Friday, February 25, 2005

February 23

I make regular visits to the hospital in Vitina and the clinics in the area. This day was the nicest we have had yet. The snow melted, the sun came out and it warmed up nicely. The good weather combined with the market day in Pozaranje made for some crowded streets.

Two characteristics of homes and businesses are that they never seem to be finished buildings and they have grand stairs without hand rails for entrances.

The roads and streets are filled with every form of transportation - large trucks and expensive luxury cars down to lawnmower engine powered contraptions (affectionately known by KFOR as Kosovo Harleys) and horsedrawn wagons.

This is "Big Duke", the view from Camp Bondsteel. I imagine I'll spend many months trying to get the perfect picture.

MEDCAP part 2

More pictures from Feb 11...

Another home

A sunbathing beauty

A spring. Klokot was named for the sound the water makes when it bubbles to the surface. The dominant industries are related to water. Not far from here is a spa where they claim the water heals and a water bottling plant. In the field just out of view to the left is a natural pool where residents come to bathe. Those that don't have water in their homes come here with plastic bottles to fill. I'm told that when the snow melts I'll see a lot of garbage. In this area there were a lot of old plasic bottles littered around.

A pig rooting through the garbage near the spring.

A wood shed. Wood is the primary way of heating homes. There's a healthy black-market in cutting wood in Macedonia and selling it in Kosovo.

A hay loft.

Back at the school playground older kids and young men play soccer. The building with three doors in the background is the bathroom - no plumbing inside the school.

The kids' drawings in the school window.

One of the classrooms. Nobody cleared the room out for us to use... this is how it is every day. No books, no computers, no pencils, no paper. According to the documentation I have, this is one of the better schools in our area - only because it has electricity and a good roof.

MEDCAP part 1

These are pictures I took of the MEDCAP and during a break on February 11th

Most of the kids were pretty friendly but turned aggressive if they thought they could get something from you... candy, food, a pen, clothing, etc. This cute little girl was probably the only well-behaved kid there.

The periodic table of the elements written freehand. I didn't see very many teaching materials. This is one of the few things that was created for use in the classroom.

I met the KFOR medical advisor:

The guy in uniform is a member of the TMK. The TMK is like our National Guard, except they don't have weapons. Their job is to provide services in time of need, so we use them to do patient admin and health screening before patients see a doctor, dentist or optometrist.

My medical operations NCO handing out candy to some kids before they became an unruly mob.

This is in the front hall of the school where a few people could wait to see the doctor. This generation dresses pretty traditionally. The school is heated by a small wood stove in each room. It was so cold out that the building was only slightly warmer than outside.

Despite how cold it was, kids were still running around without jackets, gloves or warm boots... probably because they don't own any.

At the entrance we posted our Red Cross flag. The little kid with me was intent on being in every picture taken.

This house is just across the street from the school. Every once-in-a while an old lady (in a scarf, sweater, skirt, apron and boots) would come out to feed the chickens.

This is down the street from the school. It's common to see corn stalks stacked like this.

A shot further down the street. Everyone seems to have a stone wall of varying quality to define their property. Even the poor looking ones are impressive.

someone's home

Day one in Kosovo

The morning of my first full day in Kosovo, the outgoing Medical Operations team took me out for an area tour.

This picture is the Medical Operations NCO, translator, Medical Operations Officer. The translator has worked for medical team on the last six rotations and will continue to work with me. She's invaluable with her knowledge of the medical community, past work, and culture.

The school in Klokot where we had our MEDCAP (Medical Civil Assistance Program) on February 11.

This is the Vitina Health House. It's the main clinic in the Vitina Municipality and oversees the rest of the clinics in the municipality. The ambulance was donated by KFOR - it used to be an Air Force ambulance.

This is the third floor hallway in the Health House where the the maternity ward is located.

A toilet in the Health House. I've heard this style referred to as a Roman toilet.

This factory/warehouse is in a remote valley. During the war uniforms were made here.

We stopped for coffee at this cafe in a remote village.

In Klokot we pulled a truck from the ditch.