9 October 2010 – Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love

The past two weeks have taught me the meaning of this phrase the Peace Corps uses as a tagline. I didn’t really know before. When I was in America and people would tell me they were proud of me or that they couldn’t do what I was doing, I would tell them I was just living.  Yes, there were a few things I strongly disagreed with in Sandema – like the staff improvement fee and the fact more than half of it was chopped – but all in all I joyfully embraced the life in Sandema. As Helen and Liz can attest I even have embraced an African attitude towards time!

But this place is tougher.

I feel often feel on the defensive. It’s nothing anyone says but it’s like when you sleep over your best friends house for the first time and realize that her mom hates it that the two of you slept in till 10 am. The mom doesn’t say anything but you know she disapproved. In Sandema they said “The stranger can do no wrong” and I always felt that way among the majority of the people. And with my friends we would laugh about the differences in our cultures.

Maybe because of this defensiveness I frequently have a silent dialog with myself about they way the school is run. I will sit in a meeting and listen to a plan and scoff to myself that it will never get done. If I somebody promises me something I don’t believe that it will be done until it actually happens. Have I decided to stay in Ghana only to find I have become cynical and jaded?

I have figured out that the hard part is not living and working with people who have a different world view than you do but that it’s hard when they don’t understand that there might be another world view from their own.

I know I can be happy in what ever place I am in but this year will be a very different year from the past two.

-vc

5 October 2010 – Content

The rain is about to come. The thunderheads have piled up for the last two hours. In the last 30 minutes the thunder had been rumbling the top of the mountain. And now the wind has just blown my shirt down out of the window where it had been drying.

I am lying on my bed, exhausted but content. The school day had ended and much has been accomplished.

Today I had classes in the computer lab. I have all three JHS classes on Tuesday so it was a perfect day for the generator to be running.

My labs, as usual, were a bit chaotic but amidst the confusion and undercurrent of noise the students learned. And more important I learned, about their comfort level with computers, and knowledge of computers. They could turn on the computer, login, open a program and shut down the computer. With those basics down we could focus on their lessons – Form 2 worked with folders, Form 3 familiarized themselves with Outlook and Form one practices booting, rebooting and shutting down the computers.

During free time they opened programs they had used before, like Mavis Beacon Typing Tutor, and many were courageous and inquisitive and opened new programs as well. It looked to me like the computers in this lab did not sit idle for a year but that they students actually used them last year. It was encouraging.

So even though I am laying flat on my back, feet elevated and aching and my head is throbbing small small, I am satisfied!

-vc

 

28 September 2010 – Sad

Can’t shake the blues this morning.

27 September 2010 – Lunch

At lunch today we talked about movies and books. Louisa loves Pride and Prejudice, the version with Keira Knightly. She has watched it at least 10 times. Werner (Varna) likes science fiction and fantasy movies and books. Johan was talking very little because he is shy of his English. We did all agree that the physical book was the best way to read although the Kindle would be good for traveling.

I learned from my new German friends that American movies are synchronized with German voices. Each American Actor has a specific German who does the German synchronization. The American movies usually come out about 3-6 months after the American release except big block buster movies like Avatar then they are released at the same time.

-vc

24 Sept 2010 – Travel fatigue

At last all the traveling is getting to me. I have lost my optimist’s glasses. I can only see the bad stuff of the last two days. I only slept about four hours on the plane. I left 30 GHC in the ATM at the airport and when I remembered and went back it was not there. When leaving the airport I asked a man where I could get a taxi to OSU. He said this way and then led me to at tro tro and tried to get me to pay 17 cedis to take the whole tro myself.

At the hotel with the Peace Corps bunkroom, The Swiss Rest, there was no room in the inn. My name was not on the list for the bunkroom even though I asked my APCD to put it on and then emailed again to remind her. I called Safety and Security and he suggested I travel to my site that day after I had been on a plane all night and didn’t even really know how to get to my site. I was too tired to even remember that the Salvation Army offers a bed for 6 cedis so I decided to stay and pay the 35 cedis for a private room.

