I had surgery on Thursday, starting at noon. I told Bonnie to just put 3 cases on because I didn't know how fast I would be and I knew it would be a transition for the OR. I finished by 2:00 which means that we can probably go up to 5 or 6 cases, which is basically where Dr. Shreck was when he left. At his busiest he was doing 8 in a half day, but he's got a lot of arthritis in his hand and so had to cut back a year or so ago.

I've changed how some things work for me, which the technicians have been receptive to. I didn't know how they would do. Marji has been with Dr. Shreck for 21 years, and she was so nervous she was in tears before I got here because she didn't know how the new doctors was going to want to do things. From my standpoint that is just silly because I'm just not the kind of person to yell at people and I've gotten much more laid back in my old age. But she's done great. And I interviewed and hired a new technician with Bonnie's help this week as well. We needed another one, so she will probably start before the end of September.

Another interesting happening is that the other ophthalmology practice in town is sort of semi-closing. Originally it was owned by Dr. Young. He was from North Platte and started practicing here about 15 years ago or so. His wife left him when she found out about his girlfriend, and moved with their daughter to Omaha. Dr. Young stuck around North Platte for awhile and had brought on another employed ophthalmologist, Dr. Tennent, but he eventually left Dr. Tennent to run the practice and moved to Omaha where he's been working with another ophthalmology group there. Well, Dr. Tennent's wife lives in Chicago, so he's been commuting, so-to-speak, back and forth for the two or three years since Dr. Young left. But, a few weeks ago Dr. Tennent said he had family issues to take care of and was moving back to Chicago. So as of September 13 I will be the one and only ophthalmologist in North Platte. Dr. Young has an optometrist that is going to continue to see patients, and he has some cockamamie idea about shuttling patients to Omaha for cataract surgery after the optometrist approves them (which, unless he charges them for the shuttle, is illegal). I don't think that will work out very well for him, but we will see. From what Bonnie says he's somewhat of an alcoholic, which means he's fairly unpredictable. But I think that means that I'm about to get supremely busy. Which is OK with me, at least for now.

So, I still feel fairly unsure in my new role. Bonnie is helping me along, and I am very lucky to have a husband who understands far more of the business side than I do. I'm sure after a few months it will be no big thing, but for right now I feel like I'm in over my head. Which is what I expected:)

Once we get more furniture in the house and walls painted/wall paper stripped, I'll post some pictures on here:) Furniture comes September 17th!

Monday, August 12, 2013

New Beginnings

Back to this blog for a short (I hope) post. I'm sitting at one of my best friend's kitchen tables right now, thinking about everything that has happened and will happen in the next few weeks. It's been a crazy time. As most of you know, since I think only about 3 people read this, the follow up from my last post was not as Charlie and I would have hoped. I had a miscarriage in Ulan-Ude Russia, which went about as well as can be expected. We were fortunately able to finish the trip, and I'm feeling back to normal now except for the fact that a 2 mile run damn near kills me.

We got back to Columbus late last Thursday night, and have spent the last 3 days saying goodbye to many very special people. Max and Ellen, Billy and Nicole, Dominic and Katie. Shane and Sireesha are already gone to Wooster and starting their new life. It has been sort of bittersweet to be back. It is so good to see everyone one last time, but there is a finality to it. Being here without a house saying goodbye to everyone, I think it's been hard on both of us.

But I know that it must be done. Staying in Columbus was never the right decision for us, even though we love it so much. There are no jobs for Charlie and no good ones for me. Everyone in Nebraska is very excited about us coming, and it feels good to finally be moving to a place that it feels like we can put down some roots if we want.

So today, after my Ob/Gyn appointment, we head off. To Iowa City tonight, Omaha tomorrow for a few days, and then North Platte on Thursday so that we can close on our house. Hopefully our things come soon. And hopefully the transition to being an attending goes smoothly. It's nerve wracking, but there is only one thing to do... jump on in:)

Friday, May 31, 2013


I was debating whether or not to write this post. Whether to share my good/scary news, or whether to keep it to myself for a bit. It is sort of bittersweet in a way.

