New Doctors Arrive to Teach

The group outside class.

The Barefoot Dr. training program is off to another busy week. We had two new instructors join us this week. Dr. Susan McDowell and Dr. Bruce Gross will be taking on much of the teaching the final two weeks of this program.
Dr. Bruce Gross teaching.
Dr. Susan McDowell

Dental education is always an important subject. Unfortunately, we do not have any dentist to help with the Barefoot Dr. training. This is a huge need in the villages of Burma. The medical instructors did a great job educating on dental hygiene and how to treat infections. There were 3 of the students who had dental needs so severe that they needed to be sent to a dentist in Chiang Mai Thailand. They had to miss some class to get some teeth extracted. As usual, we used the cases to educate the rest of the class. If you look at the pictures of two of the teeth extracted you can see why this could not wait. The need for extraction and the pain the students had after will help the rest of the class know the importance of prevention. It also taught them how to manage post extraction pain and care.

Tooth extracted from student.
tooth extracted from student 

Student presenting on a medication. 
The bulk of the medications came in on Tuesday! We are still waiting for a few things but should have them well before the students go home. Unfortunately, the “Cure kits” that were sent from USA with some many of the non-medications medical supplies are stuck in customs in Bangkok. Please pray we get the Cure Kits to the students and released from Thai Customs.
Medication arrived!

Sun church-

Everyone after church

Pastor/translator Timothy preaching.

Students singing at church.
Sunday was a nice relaxing morning with simple but powerful church service. Just the students, teachers and local leaders. It is amazing how good the students are at singing. All they had was their voices and a guitar but it sounded awesome. Real genuine worship. I tried to post a video but it would not work. Attached are a few pictures to give an idea.

The most powerful part were the 2 testimonies from the students. One was about how he has wanted to be a Barefoot Dr. for many years but he was never on the list of accepted students. Through many hard times he almost gave up and then heard the good news that he was accepted this year! It was still a difficult road to get here between long travel and financial concerns but he made it. The experience only deepened his faith in God and he is so excited to be here! This level of excitement helps insure he will stick with these duties as a Barefoot Dr. many years into the future.

Student testimony of Gods protection.
The second student testimony was about a very scary experience. She worked in the new capital city of Naypyidaw. The city is known for its very sparse population and she describes streets that are empty in the evenings. One such evening she was walking by herself leaving work. She saw something up ahead and thought it was a dog because she did not have her glasses. As she got closer it turned out to be 3 teenage boys who started to harass her. They started to follow her and continued harassing her slowly becoming more aggressive. She remembered a bible verse that tells us to be strong in our faith of God and he will be with us. She was praying desperately as there was no one around and she knew there was not going to be anyone else to help her. Suddenly one of the boys said to the others, “she has a knife!” “We might get something from her but she could cut us.”  The boys stopped the pursuit and she was safe. The miraculous part was that she did not have a knife only her cell phone in her hand. She is convinced that God protected her made the boys see a knife. The very next day and at the same time there was a man who the boys attacked and they robed him of his cell phone, watch, and whatever else they could get. 
The experience deepened her faith and dedication to get the Barefoot Dr. training to help others.

Another delicious meal together after church.

Night Bazaar

View looking into the truck/bus
Saturday night all the students and a couple of us instructors went to the Night Bazaar in the city of Chiang Mai. We all piled into two yellow “buses” but really they are covered pickup trucks with benches built in. It was fun to do some shopping and visit the night market. It is a rare experience for most of the students so very exciting. Jung, the local director, treated them to ice cream! Spirits are high again although the students are missing their homes.

Riding the truck/bus to the night bazaar. 
Riding the truck/bus to the night bazaar.
View looking out the open back of the truck/bus

Students at the night bazaar

Game night

Friday night everyone took some time out to relax and play games. A good time was had by instructors and students alike.

Get the right number in the group.

Bollon stomping game for the boys.

Singing before we eat.

Skeleton in the closet

We found a skeleton in the closet
News Flash- Christian Village Heath Education program has a “skeleton in the closet!”

Sorry mainstream media, no dirt here. You see, the teaching skeleton or what is left  of him, has been missing for several weeks since the Barefoot Dr. training program began. No one knew where he was. Then we discovered a locked metal cabinet but no one could find the key. Late Friday night the decision was made to break into the closet and there he was. Now Javier, as the skeleton is known, can take his rightful place on the wall of the classroom. It is actually an important part of the education as it gives a chance for tactile learning and not just visual. We do our best to use all different types of teaching techniques to facilitate the best learning environment. This includes audio, visual, tactile, and interaction. 

Javier hanging out in the classroom.
Student excited to see the skeleton.

Friday Quiz and student presentations

Student presenting to the class on a medication.
We started out the day with a student presentation on a medication they will have access to when they go back to Burma. One student presentation everyday. They do amazingly well talking in front of the group compared to past classes or even western collage students.  Then the lecture continued with Genitals and STD’s. This subject is taking longer than we planned but so very important as Burma is exploding with more sexual exploitation and sexually transmitted diseases due to it opening up to outsiders a few years ago. An influx of western tourist with lots of money has increased the risk of related dangers.

Student teaching on medication.
Overall this group is doing extremely well. We are starting to focus more on problem solving rather than just learning book knowledge. For example, this morning the book recommended a particular antibiotic but it is not one they will have in their medical kits. They were asked to figure out what would be a comparable medication that they will have in their kits. It took a few minutes but they arrived at the correct answer! This indicates they are starting to put it together and we will continue this focus for the rest of the program.

A different student presenting on a medication. 
Taking the quiz
In the afternoon was the Friday quiz. This is not just to test the knowledge level but used as an additional teaching tool. All the questions are reviewed right after the test. The audience response system is used to instantly show all the students answers on the projector. This leads to some great heated discussions about why student picked the answer they did. This fosters a deeper understanding of the material and critical thinking skills.
Taking the quiz

Today we had everyones full attention

Home cooked Asain buffet every day!
Lunch !

Things are going well. After some encouragement and working in small groups the students seem to be in much better spirits. Psychological counseling tips were helpful for the students and will be as they go back to their villages after the program.

The teaching today started on the genitals and basic sex ed. This is always a subject of much interest and this year is no different. 

We always hear interesting things from the students. For instance, this year one of the students told us that there was a belief in some of the hill tribes that if someone had twins that they were evil so they would kill them. Nurse Betty eloquently explained that no baby is born evil. To back this claim up from a biblical perspective she pointed out that the devil cannot create human life and therefore cannot cause an infant to be evil. Only God can create life and He does not create evil things. Since the students are all Christians this seemed to make since on spiritual level. Teaching the medical side of how twins come about will help demystify the rare occurrence and help explain away any dangerous superstitions about twins.