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This is the newsletter where we try to explain things.

The Huang family newsletter

In the 18 months or so since we started sending out the Huang Family Newsletter, we’ve added quite a number of new readers: so for you, we’d like to present our ever-popular general FAQ (updated October 2018 for maximum freshness!)
What are you guys doing?

We have joined World Medical Mission, the medical branch of the charity organization Samaritan's Purse. World Med specializes in sending out North American physicians for short-term trips to mission hospitals around the world.

So you're going on a short-term mission trip?

Sort of. World Med has a program specifically designed for doctors immediately out of their residency training, called the Post-Residency Program. This program places doctors fresh out of residency into established mission hospitals for two years.

So you’re going for two years?

Well, this did not include our language training, which added about another year. So our total time with World Med is about three years.

Wait, you guys already went to language school?

Yes, we spend the 2017-2018 school year in Albertville, France, a town close to the Swiss and Italian border.  We completed 10 months of French language study at the Centre d’enseignement du français.

Are you guys really fresh out of residency? Didn't you guys finish residency awhile ago?

anDrew did. He finished his residency in 2012, and then his fellowship in 2013. However, Kim finished her residency in 2016, and then completed her fellowship in 2017. We left for France a couple months later.

I forget: Where are you guys from? Or where’d you go to school?

This simple question sort of has a complicated answer. 

anDrew is from Portland, Ore. However, after high school, he went to Penn State University for college, and then attended Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He completed his residency at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, Calif., before doing a fellowship at St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri. Oh, and in between, there was a gap year during his residency spent at Kapsowar Hospital in Kenya, which is where he met Kimberley.

Kimberley was born in Taipei, Taiwan, but went to high school in Burnaby, BC. Her undergraduate studies were at the University of British Columbia. After living in Hong Kong for a year, she started medical school at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. She met anDrew in Kenya between her first and second year of medical school. After graduation, she joined anDrew in St Louis while he finished his fellowship. She then trained for three years at Ellis Family Medicine in Schenectady, NY, before moving to Saskatoon in Canada for her final year of training in anesthesia at the University of Saskatchewan.

Oh, and we have two children now: Nolan and Solène.
Nolan was born in Niskayuna, NY, in 2015 during Kimberley’s second year of residency (and he has never formally gone to school); Solène was born in France in 2017 during our language school time (and she came to class with us every day).

So, are you guys American or Canadian? Is Solène a French citizen because she was born there?

anDrew is "just" American. Kimberley holds Taiwanese, Canadian, and American citizenship. Nolan and Solène are dual American-Canadian citizens, but Solène, despite her French name, isn’t a French citizen, as France does not have unrestricted jus soli.

How do you pronounce Solène?

so-LEN. (Not: so-LEAN, so-LAIN, nor so-LEAN-ee.)

What are your guys' specialties again?

anDrew is a plastic surgeon with fellowship training in craniofacial surgery. He is board-certified in plastic surgery both in the US and in Canada, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada.

Kimberley is a family physician. She is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, she holds Certification in The College of Family Physicians (Canada) and a Certificate of Added Competence in Family Practice Anesthesia.
Where are you guys going now?

We have been assigned to the francophone West African country of Gabon, specifically to a rural hospital called Bongolo.

Where's Gabon?

It’s on the west-central coast of Africa, sandwiched between Cameroon and the Republic of Congo.
What's Bongolo Hospital?

Bongolo Hospital is a ministry of the The Christian & Missionary Alliance, a Colorado-headquartered denomination. The hospital was founded in 1977. It has 158 beds and includes an outpatient department, surgery, adult medicine, maternity, pediatrics and laboratory. There is also a dental clinic, eye surgery clinic, and an AIDS/HIV treatment center.

Why go there?

Bongolo has some distinctions that lends itself to our interests and skills. It has a five-year general surgery residency program through the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons, which is of interest to anDrew, the surgeon. Additionally, the hospital hopes to start training primary care physicians, and it also has a nascent anesthetist training program, which are of interest to Kim.

Are you guys paid while you’re overseas?

Yes, Samaritan’s Purse pays us a small monthly stipend and covers some of our costs, like housing. However, we still need to raise funds for some things that aren’t covered, like a nanny, medications, continuing medical education, etc. Also, we raise funds to help pay for the ministry of the hospital, including for patients’ operations.

Raise funds? What does that mean? 

It means we’re seeking out people to partner with us financially in this endeavor: people who believe in us and are excited about this work. We've got more details here that you can read, but any money donated is held in escrow by Samaritan's Purse, and 100% of it goes directly to help our work and the lives of the ones around us. So we’re asking people like you to help us!

How do I do that?

Depending on your country, you can donate to our project account by cheque, direct debit, phone, or online. You can also make automatic recurring donations. Head to bit.ly/Huangs and click on your country for more information!
After months of preparation and travel, the time has finally arrived: au Gabon, on y va!
     
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(Just as an FYI: you may occasionally receive duplicate newsletter emails from us.)
     
anDrew: docdrew@gmail.com

Kimberley: kimboley@gmail.com
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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.

The Huang Dynasty PO Box 820152 Vancouver, WA 98682 USA

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