The next morning when I checked the bunkroom sign in sheet not everybody on the list came to sleep at the Swiss Rest, so I could have had a bed for nothing. Since I was going to have to pay 35 cedis a night, I still wasn’t up to arguing with someone about the bunkroom, I decided to go to site. And the conversation with Safety and Security made me feel like admin wanted me at site soon. The taxi driver was helping me with my bags at the station when another man came along. Even though I told him I didn’t need help I was set he kept bugging me and pulling at my bags and trying to direct me. Even as my tro tro drove out of the station he was complaining that I hadn’t given him any money for helping me with my bags. aaaaaaauuuuuuuuugggggghhhhh!

Then some how I ended up on the wrong road of the two roads that would take me to my site. The wrong road was 2.5 hours of construction in a vehicle with no shocks. It could have possibly been the worst ride I have even taken in my two years here.

When I got to site, of course, my stuff was still in Tamale. I texted with Kimmie she thought it might not get down to my site till the end of October. Then when the electricity went on for the evening, so did the light in my bedroom. When I wanted to go to bed the light switch would not turn off the light. I asked the accountant, who lives in the room next door, where the switch was for my light.  He did what I did and then said the obvious that it was broken. He would fix it tomorrow. (I didn’t wait for them to fix the light. The very next day when the bulb was cool I removed it and haven’t had an overhead light since.)

The light stayed on until 10:00 pm, by then I had gotten my second wind and could not go to sleep until 2:00 am. I was sleeping paa paa when the girls came at 6:30 am to sweep the floors. Naturally sweeping the floor involves dragging fours chairs across the floor TWICE!

I am sitting on the porch hoping that by writing all the garbage it will get out of my system. Also there is a wonderful view of rain forest and mountains, I have a cup of tea maybe I can look back over the past two days for the good bits and get my optimist’s glasses back on.

On the plane I watched two very good movies. One with no actors I recognized, except Vanessa Redgrave or one of the Redgrave sisters, called “Letters to Juliet”. It was a cute romantic comedy. The other starred Annette Benning and Jimmy Smitz. I forgot the title but what impressed me was that Annette Benning played a physically and emotionally unattractive woman. It was an awesome drama about adoption.

The two flight attendants in my section were friendly and helpful. In the morning when I woke up my breakfast was on the tray next to me. I also had the center three seats all to myself so I could stretch out to sleep or read.

At the airport a kind man helped me haul my bags off the baggage belt.

The owner of the Swiss Rest was in the lobby as I talked to Peace Corps. She probably saw my mood clouding my face over like a thunderstorm clouds over the sky. When I got off the phone she was sympathetic and kind and gave me a cold mineral. Then she sent me to bed with a hug.

After an hour nap I went to Melting Moments for pasta, chicken, mushrooms and a green salad. (Delicious) The TV was on and I saw an actress from 90210 I texted Liz and told her the 90210 was on here in Ghana. After watching more closely, that actress was the only 90210 actress and it was a totally different show but I still pretended it was 90210. It was easy because, thankfully, the sound was muted on the TV.

After dinner I called Pastor Victor. He was so warm and welcoming. He asked me if he could come to Accra to pick me up. I politely declined his kind offer and asked the best way to get to Trotor.

That night, I had a great nights sleep. I slept until 10:00 am.

I got an air conditioned Tro tro for my ride to Kof(oriduia). We left at noon.  At 2:00 pm we entered a town. I just happened to read it sign it said SUHUM! That’s 15 minutes from Trotor. I’ll drop here.

On the taxi ride from Suhum to the school, BASCO, in Trotor the taxi driver introduced me to AICKO! (You have done well) Me fi America (I am from America) and the word for children but I have forgotten it.

Pastor Victor gave me a warm welcome. He took me into Suhum for a few things and for Fufu with palm nut soup (abenquine). During lunch we talked about what I will do. Pastor seems open to me teaching the teachers but I will also meet with Frank, the headmaster. I was sorry to hear sister Deborah has left to return to school. I would have preferred to deal with a female.

This morning I am sitting on my porch. There is a small breeze. The sky is overcast and three students are sitting here with me. The jungle is held back by a 30 foot wide patch of great. Yes GRASS in Ghana. Right across from my seat, I see a plantain palm. It looks pretty bad, fifty percent of the leaves are brown and hanging down and a few more are half brown and wilted. If I choose to look at those brown leaves I would think the tree was dead but I can also see broad, crisp green leave and new fruit coming. It’s all depends on my perspective.

