Coming to America
Dr. Naby Camara’s third week in America was a real whirlwind experience for the native of Guinea. On Monday, he spoke in Amiya Al–Muslim’s class at Lewis– Greenview Elementary School. The students presented him a Jaguar T–shirt.
Early Tuesday morning he had cataract surgery on his right eye by Dr. Rick Milne. It was as successful as the previous week’s surgery on his left eye. Since it had been determined that his retina’s were damaged by long time use of malaria medicines in Guinea, Dr. Camara was referred to Dr. Julio Arroyo, a specialist in tropical medicine. Dr. Arroyo was able to prescribe new malaria medicines that were not toxic to the eyes.
Tuesday night, Dr. Camara was honored by the Richland One School Board. Board Chairman Dr. Jasper Salmond presented him with a certificate of appreciation citing his willingness to take 14 students and four adults to his village, Farenya, in 2000. Board Member Vince Ford, who was on the trip, told how the group took a canoe up the Rio Pongo and were received by the singing and dancing villagers. Then, to top off the adventure, everyone had to wade out to the boats because the tide had gone out.
Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Camara had a wonderful surprise during a visit to Ben Lippen School. Unbeknown to him a former physician friend from Guinea, Madidian Keita, is now coaching at Ben Lippen. It was a reunion of old friends after 15 years.
Dr. Camara, Dr. Jim Fisher, and I gave a presentation on our 2004 Slave Trail Trek Thursday at AC Flora High School to the combined classes of Brittie Pointer and Eural Joiner. Once again Dr. Camara was surprised when a student, Alpha Dioubaté, newly emigrated from Guinea, presented him with a gift in Susu, his native language. The gift, an AC Flora T–shirt, was autographed by all of the students.
Dr. Camara had a follow–up exam by Dr. Milne on Wednesday morning, then a final laser zapping on Friday. He will be able to read now using bifocal glasses, something he has not been able to do for 10 years.
(Next week: A visit to Washington, DC, before flying back to Africa)