Here’s lookin’ at you!

May 5, 2010

Is there anything more shocking than a meat market in a third world country? Drawing from yesterday’s excursion, I give an emphatic No! Pierre, Joel, Jane (a short-term ophthalmic nurse) and I trekked to the open-air food bazaar. Slabs of pink and red flesh sweat in the afternoon heat, and flies feast on every sort of animal body part you can imagine. But, believe it or not, we had come here to make a purchase! Pierre gave our order to a butcher at a far stall. Before you could say hamburger, *Pop! Pop!* out came both eyes from the cow head propped on his concrete counter. The price then quoted for a pair of eyeballs was ridiculously high (yovo prices, tsk tsk). We walked away, but the butcher’s ensuing fury–after all, who would now want his cow head without the eyes?!–persuaded us to pay for our peepers and skeedaddle.

Wednesdays are training days for our translators, so this morning we turned our grotesque find into a wildly fun anatomy lesson! Everyone sliced and poked and squished. I managed to snag some expired IOLs (intraocular lenses) from the OR, and soon enough Joel was teaching the group to perform cataract surgery. I was tickled to watch a third grade science experiment cause such fascination:

“Papa” Pierre oversees Isaac’s scalpel technique:

I was curious if someone would ask to bring home the pieces, but alas, there were no takers. Eyeball soup, anyone?

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3 Responses to “Here’s lookin’ at you!”

  1. Whistler said

    ha, do you ‘see’ the irony of ya’ll having an ophthalmic nurse & leaving eyeballs 🙂
    in honor of the window to the soul, Eye* shall buy a vowel to add to your “tIsk tIsk” & spell it this way henceforth in any & all of my literature.

    • Whistler said

      if you vote for the Eye-rony, please post…
      but in my humble opinion, i think the Eyes have already had it 🙂

      ok, I’ll stop now.
      good eve to ya & all your Mercy Ship buddies Alana!

  2. Shanthi jayakumar said

    Alana,
    You are really into anatomy!! Good for you. As Dr Suess would say “Oh the places you will go….” You have done some amazing things in the last few months and I am sure that you are probably surprised and pleased with yourself!
    Kudos again.
    Cheers!
    -Shanthi.

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