 

-vc

30 Sept 2010 – Teaching

Today was filled with the joys and frustrations of teaching. The day began in JHS Form 1 after morning assembly. Class started late because morning assembly ended late. I went right to the classroom and handed out papers for the review of our last lesson. Each student in class had the name of a computer input or output device. They were told to indentify if it was in input or output device and tell one other thing about it. Those that came late begged for papers but there was a method to my madness and they didn’t get one if they were late.

Students were eager to stand and tell about their devices. One boy had camera. He knew it was an input device but didn’t say anything about it. So I asked him “What does a camera put into the computer?” Blank stare. I tried aother tactic and asked “What do you use a camera for?” He smiled and said “To take pictures”.  “So what do you thin a camera can put into a computer?” i continued. “Pictures!” he said and took the chalk to write his camera on the board under input devices.

With the review from last class over I started talking about software. My co-teacher, Eric, came in at this time. I talked about System software and when I began applications Eric asked for them to name some applications. One boy said laptop. Eric got angry at that answer and told them he had taught them this last year. Then he started at the right side of the class and walked up to each student asking them for applications. If a student answered wrong he caned them. After two children were caned I walked to doorway and turned my back on it all.

About half way through the class Eric said “Madam, class is not over continue we are wasting time.” He was still asking questions and caning the students. I am not sure of my tone when i replied but I fear it was not polite or calm. “I can’t teach them while you are caning them.”

I was so disappointed with him. He is very good with computers. Knows alot. He is hardworking, teaching not only JHS but also all 6 primary grades. I have enjoyed getting to know him. That’s the awful thing about caning here perfectly decent people think it is the way to handle children. I haven’t yet decided if I will talk to him or just continue to shun it when it happens and hope alternate methods of teaching will rub off.

Louisa and Johan were teaching/watching Primary 2 (P2) and Kindergarten(KG). They are supposed to be teaching art to all primary grades but ended up with teaching these classes today because neither teacher was on campus. The P2 teacher has not yet reported to school. She should come next week. The KG teacher had taken some students to the hospital. Louisa and Johan had only one week training here and no instruction about the Ghana education system and were expected on the second day of classes to teach.

I felt for them so I offered to come down after breakfast (around 10:00) and help. I must have  been crazy. I have no resources to teach KG. The school had no resources. The kids didn’t even have pencils or I couldn’t get them to fetch their pencils. And the kids don’t speak much English.  The first 15 minutes started fine. I had the great idea to teach them the English for sit down and stand up. Silly me I thought all they needed was to know the words and compliance would follow. I was so wrong.

It was pretty much bedlam after that. Children crying, running here and there, one kid got a cane, and they were fighting. Two boys went after each other so many times that I finally called the Senior Prefect to ask him to figure out what they were fighting about and to punish them.

At one point, just before lunch Johan and I were pulling two boys apart. I had removed the pile of boys on the main fighters but it was beyond my strength to pull these two 6 or 7 year old boys apart. It was a blood feud. Johan came and we each took one boy and pulled him away. As we were pulling they were still punching and kicking. Samuel, a former Form 3 JHS student, came and interpreted. One boy said the other had eaten his lunch yesterday.

But there was some good too. I put the alphabet on the board. They recited after me and then some students wanted to point to the letters and lead the class. When other students seemed bored I introduced the Alphabet Song. Then we collected some rocks. I wanted to give them a chance to get up and move about outside. That went fine until some children started pulling leaves off a certain tree and eating the leaves. I was terrified they would be poisoned and fall down dead there in front of me, so I rushed them back into the classroom.

I found about 30 interlocking foam pieces. I put some on each table and allowed the children to play with them. These were the only learning toys the KGs had. Most enjoyed putting them together but one boy made one that was hinged at an angle like a laptop and he was playing it and singing. This activity kept them busy for the longest maybe 30 minutes.  Success!

Perhaps I should describe the classrooms. The KGs have a low table and a bench that three or four of them share. Ten benches are lined arranged in two rows of five. We are in the dining hall with P2. The hall is like other classrooms only bigger. It is an open room no windows but the walls are only about waist height and from there to the roof is open. Unlike Sandema where they need windows, screens and louvers because of the dusty hamattan season. It’s is a good design for cross ventilation.

Louisa spelled me for a while so I could go to the library and get some books. When I returned I shared books with each table and took one of the youngest on my lap as I read to a group. Other children sat at the tables and looked at the books. Another success of 20 minutes relative calm!

