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March - April Update
Stewart & Anna-Claire Cusick

That last months have been FULL and we find ourselves the busiest we have been since we arrived in Ecuador.  That not a complaint necessarily but at least from Stewart’s part but it has been tough at times.  Hopefully this update doesn’t sound like a list of complaints, we are still enjoying ourselves and definitely starting to be useful in our jobs.
Click here if you would like a printer friendly version of the update.

Ask and you shall receive!!

Stewart was asking for prayer for more responsibilities in the hospital and God provided in abundance!  He was asked to look after the IT systems in the hospital, which is ironic as, after school, he had applied to do computer engineering at university but instead deferred a year to do engineering.  So other than a 1-week work placement at 17 he hasn’t much experience, but he was the most qualified in the hospital!  He also has a support guy in Quito who set up the system.  However, 3 days after receiving this position a lightning strike took out the network in the hospital and the houses as well as the x-ray equipment.  Thankfully he wasn’t asked to sort the X-ray equipment but he did spend the last month finding routers, computers, switch boards etc that were burnt out and needed replaced.
It was truly a baptism of fire and quite stressful but helped him to demonstrate to the new director his ability to problem solve and learn on the spot.  He now is helping to develop the testing system in labs, improve the process by which pharmacy operates, as well as being getting involved with improvements for the patient records system and updating all the computers.  The list of things to do is a bit endless but he is really enjoying the work and it is helping him to practice his Spanish with more people.  Let’s just hope his enthusiasm to change and improve everything doesn’t tire people out or annoy them.
Some more photo of Anna-Claire and her work in the schools and around the community.

And so the paper work continues…

We said it in the last update but it’s definitely true the first year of being a junior doctor in the UK is easier than the rural year in Ecuador.  The hardest part is the paperwork.  Why a first-year doctor is lumped with applying for all the insurance claims is incomprehensible.  When they already have to give talks in schools, do community visits, help with vaccination schemes, right reports etc etc.  And on top of all that they have to still see patients in the clinic everyday and all without the support of a senior medic.  So they don’t have to do night shift but not being able to take a days’ vacation for 6 months kind of evens it up!  Its not all bad, and she still feels like she can really give back to the community and is also able to help train the current crop of doctors with the experience and training she has received in the UK.

A bit of a break from the norm, next week AC is off on another brigade to a jungle community that we first visited, called Meshiant.  She is going as part of her job in the MSP (Ministerio de Salud Publica) but also in conjunction with the organisation she has went with before, Voz y Manos.  There will be another doctor from Hospital Shell going, a pastor, a health promotor from Voz y Manos, a dentist and a nurse from the MSP.  We will give you an update next time on how it went, but please pray for the work and that this would help build stronger ties between the 3 organisations and the community.

Other stuff

We also manged to get ourselves a mode of transport as you can see above.  This has been a real blessing as we have been able to get about with more freedom and escape from our jobs.  Unfortunately, Stewart didn’t make it clear how rusty his motorbike skills are (if he even ever had any!) and it’s been a bit hairy at times!  He has got his Ecuadorian license which required him to take a 1-week course with a local school where he rode round in a circle for 2 hours every day!  After that he had to do a written test at a government office with 20 questions, he was pretty chuffed with his 19 correct answers.

On top of that we had 2 celebrations in the hospital, one for the opening of the new housing for patient family members which you can see the images below of the completed renovations.  The houses also have a new guardian who lives on site and a 2 families have stayed in the accommodation since they opened.  You can see some images of the complete project below.
The final party was for Dr Wolff’s and Stewart birthday, all the staff gathered after work one day to celebrate.  It was mainly for Dr Wolff as next month is his last month of work in the hospital before he retires but Stewart managed to get a present and some cake out of it!
One more thing, we have a small update video if you would like to watch it just click here and download it.  If you have been reading our newsletter it probably won’t tell you much more but it’s a good summary and has few videos of the hospital and town.
Prayer Requests
  • Prayer for AC’s visit to the community, that the collaboration between organisation and community would run smoothly and really help to develop closer ties.
  • For Stewart that he would remain patient with the work he wants to do and that he would remember that building relationships is more important than solving the problem.
  • As we approach the 3/4 mark on our time here that God would really make it clear to us our calling, be it here in Shell or elsewhere.
  • Prayer for Stewart as in May he will take his first devotional in the morning in the hospital in Spanish in front of patients and staff and he is a little nervous!
We are extremely grateful for all your loving prayers and support.
Please become part of our work
For those of you who are interested in our support group feel free to contact Hannah Das  We meet once a month via zoom for prayer and a catch up.  We love to hear about peoples lives back home so please join us.
Support Link
Please see our contact information below.

Ecuador Tel: +593989899371

UK Tel: +447821224993
Ecuador Tel: +593989890445

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Stewart and Anna-Claire Cusick
Hospital Shell
Calle Asunción Cueva

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