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KIT Volume XXI No 1 April 2009 prop

KIT Volume XXI No 1 April 2009 prop

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Working as a Nurse in Primavera, Alto Paraguay By Hanni Dreher-Bühler – Translated by Linda Jackson-Lord
Working as a Nurse in Primavera, Alto Paraguay By Hanni Dreher-Bühler – Translated by Linda Jackson-Lord

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Keep In Touch Newsletter Keep In Touch Newsletter Keep In Touch Newsletter Keep In Touch Newsletter 
Volume XX Volume XX Volume XX Volume XXI II No No No No 1111 April 2009April 2009April 2009April 2009
The KIT Newsletter editorial staff always welcome all suggested contributions for publication in the Newsletter from subscribers andreaders, but whether a given submission meets the criteria for publication is at the sole discretion of the editors. While priority will begiven to original contributions by people with past Bruderhof connections, any letters, articles, or reports which the editors deem to beof historical or personal interest or to offer new perspectives on issues of particular relevance to the ex-Bruderhof Newsletter reader-ship will be included as well. The editors may suggest to the authors changes to improve their presentation.
Working as a Nurse in Primavera,Alto Paraguay 1KIT-Conference at Friendly Cross-ways starting August 7
2009 1Bulstrode Gathering on Saturday,June 20
2009 2It is Time for a New “KIT AddressList” 5The Cocksedge Family 6Migg Fischli Interviewed 7Another Icon of Primavera TimeHas Passed Away Teodora Jaime 8Peter Hofer a Forest River Man 9Derek Wardle — Our Headmaster in Wheathill 10Photos Bring Back Memories of aWork Camp in Featherstone 1956 11The Confrontation Between TheBruderhof And The German National-Socialist Government 1933to 1937 –5 12Contact Details 14
KIT-Conference at Friendly Crossways starting August 7
By Miriam HolmesThe 20
anniversary weekend conference of Keep In Touch (KIT) will begin Friday, Au-gust 7
around noon, or whenever you arrive, and end at the latest on Monday morning,August 10
2009.The per person costs for the weekend include all meals:Days (no sleep-over) only US $35.00Semi private/private rooms US $120.00Dorms US $110.00As always, sheets and pillowcases are available for rent from F.C.Traditionally, KIT volunteers will buy and cook the food. We also will do the dishwashing, cleaning etc.Anyone who wants to spend an extra night at Friendly Crossways (like Thursday or Monday) will be charged US $25.00 a night.I am requesting that those who are able and so inclined pitch in extra money so we canscholarship some dear people who need help with the above costs.For directions to Friendly Crossways check the web site: www.friendlycrossways.comUrgent: Friendly Crossways requires a deposit by early May. Please send me $50 per  person by check (made out to my name and address: Miriam Holmes, 310 Codman Hill Rd.Apt. DI, Boxborough, MA 01719-1703) as soon as possible. Joy MacDonald has offered tocollect the deposits from Europe in the same way (please make out the check to her person-ally; find her address on the last page in “Contact Details”). She will exchange the Euro- pean money into US dollars for me.Last, but not least, for all you Paraguayans: I will be making Rosella Schlempe withwhite sauce. There will also be plenty of Yerba Mate on hand.
Working as a urse in Primavera, Alto Paraguay
By Hanni Dreher-Bühler – Translated by Linda Jackson-Lord
 KIT. The following report by Hanni Dreher-Bühler, who consid-ered her career as a nurse in Primavera her vocation for life was found by Hanna Homann amongst her mother, Maria Patrick’s papers. It was written in 1983. Hanni Bühler, a Swiss by birth(born on the 19
of ovember 1918) was a niece of Else Boller.She came to Primavera in 1953 and married Leo Dreher in1959. Both were sent away during the big Bruderhof-Crisis of 1960. For many years thereafter Leo worked in one of the Max- Planck Institutes in Germany. In their later years the couplelived in Hombrechticon, Switzerland where they are both bur-ied. Leo died on the 20
of October, 1995 and Hanni, on the 10
 of April 2001. They left a daughter, Rene and son, Don.Throughout the years Hanni maintained contact with her stepchildren. – The original report was published in German in the December KIT ewsletter of 2008 (see more pictures there –  pages 7-10).
