Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A smile communicates more than words

Falls resulting in arm or leg fractures rarely happen close to Kudjip.  They happen where the people live, in their homes, in their villages, and too often in the deep bush - which can be a few days walk away.

This little girl was trying to get a fruit from a tree she had climbed and fell and broke her arm.  They live hours from Kudjip, but dad and his 2 girls, started walking and made the journey in about 2 days.  By the time they got here, her arm was so swollen, and the bones so displaced by the trauma, that we couldn't fix her up right away.  We hung her arm up from an IV pole, elevating it, giving time for the swelling to go down after a few days.  With the swelling down, the bones went a lot easier into place.  Despite the pain, and being in an unfamiliar place, there were few tears, but instead a huge smile.

Their understanding of Tok Pisin (the trade language of PNG) wasn't the best, but we were able to get by, her smile telling me everything I needed to know.  She was doing great and ready to walk back home and be reunited with the rest of her family.