Just about three weeks ago now, I was sitting in my car, on the way home from the VA, and I had just found out that Charlie's brother Joe, and his sister-in-law Kelly, had had their baby. Ever since our last miscarriage, it has been hard for me to be happy for others who are expecting. Like truly happy. I can fake it, but inside I feel resentful and jealous, which are such unattractive emotions. Kelly and I found out that we were pregnant at almost exactly the same time. We were due on the same day, in fact. And we told each other about it when we went to Pittsburgh for the weekend. The following week she found out that everything was just fine, I found out that I was going to have my third D&C.

I was driving home and thinking, and I just started crying. Like really, really crying. I cried most of the way home. And the entire time, I was just thinking in my head and silently praying, asking God, pleading with God to give Charlie and I the chance to be parents. My surgery was in November, and I got the go-ahead in February to try again, and even though it was only a few months, I was getting discouraged.

It felt really good to cry like that, and I felt a lot better about my new niece after that. (She's super cute by the way!)

I didn't really think much of it. I just went on about my daily business, getting ready to move to Nebraska, trying to finish up residency, seeing patients.

Then, about a week ago, my breasts started to get really sore (sorry if that is TMI). I thought, "Hm. That's weird. That's never happened before except for after I knew I was pregnant." I tried not to get my hopes up, just brush it off and go on and not think about it. Then this morning my period was due. I was not always very regular, but in the last few years I have been like a clock for the most part. And it usually comes first thing in the morning. But I woke up and I felt fine. No cramps, nothing like that. So, on a whim, I got up, went to the bathroom, and took a pregnancy test.

It was positive. Like really positive. I didn't know whether to be happy or terrified. I think I was/am a little bit of both. With each new pregnancy comes a hope that maybe this one will be different. Maybe this will be the one to stick. There also comes a sinking feeling that there is a very real chance you may have to deal with a miscarriage yet again. And I think that if I miscarried again now, after my surgery, I would be especially upset, because even though it could be just by chance, I'm pretty sure my head would tell me that the surgery hadn't done anything and there was something else wrong, something that coulnd't be fixed.

But I couldn't help but think back to that tearful car ride and think that maybe, just maybe this was an answer to my tearful prayer.

Now I know that the timing is not great. I have one month left of residency, then Charlie and I are going on this big trip across a good part of the globe, but we always knew that this might happen. I told Mom a little while ago, I felt like I had to keep living my life, but I also felt that I was at a place in my life where I couldn't in good conscience prevent a pregnancy that I had wanted and hoped for a prayed for for so long. So one of the reasons we are going to Russia and not climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro (that was a close second) is because at least I will not be doing mountain climbing and there is no malaria or sleeping sickness and not so many parasites.

It's also not the best timing for me starting my new practice. Baby, if he or she comes, will be due at the beginning of February. That is exactly the time Dr. Shreck was planning on taking off. So we'll see how that pans out.

My first appointment is June 27th. I'm trying to remain positive and look at this as an answer to a prayer, and not worry about what is going to happen. I have no control over it anyways. I just wish I could fast forward a few weeks:)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Too much travelling...

Phew! Finally done with our whirlwind tour of the United States over the last few weeks. I've been meaning to post some pictures that we took while we were in Nebraska a few weekends ago. I know Mom in particular was looking forward to seeing what the house looked like:)

This is the front of the house
This is one side of the living room
The other side of the living room. You can see the dining room through the doorway.

Another picture of the living room, the first little sitting area would be behind me in this picture.
This is part of the kitchen. That's a butcher block counter top there, and the cabinets are all original from the house. There is even a bread drawer and a drawer for onions/potatoes/garlic.

This is the other side of the kitchen, the previous picture is behind me here. The door leads to a big pantry, I mean big. And that is another little sink for you to use.

This is another picture of the kitchen. The previous picture is now behind me, and the butcher block counter would be to the right. Do you see that amazing beautiful stove? Six burners, and a griddle on the stove top, PLUS a double oven! It is a Viking stove from the 1970's I think.

Master bathroom
One of the many bedrooms. I think this is the master.
Another bedroom. The bedrooms are all very big.

