GAGA-Ball in southern TogoWe have brought a little bit of camp life to the hospital compound here in southern Togo! We built a gaga ball pit for the kids to play in. Actually, the carpenters here at the shop built it after receiving the plans. They had no idea what they were creating! There is a gaga-ball pit in northern Togo thanks to our family who was working up there, now we have one, too. It's basically a big 8-sided walled-in play space which you use your hands to try to hit your opponents with a volleyball or similar... Or at least that's how the game is described to me!
The other kids had no idea what the game was until our boys showed them how to play. Now it is a regular recess activity and even the Togolese kids can be seen playing it. I think it's a hit!
|Agbe (left) and Kossi, the two carpenters who built the|
panels of the gaga ball pit.
|These panels are HEAVY!|
|Add some paint...|
|Beginning the assembly|
|and 'voila', there it is!|
Cuisine Construction update
The cuisine that had been started in the new year is now completed. This is building #1 of four. Throughout the next year the following three cuisine buildings will be constructed. I was away in Honduras (more on that below) during much of the construction so I only have 'beginning' and 'finished product' pictures. A big thanks to the CWE mission construction teams who came and helped for three weeks. They did a great job and we appreciate their efforts!
|The foundation is being prepared.|
This video is of Komla.
Komla had never used a wheelbarrow before joining us for this project. (Not his fault)
Komla is a menace with a wheelbarrow, to himself and others! (His fault)
Komla is very funny to watch - from a safe distance, even to this day - when he's got a death grip on both handles of a wheelbarrow. (Probably not his fault)
Komla goes as fast as he can regardless of the terrain, regardless of what he's got in the wheelbarrow, or who is in the way. (Definitely his fault)
Everyone just stays out of Komla's way... just for safety reason.
|The sidewalk around the building has just been poured in|
Hope To Walk, in Honduras
Zach Greenlee (a PA from California working here at the hospital) and I had the fantastic opportunity to go to Tegucigalpa, Honduras for a couple of weeks to learn how to make low-cost prosthetic legs for third world countries with an organization called Hope To Walk. Zach is the medical professional. I was there to learn the manufacturing side of the process, but we both ended up doing a lot of work fitting the prosthetics, manufacturing and celebrating as people would cautiously walk out of the Hope To Walk clinic. It was awesome to be a part of the process.
There were about 35 patients who received legs over the two weeks we were there. So many amazing stories. Watching a 50-something lady have to stop while walking around the little reception area, trying out her new leg, She couldn't see where she was going because of the tears of happiness... Little Andy, who outgrew his old leg, ready to take off again with is new one!
The opportunity to partner with Hope To Walk, to bring back freedom and independence to amputees here in Togo (and perhaps beyond) will be exciting to be a part of. We are prayerful it will develop strong roots here and many people will go from disabled back to able.
(Just for information: a regular prosthetic leg in North America can cost many thousands of dollars - up into the $15,000 + range. The most affordable prosthetic currently available in Togo is approximately 250,000 CFA or about $500 USD. We have projected the Hope To Walk leg to cost around $100 USD. With the low annual income people have to deal with here in Togo, most would go without a prosthetic of any sort. With a much more affordable option now available we hope to change that.)
|Zach, holding the foot used in this system.|
|Kid size up to adult, we can fabricate a|
below-the-knee prosthetic for all ages.
|Andy, the youngest recipient, was happy to |
be back on two feet!
|Our Togolese HBB / Hope to Wallk team with our first|
patient. So pleased with how these guys have caught on.
Now it's their program to run with.
And a few left over pictures that I hope you will enjoy.
|The coffee trees were in bloom in late January in togo.|
They smelled beautiful - not like coffee, but still beautiful!
|The sun setting on a dusty harmattan evening in the|
mountains behind our hospital.
|Heavy mist forming droplets on the mossy branches of|
trees in the Honduran mountains
|A couple of waterfalls we came across|
during a hike in La Tigra National Park,
outside Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
|Two long ABS pipes AND driving a moto... Skills!|
Only in Togo!!