Even after twenty-two years back in Europe, now as winter ap- proaches and snowflakes whirl around us, we are still overcome by a powerful longing for sunny Paraguay. We brew ourselvesmate, and the memories flood back: “Do you remember theYvyrapitá, our Christmas tree?“ In December the bright yellowcandle like flowers shown against the blue sky. “Do you remem- ber the enormous Christmas Star bush in Ibaté, the brilliance of the colours of the parrots, the orchids growing from the bark of the trees, the butterflies the size of your hand, fluttering out of the jungle shimmering in shades of blue, purple and green?“There were always new surprises to be found in the naturalworld: The Tucan’s huge bill, an Armadillo out for an eveningstroll, below in the grass a procession of Leafcutter ants or thegraceful nest of the Weaver bird hanging down from the palmtree! In my free time I often drew pictures of flowers, but myfavorite drawings were of palm trees silhouetted against an eve-ning sky ablaze with colour, the red glow on the horizon abovethe dark forest.For a long time I thought this brotherly life with nursing,Spanish and the romance of the jungle to be my ideal. Two of my
Kindergarten children on a walk in front of the main building of thehospital in Loma Hoby. (All photos from Colin Sharp, 1956)
 Keep In Touch ewsletter 2 Vol. XXI o1 April 2009
cousins [the Boller sisters Ursula Lacy and Liesbeth Loewenthal]worked in the Sanatorio Primavera in Alto Paraguay. The hospi-tal was begun quite naturally: During the Second World War when the Christian community left England, 1940/41, three doc-tors arrived in Paraguay. The community thrived. When I arrivedin 1953 there were already three villages: Isla Margarita, LomaHoby und Ibaté. At the time they consisted of thatched roof wooden huts. The hospital had been built in Loma, it consisted of a main building with two consulting rooms, pharmacy, treatmentroom (we called it “through room”), x-ray department, labora-tory, operating theatre, and dental practice, as well as two hospi-tal wards. Opposite stretched the long “Paraguayan wing“ within-patient rooms, maternity ward and nursing station. A bit fur-ther away was our community mother-house, where I lived for many years. At night, I took care of the mothers, or helped at a birth as needed.In the beginning only the floors of the operating theatre andthe maternity room were concrete. Everywhere else the floorswere earth. It was a great improvement when concrete was fi-nally laid throughout. We drew our water from the well. Instru-ments were sterilized on an open fire behind the kitchen, and oncold days we fetched the glowing coals for the coal pans in theconsulting rooms. From here we also got the boiling water to brew mate during the day.
Mate, Dripping and Tropical Sores
After days in the saddle a cold mate is really appreciated. It issipped from a Guampa (a cow’s horn that has been beautifullyhandcrafted) through a Bombilla, a thin silver tube with littleholes in the bulbous end. Could the Mate, the green leaf tea,really be a gift of the Gods in accordance with the Indian legend?It does act as a stimulant, but its greatest asset is something else:Mate neutralises excess gastric juices. None of our patients suf-fered from chronic stomach problems! At home the tea is brewedwith boiling water (Mate Cocido), and it is traditional amongstfriends, to fill a hollowed out pumpkin, a wooden container or even a Guampa, and pass it round in a circle. Each in turn sips upthe mate through the bombilla (not very hygienic).
