Thursday, June 10, 2010

{Africa. Day Ten.}

Good morning :) My heart wants to sing today! My fighting friend Evan is doing so well! He went in a few weeks ago to begin the process of Bone Marrow Transplant, and was expected to have to remain in isolation (can't leave his hospital room) for 100+ days! Ever since he'd heard that prediction, he asked me to join him in praying for 20 days. I've been praying, he's been praying,really everyone has been praying for 20 days and as of today (day 12) they (the medical staff) are BLOWN AWAY by Evan's results and think that he'll be good to go home by Monday -- day 17!! Amazing right?? How great is our God?

Monday May 24th ~ Day in mGona.

This was a good day too! Forgive me if I've already shared this, but my three goals for the trip were these: one -- to see a black mamaba. two -- to have an African baby strapped onto my back. three -- to come back affected.

So, pulling into the village of mGona this particular morning, I was excited -yes- to help out with the vision clinic, but more than that, I was excited to be with the people. While preparing for our day in the slums, we were anticipating the day to be chaotic (more so than chetemba), but much to our surprise, our vision clinic in the slums was perhaps the most peaceful! We started the morning off with song and dance (surprise, surprise) and I got to sit with a handful of adorable boys while listening to the chief welcome us into the village :)

Not long after our first patient was helped, I wandered over to where the widows were and began sifting through all of their merchandise. Somebody Cares (the organization we partnered with for this trip) has a special Widow Empowerment program that helps struggling women get back up on their feet. One really neat thing that they do for the women is provide them with one -community- sewing machine! In addition to that, they TEACH them how to sew and even provided them with material for their first batch of merchandise. I got a pretty sweet purse from them, and while I was shopping, I noticed that they were all wearing these super cool black beanie looking things... I asked one of the women if they sold those (only because I wanted to fit in with them too!), and she plopped down on the ground and knitted one for me while I was waiting! So cool :) She then handed it to me (in exchange for the US equivalent of 3 dollars) and I thanked her. She quickly stood up and shook her head side to side... I was confused!? The widow then grabbed the knitted hat out of my hands and pulled it down on my head. I laughed and she smiled -- all of the other women did too! She was then puzzled by this whole notion of hair (most women just have fuzz) and began taking my wavy locks and shoving them into the hat! It was hilarious! All of the women broke into a chorus of laughter and one even fell over onto another she was laughing so hard. Soon though, my hair was tucked in and I matched! :)

Soon after that, I found Kathryn (my favorite African friend) on the side of the building holding a cute little baby! Kelly was over there and had beat me to the chase... she got to hold him for a while (which was a super huge treat considering the fact that most children were afraid of us!) and then handed him over to me :) I was oh so excited! Shortly there after, Kathryn remembered that having a baby strapped to my back was on my to do list and she grabbed a chatingi! Next thing you know, I have this adorable little tike cinched onto me! The women of the village were in hysterics (they thought I was hilarious first with my hat and then with the baaaaaby)! He was such a tropper -- he chilled on my back for a few hours while I helped out with the vision clinic and made relationships with the locals. I loved it.

Another highlight from my day in this village was when our interpreter, Steve, approached me and told me that there were 5 girls on the side of the building that wanted to talk to me. He said that they had been watching our team help out and they picked me out from the group and desired to talk. I was kind of excited and, with the baby in tow (literally), made my way to the back side of the building! They were all there and giggling at the sight of me. I was able to sit with them and talk for nearly an hour. They had learned English in Secondary School (high school) and wanted to practice with an American. We talked about everything from family to relationships. In the African culture, many times these girls have to choose between going to school or settling down. Doing both is UNHEARD OF! Seriously. Not only that, but often times if a girl chooses to educate herself and go to school, she can't find anyone to marry her because the men in the village don't want their wife to be smarter than them! So sad. Another highlight was when 2 of the 5 girls told me that they had made the decision to go to school, and that they hoped to be a nurse someday. My face lit up and I quickly ran for my stethoscope! I was then able to tell them my story... in nursing school, chose education, single, and totally at peace with God's will for my life. I was also able to teach them how to take vital signs (minus blood pressure and temp)! It was truly a special time!

Mmk, I'm off... have an appointment to make! My day in mGona ended with bittersweet goodbyes. It had been a good day. That night, I was so tired that I skipped out on dinner and was in bed SUPER early! Good thing, because I'd need all of my rest for tomorrow...

(They were precious)

P.S. I totally forgot to mention that the widows made us lunch today! nSima, greens and stinky fish! Steve was the brilliant one and decided to *when no one else was looking* put all of the fish in his pocket -- so that his plate was clean when he turned it in! He didn't tell us of this brilliant idea of course until AFTER the meal! Eyes, scales and spines later... we had all swallowed them whole (or close to it). Oh well, it was a good memory :)

1 comment:

  1. I expect lessons on how to wear my baby this way if we ever have another one... :) A friend of mine brought me back fabric from Malawi, but I didn't even know where to start with tying him on.