Friday, January 30, 2009

January 29th

Today Jan 29 was our first full day at Chitokoloki and it was a bit overwhelming.  I started the day with devotions at the Maintainance Garage.  There were  four of us from North America and about 30 Zambian men.  The singing was excellent and it was nice to meet some of the guys I will be helping.  Justin is the foreman and he is excellent, knowledgeable of many different trades.
Gordon Hanna the mission administrator gave me a quick tour of the station.  It is one square kilometer, with 3 hospitals (emergency/surgical, outpaitient/overflow, leprosarium), close to 200 buildings, an airstrip, a school, all  on the banks of the Zambesi River.
We have not been down to the river as yet but hope to go tomorrow.
At 9 am Gordon gave Mary and I a tour of the outpatient hospital and the surgical hospital.  We watched as the surgeon removed a tumour from the carotid artery of a patient.  It was a three hour surgery, and then they stayed doing other surgeries to finish about 6pm.  The adminstrator was saying that this is the best equipped hospital north of Lusaka and all running on a generator.
Mary went back to our flat to meet the girl who will help boil our water and I went back to the Maintainance garage to meet Alex.  Alex is a worker/plumber who lives on the station with his wife and four children.  He has been working here for 2 years and really enjoys his work. We spent the day working on planning the plumbing and pipe fitting for a small guest house, (a converted stable called « the coachhouse »).  It is in various stages of construction,  wiring to be completed, tile for the floor, plumbing etc. to be completed by next Tuesday.  We will be  busy.
We had a horendous lightning storm yesterday that knocked out the VSat (internet) so I will likely post this when it comes up again.

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