Kim says: Canadian girls rock!

The Huang family newsletter

The French take their school breaks very seriously. There are regular discussions and debates regarding the proper “scholarly rhythm” for ideal academic achievement – but for the French, it’s generally understood that students shouldn’t go more than a couple months without a two-week break. Since our language school follows the regional primary school calendar, we too get an embarrassing number of school holidays. Like most other students au centre, we’ve done our best to enjoy the time: there was a week spent in Catalonia (right when they declared independence), and the week with our parents in Paris (coinciding with Chinese New Year). Ah, and of course, there were those two weeks around Christmas where Kimberley was busy being delivered of a daughter.

Said daughter pictured here

We recently finished our two-week-long spring break, marking the end of our second trimester in language school. This time, anDrew decided to return to east Africa. He visited the team at Kibuye Hope Hospital in Burundi for a week, marking his third visit to that particular location since 2015. He spent most of his time in the operating theatre, performing a various range of plastic surgery cases while trying out his French with Yves, a Congolese surgeon working in Burundi for six months. Thereafter, he joined the Samaritan’s Purse cleft team to Juba, South Sudan, for a week. It was his first time joining this particular short-term miȿsίǫnʂ team (though the team itself has made half-a-dozen annual trips to South Sudan previously.) With three operating tables inside a single air-conditioned room at Juba Teaching Hospital, the team performed 87 cleft lip operations in Africa's newest country. (For those who like aviation, patients came from throughout the country and were flown into Juba from dirt airstrips by one of three airplanes belonging to Samaritan’s Purse: a DC-3, a Cessna Caravan, and a King Air, all based at Eldoret HKEL.)

The DC-3 parked at Nairobi Wilson airport. This plane, originally built in 1945, has undergone a Greenwich STC conversion with two PT6-65AR turboprop engines and an extended fuselage.

This is the sort of stuff that makes for really good newsletters: medical mίƨsiọns in remote places, doing life-changing surgery, fixing kids’ facial deformities, and exchanging skills with other surgeons in various faraway African countries. You can read more inspiring stuff from professional writers about our friends in Burundi, or about the miȿsίǫn to South Sudan.

anDrew performs an orofacial cleft repair at Kibuye Hope Hospital in Burundi alongside Yves and Patricia, two general surgeons temporarily assigned there

But behind all the inspiring stuff lies a different story, one that doesn’t get told as frequently. It’s the story of what has to happen behind the scenes. And this time—behind the scenes of anDrew’s trip to Africa—there is Kimberley, Nolan, and Solène staying in France. It’s all well and good that anDrew gets to travel and operate and do fun things, but that leaves Kimberley to deal with two young children—one a rambunctious toddler, one a tiny infant—all by herself for two weeks.

After anDrew’s rather prolonged trip last year, it didn’t seem right to leave Kimberley all by herself with the children and no daycare or nanny for two straight weeks. So we asked for help; in fact, we begged for help. We pleaded, wheedled, and cajoled. And then, help came.

Genève, Suisse

They came from far away: from Kentucky, from British Columbia, from Ontario. They are our friends and (in some cases) Kimberley’s bridesmaids. They came for a week a time, four of them in total, overlapping in such a way that she was never more than a few hours without her friends around her. They helped with cooking, cleaning, shopping, entertaining, playing, potty-training, and bath time. They shared meals and beds. They spent their own money and precious vacation time to come, to visit, to help, to encourage, and to support.

It was a grand blessing.
In a way, their trips to Albertville during our spring break were a microcosm of our situation in general. We are but sitting on the top of a grand pyramid of support – from families, from friends, from chựrcɧẻs, from neighbours, from colleagues, and even from strangers. Without your encouragement and help, we wouldn’t have stepped out of our comfortably heated Saskatoon apartment. But to try to do the things we want to do and to try to serve the people we aim to serve, there are many more untold stories from behind the scenes.
They are your stories – the stories that led you to read this, encourage us, and think of us.

And to Lisa, Amari, Cindy, and Shay: Du fond du cœur, merci. Vous êtes les bienvenues chez nous à tout moment!

And now...for some family pictures!

Nolan turned 3! anDrew was unfortunately tucked away in a Juba operating theatre, but Nolan was keen to celebrate with Toby John, his self-declared "best friend." Toby and his family will be going to Kibuye Hope Hospital in Burundi, the same place that anDrew visited during spring break.
Solène recently received her four-month shots, and she is accumulating increasingly large and cute amounts of fat in her cheeks, both facial and gluteal.
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Copyright © 2018 The Huang Dynasty, All rights reserved.

This newsletter is about Andrew, Kimberley, Nolan and Solène Huang: their journey from the US to Canada to France and, ultimately, to Bongolo Hospital in Gabon, West Africa, with the Post-Residency Program of Samaritan's Purse (World Medical Mission).

The views and opinions expressed here are solely ours, and they do not necessarily represent those of Samaritan's Purse or World Medical Mission.

In France: The Huang Dynasty PO Box 820152 Vancouver, WA 98682 USA

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