During Yerba Buena's first years, Dr. Maurice Butler was the clinic's doctor. Dr. Butler and his family stayed at Yerba Buena for the clinic's first thirteen years, then the family moved on to Africa, where they provided similar medical-missionary service for another twelve years. Frequently Dr. Butler wrote anecdotes for the Newsletter, often displaying his own interesting literary style. In fact, in the January, l965 issue he seems to anticipate this book by writing vignettes describing semi-randomly chosen events from a typical day in the clinic. He writes:
"Señora, please cook your food on top of the stove, because inside is where we throw all the drainage pads and bandages."
The ten in-patients have l5 or 20 relatives staying with them, and we encourage them to warm their beans, coffee, and tortillas on the stove, but have outlawed butchering chickens in the building.
"Please take us in; we came from so far"......."I am sorry but we have no place but a stretcher here in the narrow hallway. These four rooms which are full of patients were intended for other purposes, but we have put patients there, and work in half of the clinic, as we still have no hospital." Sometimes in X-Ray the patient in bed is requested to look the other way while a lady prepares for special X-Rays.
A diabetic lady from the city has a ragged bedspread beneath and a tablecloth above -- probably one of the four that Marie has lost. Since linens are being counted out to the wash girls now, we have lost almost nothing. Some say that our linens are not worth carrying off!
"Is this the operating room or laundry?" one may ask as he peers into a cluttered room with hanging clothes, ironing board, etc. When not needed for surgery, the girls sew, iron, etc., as this is one of the only two rooms in the clinic not occupied by the general public.
"Open the door please; we need to enter the Laboratory and Pharmacy."
"Just a minute; we are bathing a baby, and must squeeze some people to the side to open the door."
On entering, we find that this "L" shaped room of l00 square feet floor space serves as central supply, utility room, laboratory, baby-bathing room, and linen room, as well as nurses' lounge for combing hair, brushing teeth, etc. The shelves on one side contain laboratory equipment, plaster bandages, hot water bottles, enema cans, stool specimens, tooth paste, brushes, hair curlers, and shoe polish; also a pathological museum of gallstones, bladder stones, parasitic worms, pickled snakes, and rare tumors.