Just before lunch the smallest girl, no more than 3, came to me and gave the universal pick me up sign of two raised arms. When I did she nestled into my chest and closed here eyes and went to sleep.

At lunch Lousia, Johan and I decided that the children were just plain tired. They get up some where around 5:00 am and lights don’t go out until after 9:30. I almost wish we didn’t have a generator for lights in the evening. As I am writing this I thought that it maybe the substitute teacher syndrome as well. Most likely students test the sub all over the world. If you are wondering where Werner (said Verna) is, he is in bed sick and missing all the fun!

The afternoon class with Form 2 went well dispite the rain. Yesterday we had a ceremony for the start of school. Just near the end it started to rain – Hard! I then remembered why we sometimes don’t teach in the rain. Rain on a tin roof sounds like gunshots. Imagine Thousands of gunshots going off right over your head. But the rain today was not so hard and if walked around class and repeated myself I could be heard. I could write the definitions on the board for them to copy. Also I only had about 10 minutes of lecture before we moved to groups where they could hear me better. I was teaching them about files and folders and hoped to show them the values of organizing files into folders.

The activity worked. Horray! When we finished I could see the light of understanding on at least half the faces. I can remember on class in Sandema where I did a detailed demonstration of how information moves over the internet. I used the whole classroom, people sent messages, people were TCP/IP, others the router and all were confused after the demo. Two days later when I said something like – “Just like in our demonstration” one brave student raised her hand and said “Madam what was the point of that?” and more than half nodded in agreement.

As Eric took over explaining how to create and move folders I could tell they got the basics. It felt good.

My last teaching of the day was in the computer lab with Vincent and Raymond, Form 2 and 3 respectively. I told the JHS that they could come to the lab after classes and I would open a computer for them to see the parts inside. They were interested. Asked questions that showe d they had some basic knowledges and were eager to connect the system unit to other parts of the computer. I may have found two members of the computer team.

So now after a frustrating and rewarding day I am in bed with a belly full of Fufu and light soup – ready to call it a day.

-vc

29 Sept 2010 – No longer blue

The blues are gone! It was probably everything combined. Leaving my family and friends back in America. Leaving ice cream and cheese. Leaving Sandema. My unfamiliar environment. And jet lag! While I was blue I sure didn’t want to write. Every time I started to write I was surrounded by a negative aura. Not my usual style.

I am getting to know the three volunteers from the German volunteer agency, “Weltwaerts” (WorldWide). This government agency sends German ages 18-28 all over the world. Louisa, 18, has just finished her A levels(like the end of high school). Johan the tall and quiet who is a bit older than Louisa. And Werner, 24, who was a bookseller. They came in country a week before they arrived here and trained with a Ghanaian agricultural agency, ARRA. They will serve one year.  Louisa and Johan will teach art but will also help with child care and administration. Werner, with his experience with books, will work in the library.

Last night we shared family photos. Strangely enough Lousia and Johan went to school together in Berlin for their early primary years. They both had the same school photo. And one of Louisa’s best friends is his cousin. It’s crazy that they both ended up in Ghana and even at the same site!

It may sound weird to say that we share a common culture but we know the same authors, movies and even Nutella. The western culture covers a large amount of territory. Never the less I will enjoy learning about Germany from them as well.

It surprises me how much I enjoy having other people around. Luckily I do have a room to myself so I can grab some me time when I need too but it’s nice to eat with people once in a while or to have someone to go to Koforiduia with.

Second big news is that the sweet young woman who was the Headmistress has left to return to school. We have a new Headmaster, Frank, who seems to be cut from the same cloth of most Ghanaian headmasters.

Yesterday I also learn something very scary. The organization that gave the school the computers, SBIG, is sponsoring a contest between the three schools they have given computers. The stakes are high – three computers, one laptop and a rumored 10,000 GHC. The headmaster hinted that he expected me to be their ringer and whip a team into shape to win this competition. I am very uncomfortable with this idea and will formulate a reasonable argument why someone from the school itself should be in charge of the contest.

My counterpart, Eric, is a hard working young man with a lot of computer knowledge. We are team teaching the Junior High School focusing on the Form 3s who will write their BECE, Basic Education Certificate Exam, in April.

That all for now from the hills of the Eastern Region.