Bulstrode Gathering on Saturday, June 20
By Andy HarriesTo all Ex-Bruderhofers and friends. I have been able to book theroom at Bulstrode again which we had last year as well as a fewtimes before. The room is available for us from 10.30 a.m. till5.30 p.m. on Saturday, June 20
2009.WEC International has kindly allowed us the use of the din-ing room at the back, with access to hot water, so we can makeour own drinks. We will bring basic milk, sugar, tea and coffee,and recommend that folks bring some food along to share. Just aswe did last time we can also sit outside on the veranda, with freeaccess to the lovely Bulstrode Park and grounds.A request form WEC: Please no smoking indoors, no alcoholand no littering anywhere.We will collect a voluntary contribution, which we can giveto the people as a thank you for letting us use the room andgrounds.WEC International asked me to put out a sheet of paper at thereception for everybody to sign on arrival. This is a legal re-quirement in case of fire. If you enter through the main frontdoor, reception will be on the right. Before that, also on the rightare toilets.Please pass this information on to others who might not hear about it.
ative mother with her children on their way to the hospital
Our standard breakfast in Primavera was sweet mate, dark breadwith pork dripping and treacle. In hot weather especially, drip- ping was not easily digestible. The fair skinned and the newarrivals suffered especially. For them it was almost impossiblenot to scratch where the mosquitos picked on us especially for our thicker blood. Not only did the scratches get infected, little pustules formed as well. In severe cases our doctors ordered butter instead of dripping – or even antibiotics. It was soon clear to me why the Israelis consider the pig to be unclean. Sadly but-ter and milk were scarce.
Uras, Zeboí. Hookworm and Leishmania
My first nursing activities were in the Isla Margarita Surgery.Amazing, the things I had to deal with; for example a knee infec-tion that just would not heal! I showed it to Dr Cyril Davis onone of his visits, he just said: “Some tweezers please,” and withgentle pressure and pulling he extracted a fine example of an
from the wound. The Ura had already been killed due tothe application of the ointment. It was the length of your littlefinger and was about seven millimetres wide at the thick end. Along dark coil wound itself around the pale parasite, with whichit bored its way back in whenever one tried to squeeze it out. Itseggs were laid in the open wound, but also in new heathy tissue.A palpable swelling under the skin gave it away. I learned tolook in the wound for a small white peak – the Ura’s breathinghole. If I found it, I stuck a really thick plaster on it to cut off the parasite’s air supply. A few days later I could squeeze the Uraout with ease. If that was successful, the wound would soon heal.The
 parasite burrows tracks under the skin, which areclearly visible and itch. Small children get their hands infected.By frequently rubbing worm oil into the tracks, in particular intothe newly created ones, the parasite could be eliminated. Our  brothers had other ways, but not for the squeamish: they simply burned the Zeboí out using a glowing cigarette.
sickness, also called
was a ma- jor national malady in Paraguay. Sometimes patients came to thehospital in droves to endure the “cura contra angi.“ This con-sisted of worm oil mixed with a laxative. It was administeredaccording to weight with a liberal dose of sugar. When the laxa-tive worked, the cure was successful. Sadly these barefooted people infected themselves again and again. The unhygienictoilets were a further source of infection. The parasite penetratesthe body via the intestines and the soles of the feet. It tends tosettle in the intestines in particular, where it can cause extremeanaemia. Affected patients could be recognised by their un-healthy yellowish appearance.During my seven years in Paraguay I never had a Hookworminfection. With sensible hygiene precautions it can be avoided. If I ever got caught in a cloudburst, and had to wade through mud,
 Keep In Touch ewsletter 3 Vol. XXI o1 April 2009
then felt a tickling on the soles of my feet, I would immediatelywash my feet and my sandals.
 Leishmaniasis patients
were rarer. They were also treated atthe hospital. Wounds could be infected by the pathogen (nema-todes), but the illness usually started unseen inside the nose. Atfirst we only had intravenous medication at our disposal. I gotused to treating patients accordingly, but with two young schoolchildren the infection was a real problem. Later we were fortu-nately able to get hold of intramuscularly administered Fuadin.
