Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were operating days in Montenegro. Mat operated on adults the first two days and then on children the last day.
He was able to show the doctor's a few surgeries they could do at their own hospital so that patients wouldn't have to travel to Belgrade, Serbia to seek treatment. The doctors were hesitant, but after Mat assured them that this simple surgery for ptosis repair was easier than other surgeries they were already doing, they finally caved in and gave it a try.
One gal, about the age of 16, last one on the right, needed some ptosis repair (an eyelid that droops down covering half of the eye). Mat explained in English that if he could just give her localized anesthetic around her eye and not put her all the way out, then he could get the eye almost perfect. If she was completely out, he would be guessing how high to put the eyelid and it might not look as well. When the doctor started to translate it to the young girl, her eyes got real BIG. She was already nervous and she did not want to be awake for the surgery. Her dad chimed in with his painful war stories and how he pushed through it and then the doctor added her recovering stories. They soon stepped out into the hall and Mat and I just shot each a glance because we didn't know what they had said. A few minutes later, the doctor comes back in laughing and we asked her to explain. She said, "The father wants me to make sure you know the Montenegrins are not cowards. He didn't want any Americans thinking they were cowards!" Mat and I had a good laugh. PS: When the young girl arrived for surgery that day, Mat watched her suck down three cigarettes, one right after the other and then she announced that she was ready. Mat said she did fabulous and I think she'll be very happy that she had it done.
On Tuesday, we had a press conference over the lunch hour. The newspaper and TV cameras were supposed to be there, but they got held up on an accident. They presented LDS Charities with an award and wanted to recognize them for their donation and for Mat's time to train their doctors. There was a nice little write up in several newspapers the next day.
While Mat worked away.....
I took pictures and hung out with the senior missionaries, the Westwoods.
I did a little shopping...
Look at these cute Union Jack Chucks!
And these dress shirts for Mat which he really needed. Montenegrins are tall so the shirts fit, unlike Vietnam.
I ate lots of European chocolate and pastries
And I experienced my first Montenegrin pilates class. I think it was my highlight. The teacher was so cute and I could understand everything she was saying because she over dramatized the movements and forms. After class a gal translated for us back and forth. Kinsa ( K is pronounced like Kx) said I did very well and that I had a strong body (I think she meant flabby, must have gotten lost in translation) She would not accept ANY payment. She said "Come anytime you are visiting Montenegro. You are always welcome" So nice and it made me feel good.
I also was told that the houses used to look like this drabby gray on the left and in just in the last little while they have started to paint their houses bright colors of blue, orange, white... I'm so glad! It gives Montenegro a pop.