-vc

26 September 2010 – The Germans

Last night the Germans came. Totally unexpected and completely out of the blue. Two of the students came into the hall and said he brought somethings from America for me. It was five        white people except they were not from America but Germany! Three of them are working here at BASCO. Two young men and a young woman.

My first reaction was get me out of here.  Am I such a hermit that I want to run from living in community with others?

They are with a program sponsored by the German government that sends 18 to 28 year olds to volunteer overseas for a year.

-vc

22 July 2010 – A Right Hook to the Jaw

Had a lovely breakfast this morning at Melting Moments. Fruit salad with cantalope, (haven’t had that in 2 years), a croissant and Earl Grey tea with sugar. I sat outside and watched Labone(a section of Accra) go to work. After breakfast I grabbed a taxi and went to the Peace Corps office.

I avoided thinking about my medical problems while eating but on the taxi ride they crowded back in. I kept wondering how this new medical development would effect my trip to America. I had so many people to visit and hoped that i would still have enough time.

When I arrived at the office I went into the computer room and greeted the other PCVs there and then to the Medical Office to see Amel.

Again she took me right away. She had called me last night so she knew the basics and was not reviewing the ultrasound and Dr. Darko’s notes. I was sitting and waiting to find out the next step.  When she turned from the paper work she looked far more serious than she she ever has. “What!?” I thought. Then she said “I am so sorry Vicky. I don’t think that Washington will approve your extension.”

I couldn’t breath. My eyes filled with tears. I closed them to hold back the tears – I don’t cry in public. The blood was rushing through my heart sounded like someone had opened a faucet in there full blast. When I finally remembered how to breath I heard Amel saying “If we had found this in February then they would just Medivac you to South Africa or the US to have the surgery but when it comes to extensions they usually don’t extend if there’s a medical problem.

What about…. Who can I talk too…

Amel said that the next step was to inform Washington. She would send an email today. We could hope for an answer tomorrow but the Accra office closes at noon on Friday and the American Office would just be opening so most likely we won’t know until Monday. She said she would go get Albert.

When she left i stood up and stomped my feet hard to stop the room from spinning. I cursed. yes I cursed and stomped aain. I took a deep breath, sighed, cursed again and sat back down in the chair. Tears were dripping down my cheeks but that’s not crying.

Albert and Amel returned. Albert rubbed my shoulder and said please don’t cry. I sat stone still and said I am not crying as tears eked out of my eyes. Amil asked if I wanted to talk to the CD I said no I’ll talk to Rob but first I have to be alone for a while. Knowing I was playing on their sympathies and kindness I begged to be allowed to stay at the medical unit. I told them I hadn’t slept for two nights due to noisy drinking fools. Yes I said that about my fellow PCVs, I had no room for tolarance with all the other emotions crashing around inside. I said I needed some sleep if I was going to deal with all this.

They said “Yes.” “We can send you with someone to get your things from the Swiss Rest.” I said thank you but I was counting on their kindness and had brought my bags with me.  Amel got the key and I almost snatched it from her hand. I went directly to the room and after fumbling with the cussed Ghana locks, was through the door and tossed myself on the bed. I was dialing Beth and wailing. It was the middle of the night there but what are best friends for if not to wake them up when things collapse. As the phone rang I was sucking in huge breaths trying to get air into my lungs, my face and neck were covered with tears that would not stop. Even in the haze of sleep she knew who it was. We talked. It didn’t matter what we said. I just knew she was someone who could help me get centered. She could get me through the pain. She will validate my feelings but also help me get past them. When we hung up I had settled down and no longer felt like the world had ended.

Next I called Lenore to tell her I would be staying in Accra and not going to her place the next day. When we talked about my future she pointed out the most important thing that the growth was most likely benign.

After talking to my friends I wondered why the hysterics about leaving Ghana? Why did this and not the cancer scare make me lose it? First I wasn’t expecting it. In all my thoughts I never wondered if I would be sent home for good. Second it was probably the last straw. Some many things had happened in the past month. Third I was very tired. And last I love Ghana. I just wasn’t ready to go.