Outpatients and ursing in Loma Hoby
I worked in the hospital in Loma Hoby for almost six years.Soon after my appointment as nurse in Isla, I moved there. Myusual position was in the so called “Through Room” (for theoutpatients) where I gave injections as well as doing reductionsand taking blood for the laboratory. This is also where the hook-worm patients were treated.It was an interesting job. We nurses spoke English with thedoctors and Spanish with the patients. If the patients only spokethe Indian language Guaraní, our Paraguayan nursing assistantstranslated. “Hassý!“ (hurts!) and “Mba eischa pa?“ (How areyou?) as well as a few others I managed to remember. Thanks tomy romance language background Spanish was not a problemfor me.Our patients were mostly Mestizo and I wondered about themfor many reasons. In cold weather they would arrive wearing a poncho but with nothing on their feet. A supposedly singlewoman could mobilise ten grown up children when a transfusionor blood test was needed. Some of the patients' names were abso-lute gems: Concepción, Adoración, Dulcenombre, Jesú Mariaand even Cesar Hannibal. I noticed this time and again whenever I went to relieve a colleague in the Paraguayan wing of the hos- pital.
“Peste” and the Seven Day Sickness
is what our patients called a severe stomach and intesti-nal infection. The adults had their own remedy – it was the chil-dren they brought to us. We had another name for this infection:“Grippe“ or in a less severe form, “Bush-Sickness.“ There wererepeated epidemics – always with the possibility of a fatal out-come. We could almost always help with antibiotics.
„El mal de siete días“(seven day sickness)
is what the Para-guayans called the tetanus infection of the new born. The countrymidwives often used a sharp blade of grass to cut the umbilicalcord. This could easily infect the baby with tetanus. Usually after a week lockjaw would set in and the inability to suckle themother’s milk. Many an infant would die from this illness. Toavoid this the women preferred to come to us to give birth.For our own member population we kept a precise record of anti-tetanus injections. We could immediately check what pre-cautions were necessary in the event of an open wound.
ight Watch, Snakes and Superstition
I often had to do the rounds as Night Sister especially if therehad been a lot of operations. I cared for the patients by the lightof a paraffin lamp, checking blood pressures, intravenous dripsand changing dressings. Since I had to access each room fromthe outside I had to keep going out in the fresh air, maybe inhal-ing the scent of the white flowering Moon Trumpets, usuallyunder a bright starry sky. The moon and stars shone far more brightly there than in Europe. Instead of the “Man in the Moon”it was a “Rabbit”! On one such night the bell rang at the gate. Aworried man stood there with his wife. “Kyrio!” was all he said.A viper had bitten his wife while she was harvesting mandioca. Icalled our Doctor, Cyril. Agostina was already showing signs of 
Chemist Arthur Woolston was in charge of the dispensary – it alsodepended on donations from charitable institutions and people
 paralysis in her eyelids. We gave her the necessary anti-serumand she recovered. Another woman was not so lucky. She onlycame to us on the second day after a snake bite. Before comingshe had let a “practitioner” in her village give her an injection,and she had bound her rosary firmly around her leg below the bite. Sadly she died of kidney failure.A common picture for me after night duty was to see severalmen in ponchos, either patients or relatives making their way tothe fire area to heat water for their tea. Crouching round theysavoured their Mate Cocido. I have threw quite a number of snakes after they were caught and killed into this same fire place,including a beautiful but very poisonous coral snake found in thewaste pipe of the maternity room.We came up against superstitions again and again. One In-dian mother insisted that the bishop's mitre would make her childwell again. The fear of the spirit of the forest “Bombero” wascommon among the Mestizo. There were no priests in the vil-lages, they just came now and then to marry couples and baptisetheir children at the same time. Unusual moral practices wereapparent here; probably resulting from the numerous gruesomewars with neighbouring states which caused the death of many of the men-folk. It was not unusual for a working man to carrymedical insurance not only for his family, but also for two or three concubines.
Margaret Stern(here working ather desk) and RuthLand were togetherwith Cyril Davis,the three Englishdoctors whoemigrated toParaguay togetherwith the commu-nity 1940/41.Please make sure tolook at the picturespublished in theDecember KITewsletter 2009,illustrating theoriginal Germanreport of HanniDreher-Bühler (onpages 7-10).

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