What is Different in YOUR Picture?

I used to love the activity in the children’s magazines that had two pictures side by side.  They were almost identical.  Yet a few things were slightly different and it was my job to try and spot it.  Great idea.  Lovely activity.

As I went to visit one of my Papuan friends in the hospital this weekend, who had just birthed a baby, I couldn’t help but see some differences.  As my camera was clicking pictures, I was imagining YOU spotting the things that were different in the “two sets” of pictures.  Your picture of what a hospital setting and a new born baby facility should look like and what it actually looks like here.  The contrast is not as subtle as my childhood magazine pictures…..but it is still fun to compare.

What is your ‘picture’ of hand washing and glove usage?  As I was in the nursery observing a nurse suctioning a newborn baby, I was quite surprised at her actions following this procedure.  Peeling off one layer of gloves, she now had ‘clean hands’ as there were two more pairs of gloves underneath.  Her fumbling and dropping her dirty pair and picking them up with the clean pair was certainly no more of a breach then not washing her hands in between patients.  No doubt time management was at it’s optimum. 

How about your ‘picture’ of hospital floor cleanliness and what you would wear on your feet in a hospital?  We were expected to take our shoes off when we went into the nursery.  My feet cringed the whole time.  I know what lands on a hospital floor.  My mind is very active in conjuring up scene after scene.  I’ll spare you the details.  The floor tiles did feel cool and they did look clean and we helped to keep them clean longer by complying.


What setting do you ‘picture’ would be most therapeutic for the discharged mother to wait for her baby to be discharged from the nursery?  My friend sat for an hour and a half on the tile, outside, waiting for her baby to be discharged.  No chairs.  No music.  No indoors or screens to protect from mosquitoes.  No air conditioning.  Less then 24 hours post partum.  Another lady is sitting on the rocks.  They delivered around the same time.  My friend could lie down on the cool tile and so could her family.  She could also be the first to see the dead man rolled out to his awaiting family and the family crying loudly. 



Your ‘picture’ of hospital cleanliness is?  This is the rain drainage ditch where we were sitting waiting for the baby to be discharged.  That is not blood splattered.  It is beetle nut spit.  The garbage is very typical.  Everywhere outside is your garbage can.




When an American mother and baby is being discharged from the hospital, what is the ONE thing she MUST have before putting the baby in a car?  Yes!  A car seat.  Here Mommy was asked if she had anything to wrap the baby with.  When a big piece of traditional cloth was presented, the nurse wrapped the baby up and we were dismissed.  No wheelchair ride out to the car.  No way.  Mom can walk.




So from your picture to this picture….did you spot the differences?  Whose picture is better?  What picture do you want to be in?  I would love to help change the picture here for a safer cleaner environment.  I probably won’t have that opportunity.  I hope you have enjoyed looking into and picturing another world view and life with me.



  1. Awesome pics and blog, Ruth! Loved seeing the differences. And the bare feet in the nursery! Agh. For some reason, that is the one that kinda freaked me out the most. Not sure why, but just being barefoot in a hospital does not seem right! ;-)

    1. I hear you Michelle! (BTW you have totally inspired me to "talk" to the people who comment to me. You do it so faithfully on your blog. ; )) I think it has pretty much been drilled into us to wear shoes at work. Though i must say, i do enjoy wearing flip flops to our clinic. : )


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