After my phone calls I went ot talk to Rob, the Programing and Training Officer. Rob is a very positive person and he looks like Mel Gibson, the perfect combination to help cure my blues. He wanted to talk with me about the site I visited in Trotor, Eastern Region. When I told him there was a glithch. He smiled and said “No no there’s no glitches allowed!” When I told him the glitch, my extension problems, he stopped smiling and said “Now that’s a glitch!”  But he gave me some hope. He said even if I am not granted the extension I can reinstate within a year. That means I don’t have to reapply just ask to be reinstated either in Ghana or some where else. A light in the darkness. I headed to the dentist with a much better outlook.

After the dentist I did what any self respecting American woman does when she’s blue. I went shopping! Bette, my brother Jack’s wife, wanted some arts and crafts from Ghana. The Osu section of Accra was the place to get them. The Ghanaian traders cheered me up. They are so warm and friendly and very flattering, especially if they think you have money to spend. At one stall a gentleman showed me a carved giraffe and called it a zebra. I told him the English word was Giraffe. He called to the other traders for a pen and paper and made me write it down. Then he repeated it four times to make it stick.

Ladened down with sculptures, kente scarves, glass bead jewelery, wooden bracelets and more I headed back to the Peace Corps office and my private bedroom in the med unit. Life was not so bad after all.

-vc

21 July 2010 – A Kick in the Gut

Today when I came to the Peace Corps Office in Accra Perpetua, the receptionist, told me that Amel, Peace Corps Medical Officer) was looking for me. I had passed my physical with two thumbs up and she said I was Ok for the extension so why was she calling me? Maybe it was about my moving troubles? Yesterday during the exam I had unloaded on her about the troubles with moving. I hoped maybe she had talked to the Country Director and got him agree to move me from Sandema to Trotor. Then I realized she would need my permission to discuss anything from the exam with the CD. So why did she want to see me?

I went to the med unit and Amel called me right in. She told me she found a small growth on my uterus. Omph boy did that let the wind out of my sails! My mind started to race. What does that mean? Why didn’t she tell me yesterday. Will I get to go to America? Will I me Medically Sperated from Peace Corps? Will the surgery be done in America or South Africa?

When I recovered from the shock she was saying that the reason I bled small small yesterday during the Pap was the growth. At first she decided to wait for the Pap results but then all night she thought about it and decided I should see a gynocologist today. She had an appointment for me at 4:00 p

After the Gynocologist

I got to watch Oprah at the Gynocologist. I don’t know if it was just this show or if she has also gone tabloid/reality tv. She had this poor woman who’s husband committed suicide on the show. Before he committed suicide he did everything he could to make sure she would not be financially solvent. He took a second mortgage and spent it, canceled his life insurance and spent all the money in their bank accounts. Oprah and Susie Orman brow beat this poor women because she didn’t know any thing about the financial aspect of her married life; she had always left it up to her husband. Then they brought her family and friends on and begged them to help her. Oprah’s excuse was so that this wouldn’t happen to other women. I thought Oprah had more class than that…. Ok so why did I watch. I would have watched WWW Wrestling that afternoon if it kept me from thinking about why I was at the gynocologist!

It’s Ok and it’s not. I have a polop and two fibroids on my uterus. Dr. Darko, (couldn’t help thinking of Donnie Darko!) is pretty sure they are not cancerous. So that’s the OK part. The best and biggest part of course.

Dr. Darko is a German about my age. She has worked in Ghana for 8 years and in Nigera for 5  years before that. The exam table is a little different. There are two leather cuff that look like ½ a leg cast on metal rods. They are about 1 foot off the exam table. When I sat down I totally expected she would lower them somehow for me to put my legs on. No she expected me to lift my legs up there! I laughed and told her i was 50 something not 20 something. She had no mercy and I had to manage!

During the exam she used ultrasound and we could see two dark spots, they were the fibroids. After the visual exam she said they look benign. She was very polite when she answered my next almost obnoxious question “How can you tell just by looking?” I found interesting that she never used the word cancer, but  when she said growth I heard cancer. when she said benign i heard not cancerous,  Even though she wasn’t mentioning the lizard in the room I saw it poking it’s head around corners or out from behind the curtains.

So good news it’s most likely not cancerous. Bad news I still have to have surgery. Dr. Darko said it’s just an outpatient procedure. I will go in and come out the same day.  Again I didn’t hear everything she said because my mind was racing. What will this do to my home leave? Will I do it when I am home in America? Will they send me to SA. Procedure, that doesn’t sound as scary as surgery. How long is recovery time? She says it’s benign but what if she’s wrong….

-vc

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