One blurry linen closet with built in shelving and drawers

Laundry room with utility sink

Another bedroom

Yet another bedroom

Our big ol' dining room

The den
 There are several more rooms that I did not take pictures of and several more bathrooms. This house is crazy big and we are never going to be able to fill it up.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


So, it's sort of embarrassing that I've been back for over two weeks and haven't taken a minute or two to post about my trip on my blog. But things have literally been so crazy. Sometimes when I take a step back from my life I have no idea how I manage to do it all. I don't mean that in a sort of, "Oh wow, look how awesome I am" kind of way, it just really seems almost comical sometimes.

Anyways, a few weeks ago I got to go to Gondar, Ethiopia for a week. The plan was to go with all of these surgical supplies and they were going to teach us how to do small incision extracaps, and we were going to teach them how to use the phaco machine they have. I spent weeks before hand applying for supplies and getting everything ready. We got it all in the nick of time and packed it all up. Then we got to Ethiopia... and they confiscated it all. Every last bit of it, including the phaco handpieces and the surgical instruments that we had gotten. It became a week long battle, and in the end we ended up leaving our stuff there in the hopes that eventually they might get the supplies. The government was just being ridiculous. Their people are starving to death, blind from cataracts, and they want us, or the University of Gondar, to pay almost $40,000 to get the stuff out of customs. Stuff that we did not pay a dime for. Insanity.

So, we never got our stuff. But our hosts were very gracious, and I, as the resident, did learn a lot about how they practice medicine and the struggles they face. Truely, it is humbling. The work they do makes what I do on a daily basis seem meaningless. 1.5% of adults in Ethiopia are blind, and of that 1.5%, 50% of them are blind due to bilateral cataracts. We're talking you-can-count-my-fingers-in-front-of-your-face-but-you-can't-read-the-chart blind.

First stop was Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. We stayed at the Harmony Hotel, which was pretty nice and near the airport. They had massages there, for about 200birr. With 1birr = $0.05, it was quite the deal. Since we ended up staying a day longer than we thought we would, I went ahead and splurged on one. I don't know if you can see or not, but the scaffolding is made out of wooden sticks. Not exactly as sturdy as i would want it to be to climb up there...

Taxi's in Addis

They had some museums - this is where Lucy, the oldest known human or whatever is from. The museums were about what I guess you would expect in Africa, but they were really some of the worst I've ever been to. Even in Peru and Brazil, which are poorer countries (especially Peru) they were nicer. But they also have a more robust tourist economy. Being in the horn of Africa does not help them much. So I didn't really take any pictures of the museums. The picture above, however, is the cathedral in Addis.

Ethiopia is actually mostly Christian. On the order of about 80%. And they've been Christian for a really, really long time (like as far back as the apostles some people think). They are orthodox Christian though, so though it has some similarities to Catholicism, it is not at all the same. It has a very arabic flare to it as well.

One thing I thought was really interesting (read comical) is how Ethiopians really think that most every significant event in history is related to Ethiopia in some way. For example, they think that Queen Sheba (aka the Queen of Sheba) went to Jerusalem to visit with King Solomon. While there she fell pregnant and had a son, who later became Emperor Menelik I. Menelik decided he wanted to meet his father, so he went to Jerusalem, and, as Ethiopian legend has it, he came back with the Arc of the Covenant. So they think the Arc is somewhere in Ethiopia. They also state that when Jesus, Mary and Joseph were fleeing King Herod, they took a little breather in Ethiopia before returning home. And that Jesus came after he died to Ethiopia for a bit.

In every Orthodox Christian church in Ethiopia (and maybe everywhere, I don't know) they have the holy of holys which is supposed to be a replica of the Arc of the Covenant that Menelik took from Jerusalem in the time of Solomon.

Truthfully though, they do have a very rich culture and history. Apart from some Italian occupation right before and during WWII, Ethiopia was never colonized by any European country. One of the oldest languages in the world, Ge'ez was developed in Ethiopia in about 2000 BC. From it came Arabic and Amharic (what is largely spoken in Ethiopia now), but the priests and monks in Ethiopia still read, write and speak Ge'ez.

Next stop was Gondar, the Camelot of Africa...

This is the airport in Gondar. It get maybe two flights per day from Addis, and that is just about it. Sort of reminds me of the airport in North Platte...

 So, this is why people come to Gondar. In the 1600's, Emperor Fasiladas decided he wanted to establish a new, permanent capital. And he chose Gondar. It really is beautiful, so you can sort of see why. So, he got to building. He built and built. This castle below was the largest, and the one he lived in. Emperors who came after him each built their own castles as well, but this is still the biggest.

