Friday, May 18, 2012

Notes 5/17/12

Photos this week are from our trip to visit our youngest son when he was in the Peace Corp in Kyrgystan... The photos are a mismatch to the content of my blog this week - but I chose them because they reminding me of great travel experiences shared with my wife Judy.

A.  Judy's operation and recovery

1.  MONDAY 1:25 pm: I have been sitting in the hospital waiting room while my wife Judy had now been in surgery for over 4 hours now. There is a TV screen in one corner with patient information showing in three colors ...pre-surgery, in surgery, and in recovery room.  Judy should be coming out of surgery any time now. It is an anxious time to sit and wait...According to the monitor there are 16 other surgeries going on at the same time and the families and friends of the patients are all waiting with me

2. 1:40 The surgeon came out and told me that she was pleased with the surgery and Judy was doing fine!  What a relief.  While the procedure was not for a serious life-threatening situation, the quality of Judy's daily life will be improved. It was done using remote monitoring, two small incisions in her abdomen, miniature camera and remote controlled arthroscopic surgical tools!  Amazing!  I went in to sit with Judy while she came out of her anesthetic - another hour.  Each sleeping patient has an RN sitting with them observing the data as it appears on a TV monitor.   - She will spend this first night in the hospital. 

Judy in Gazebo

3.  TUESDAY: The hospital released Judy at 1 pm today and she is now resting at home under my watchful care and three somewhat subdued dogs that seem to realize that "their Judy" is not able to be as playful as usual.  Friends have brought over tasty good food, and I have done my best to prepare delicious food too.  Neither Judy nor I like to take any more pain med than necessary and so she is attempting to go "cold turkey" today.  She is in surprisingly good humor considering all that she has been through.

Market Bazaar
4.      THURSDAY:  Now the challenge is not to return to normal activity too quickly.  Judy is by nature an active person and I keep telling her to be a little patient with herself - go slow... not easy for her... In this situation she is however quite attentive to the needs of her body ...most of the time...there are things she wants to do...

We are so thankful that the procedure went well, and that her recovery seems to be progressing on cue. 

5.  FRIDAY - Judy made her first outing on her own today - she had a hair appointment and then went to visit a favorite gelato shop that had closed for remodeling and was now holding a grand reopening.   She still gets very tired at times but is showing steady improvement.
When you travel, you must hire a car and driver... here he buys gasoline

B.  Solar Eclipse: Check this map ( link below )  to see if you live anywhere along the path of the solar eclipse on Sunday May 20th - we won't have a total eclipse here in Fremont, but quite a good partial eclipse.  There is something very primal about seeing the sun lose its light in mid day - Eclipses have long been seen as sinister or a "sign" of something usually bad that is impending.  

A wooden mosque - this is a Muslim land
Look at the facts

1.   The eclipse is caused by the moon passing between the sun and earth, casting its shadow onto the earth.

2.  The shadow covers only a narrow strip as it works its way across the surface of the earth.

Traditional summer yert - used by nomadic herdsmen - still in frequent use
3.  Eclipses have occurred somewhere on earth at predictable intervals for as long as the moon has travelled around the earth.  The human response to eclipses is fascinating!
Primitive people knew and dreaded there occurrence.
In pre-modern Asia - it was said that a dragon was eating the sun...

"Fast food" market - BBQ grills kebobs

Judy and I last experienced an eclipse when we were in Samarkand... people there crashed metal pans together to end the magic of the eclipse. Judy and I went around like two teachers telling everyone not to look at the sun ( which  many were doing ).
Even today, there are regular predictions that an eclipse is an indicator for the approach "end times" -

Blocks of animal dung to be burnedin kitchen heating and cooking

Something to do during our eclipse: Do you recall how a pinhole camera works?  Light enters a small  hole and forms an image on the screen ( like a camera ) .  The same thing happens normally when sunlight passes between small holes between the leaves of a tree. Round images of the sun are shown on the ground underneath a tree.  They are called "sun circles". Notice them now before the eclipse.  During the eclipse the images formed under the tree will not be round but crescent - each on an image of the eclipsed sun!   Look during this eclipse - it will amaze you!
Rice merchants

I"m sure you remember not to look at an eclipse directly with your eyes - don't try to use smoked glass, photographic film, or dark sun glasses... None of these can protect you from permanent eye damage.    It only takes a moment to scar your retina! There are special solar viewing filters  that you can buy or welders glasses for safe viewing. Go to a shop that sells welders supplies and ask for #14 welder's glasses - they cost about 5-6 $.
Kyrgystan has 4 major ethnic groups: Kyrgyz, Usbek, Chinese muslims, and Russians -
... this man is Russian

Eclipse links:

We spent a few hours collecting wild mushrooms - good for a mushroom and meat stew!