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Uganda Spine Surgery Mission – Day 8

UGANDA DAY 8

Today was the team’s off day, which meant a much more relaxing start to the day. Drs. Lieberman and Hisey did pop over to the hospital for a quick round with recovering patients. They brought  Michelle our new physical therapist along so she could meet the Ugandans she’ll be assisting over the next month! All the patients were excited to have her here to help in their recovery! Michelle even remained at the hospital to get a jump start on the physio and hopefully get these folks back on their feet as quickly as possible!

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Dr. Lieberman returned to the hotel to lead the entire team in a morning Pilates class. A very confused group of hotel staffers watched on, whispering, chuckling and even applauding. We would have asked them to join in, but we don’t need anymore spine injuries here. Dr. Hisey enjoyed the session, but noted afterwards that “for most of these poses, my stomach gets in the way.” Luckily that hasn’t stopped him from kicking a football around with the locals, which he’s done on multiple occasions!

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Team 2 led by Dr. Shane Burch had finally arrived at the hotel after a long 26 hours of travel. The two teams met up quickly, with our team offering little gems of wisdom like “make sure you always carry toilet paper with you” and “don’t order the ‘Texas chilly burger’ at the hotel restaurant” (we learned all these lessons the hard way). The exchange was quick as our team promptly boarded the van en route for a day of sightseeing and touristy shenanigans through the heart of Uganda.

But we couldn’t hit the road without filling up the tank first.

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Holy Shillings! I thought gas was expensive back home!

Our first stop was the equator. We all took pictures standing in the equator markers, one foot in each hemisphere! We also got a demonstration of the Coriolis effect, the effect of earth’s gravity on draining water to spin a certain direction. The demonstration was done with large tin funnels. The team was split on whether the effect is real, or simply a swindler’s trick… but it doesn’t really matter cause our money went down the drain both ways and backwards.

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The team then popped into a roadside restaurant called “what’s your mother?” to which Josh replied “sweet as sugar.” Up first was a sampling of various “chip” dishes (french fries). Cheese chips, Masala chips and regular boring old fried chips. Everybody chipped in to devour the plates. The team promptly finished main courses and downed the moderately cold beers. We’ve come to learn that “cold” is relative term.

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A sampling of chip platters

Last stop was a crocodile farm which was only accessible by a 10 km dirt road that had more bumps than Zoe’s arms (she’s a real mosquito magnet). The farm houses over 3000 alligators. 2997 tiny ones, and 3 godzilla sized ones named Romeo, Juliet and Benjamin… you would have thought they’d go with Tybalt, especially given the love triangle brewing between the amorous amphibians, but I guess “Benjamin” has a nicer ring to it. The team took turns handling some of the smaller ones, Dr. Silverstein was a natural, a regular old alligator whisperer, having grown up in the lawless swamps of Florida.

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Exhausted, dirty and covered in croc poop (which is apparently good luck), the lucky volunteers climbed back aboard the bus for a long ride home.

Quote of the day:

As we finished lunch and prepared to head out to the crocodile farm, Our young OBGYN in training Zoe pronounced “let’s croc and roll!”

And that we did!

To support the Uganda Spine Surgery Mission visit: http://www.ugandaspinesurgerymission.com

Texas Back Institute