It's sad, because they do not have the money to keep these buildings up. So many of them are falling into disrepair. UNESCO and others donate money to help, but it's really not enough, and they don't generate enough money from tourism to really help out at all.

One thing I thought was funny is they have saunas all over the place. Our guide finally explained why Ethiopians are so traditionally excited about saunas. It was the only way to keep the scabies away. The hot steam was the best thing they had to kill them. Yum.

That was all very impressive, and our guide was extremely loquacious as well as proud to be Ethiopian, so it was sort of exhausting. However, next he took us to this church. I have been to churches all over the globe, on several different continents, and never in my entire life have I ever seen a church this beautifully breathtaking. The entire inside is plastered with mud that was put up in the 18th century and then painted. Gondar used to have a lot of churches, but in the 19th century dervishes (yes, like a whirling dervish) came through from Somalia (they were Muslim) and burnt almost every church to the ground. The story goes that there was a swarm of bees that attacked them when they got to Debra Berhan Selassie Church and it was spared.

 It is really a pretty small church. And very dark inside. But absolutely amazing.

the ceiling
 The last part of our tour of the historical sights of Gondar was Fasiladas' Bath. This was sort of his summer home. If they want to, they let the river come in and fill the whole thing up like a swimming pool. Pretty impressive. These days they only do it for the Epiphany in January.

Believe it or not, we did actually do some surgery. Cataract surgery there costs about 500birr, or about $30. They do all of their surgery by extracap, which makes sense for them. The supplies are not that expensive, there isn't nearly the disposables, and it is a safer way to deal with hard lenses. The thing is, if someone has a complication from cataract surgery, that is it. They have no money to go to Addis and have surgery by a retina specialist or glaucoma specialist. If you mess up the surgery, that is it. The person is going to stay blind forever. Yikes. Pretty high stakes.

This was the front of the eye clinic. Right across the street from our hotel.

Every day they would get out all the supplies they needed and put them on this table. They they had little sterile grabbers they would use to grab things. They scrubbed once per day. They they would just keep their gloves on until it was time to start the next case, and then change gloves. They did not change gowns in between patients at all.

Despite their seemingly careless sterile techniques, they were very strict about their no-street-shoes-in-the-OR policy. And they did not have shoe covers. Well, they found 3 shoe covers that had been used by someone else. So Dr. Tandon got 2, and I got one. I got to wrap my other foot in a rag for the entire week. This was me, looking forlorn about my shoe rag.

This is the clinic waiting area. That guy on the end looks unexcited to be in the picture...
This is the operating microscope (one of the three). I don't think I saw them change the sheets on the beds once while we were there...

This is where the patients waited for surgery. They are all dressed and ready to go.

After they get their eyes numbed up, they lay here and wait for their turn
See, I did operate. That is one of the Ethiopian attendings by my shoulder, watching what I'm doing. They were way faster and better at extra caps than I was...
The obligatory O-H-I-O picture:)

Lastly, I've got some pictures from around Gondar. I'll try to explain each as I go. It was really like being in a different world all together. It was pretty safe though, I never really felt threatened, though I was also not doing a ton of wandering around.

The Goha Hotel. On the top of a mountain. By far the nicest place to stay in town.

View of Gondar from the Goha Hotel
Dr. Tandon, one of our hosts, and me, at the Goha Hotel.

Kids walking home from school

There were lots of random animals around - a lot of donkeys, goats, chickens, horses etc..

Herd of sheep on the street
Note the satellite dish...

Me, in the airport in Addis, eating injera one last time before we leave. Injera is the flat bread. It's kind of spongy and sour, but goes really well with the spicy meat they serve with it.

Our hotel in Gondar, pretty nice digs...

My room. Only two roaches found and a mosquito net since there are no screens on the windows, the window would not shut, and there is a lot of malaria...

Bathroom - only had hot water one day.

Pretty balcony at our hotel

Our coutyard. There was a restaurant too, which was nice because getting a taxi or a rickshaw was no easy feat...

Overall, it was a great time. I would love to go back, if we can find a way to more securely get our supplies in:)