31 October 2009

life in pictures

Dinner at Naomi's by oil lamp.
I was shelling fresh beans and floored by the beautiful colors God made in such a thing as beans....
Pat and Ashley (getting a back massage, so a bit blurry...sorry Ash) chillin' by the fire...
Quinn's birthday bonfire...so fun...in rainy season it's actually cool enough in the evenings to stand sitting by a blazing fire!

26 October 2009

Still catching up: Queen Eliz. July 25-26

on safari: the boys (in the zoolander), the Myhre's (in Clifford the red land rover)

"AH! it's a......." It's so fun to watch someone crack themselves up! At 7am I am rarely cracking myself up, but Ashley, she was in rare form :)

Me laughing at Ashley and her early morning antics with the camera :)

Salah and her stunning self looking off into the distance for something never seen before...

LOOK! Quick! It's a rare sighting of bazungu women! (Heidi and Naomi Hill - visiting Family Practice resident and now friend :) - who happen to be coming back from a potty stop behind those bushes on the left with t.p. in hand :)

Pat and her lovely self smiling for the camera :)

18 October 2009

5 days in Bundi

It was action packed...go go go...but that's what happens when you have skills and gifts that are of use in a place with few resources for such skills and gifts...Thursday was the Kwejuna Distribution, I did my usual information gathering at the check in table of sorts, mom and dad, along with John and Barb Elwood, prayed with any HIV + women who wanted prayer which is actually a role I've never played at a Kwejuna Distribution, one that I think would be a significantly impactful experience, so one that I'm glad my parents had the opportunity to do. Kwejuna is documented by pictures 3 & 4. The first two are friends from around the Mission...the first is Lydia, two friends, and Kym, the second is Naome and Page. After the distribution there was team meeting (dad taught/led discussion on the Peacemaker book by Ken Sande) followed by Pizza. Friday, dad did prep work for the teaching he was going to be doing, mom and I went to the health center where some of the staff was doing a cooking demonstration for mom's with kids admitted to the pediatric ward (last 4 pictures). Saturday dad taught church and community leaders and an assortment of team members again on the Peacemaker book. In the afternoon we went to Ngite (local waterfall up into the mountains a short bit). Sunday dad preached in church and then again in the evening at team worship. Monday mom and I went to the health center again and dad taught a day long seminar with Christ School staff on the Peacemaker book. Tuesday morning we left! It was short and packed full, and there was so much I didn't get to show them, people they didn't meet, places they didn't go, food they didn't eat...but I am thankful for the time we had. It was precious indeed to be able to show my life here to them, to have them live it for a bit. And there marks the reverse order documentation of my parents trip, from end to begining...it was so much fun and I am so thankful for the opportunity they had to come. Love you guys!

Back a few months....

It seems like such a long time ago now...but I never finished the photo documentation of my parents trip here, so here's another few installments that I think will complete the 3 weeks of fun :) After leaving Bundibugyo we drove to Kampala where we stayed at the ARA for a couple nights...we hadn't planned for a couple nights, but we were all pretty tired. I took Sarah to the airport the next morning, went and got Pat a few new tires (she had oh so generously lent us her vehicle for our travels), then returned to the ARA and took a 4 HOUR nap...I've always been a good sleeper...from infancy I've been told, and the summer had taken it's toll...I was bushed (as my dad would say) and in a real bed, even if the middle of the afternoon, I was OUT! My parents told me they wondered whether they should wake me or not, but decided against it. I eventually pulled myself out of bed and returned to the rest of the world. The top photo is the haven of rest known as the ARA :) It has a pool and so my mom (as close to a fish as any person I know) was quickly at home, and anywhere that my dad can sit outside and read, he's content. So we stayed two nights, and then we drove east. Driving from Kampala east towards Mbale and on to Sipi Falls, we crossed the Nile, and visited the source, and then we drove up the Nile a bit to Bujagali Falls...one of the falls that I rafter over last year about the same time with Ashley and Sarah. My dad loves rivers and streams, and white water, he was in awe, as were we all. It was fun to see the falls from the river bank and be able to take a few photos (our rafting trip went un-documented - for obvious reasons). The power of the water was incredible. I have video footage, but not the bandwidth to post it, so you'll just have to trust me :)

15 October 2009

October words

rain – love it. the noise, the wetness, the hush, the cool, the clearing, the green, the growth, the lightning.

ink – lots of it. scattered all over a white shirt and my favorite jeans with a hole in the knee…on purpose ☺ In celebration of the lovely Julia Kathleen Myhre and her 13th birthday. The Phantom Tollbooth was the theme – The Senses Taker my character…a zany record keeper of sorts (in honor of my record keeping role in our work here). Now, this is not one of those beloved childhood books for me (I’ve actually never read it cover to cover), but it is for Julia, and so we celebrated.

ice cream – heavenly. any kind, anytime, anywhere. Last Wednesday night was no exception when the guys brought some down from Myhre’s who were leaving town the next morning. “I LOVE ICE CREAM!” I exclaimed as I sat in my chair with my bowl gripped with 2 hands! When I was shivering with salmonella fevers the next afternoon, this was not exactly the first thing that came to mind! 5 days down for the count, lots to drink, not much to eat, lots of time in the bathroom, my body is almost completely recovered, and only time will tell if my love of ice cream ever does! :P

movies – the silver screen. When one is lying in bed for days with fever and severe abd. pain, after the stage when all you can do is sleep comes the stage where all you feel like doing is watching movies. Fever Pitch, Outsourced, Changing Lanes, The Great Debaters, My Best Friend’s Wedding, to name just a few…the next stage is when you’ve gained enough strength to hold up a book in front of you and your eyes open to read.

poet – poem. “That young man with the long, auburn hair and the impudent face – that young man was not really a poet; but surely he was a poem.” (G.K. Chesterton – The Man Who Was Thursday) A quote from a delightful description in the opening page of the book currently atop the stack on my bedside table.

slasher – IV team. More often than not during October, there has only been one nurse working on the Pediatric ward at any one time. This week, Betty, who is a superstar Nursing Assistant, has been on her own with Scott Will and I. 40 patients and one nursing assistant…it’s unimagineable really, but you gotta do what you gotta do. So, I gave meds and hung boluses and took out IV’s and wrote discharge instructions as we went along. Now, from a few posts ago, you’ll remember that I’m not the best nor the most courageous IV stick that ever graced the floors of a pediatric ward…and Betty isn’t trained for it, so who does she call to her rescue for the line up of kids who needed IV’s for blood transfusions and antibiotics? The slasher. Cultural information: lawnmowers are not really part of the fabric of life here, so guys with sharp hacking implements are employed by anyone with spaces of grass to “slash” the grass to the desired length. This particular slasher that Betty called on is the “in charge” slasher so-to-speak, and quite good at putting IV’s in…who knows how he got into the IV placement business, but there you have it. Webaleh slashers.

pride – dark. It’s a darkness that’s quite safe though, one that keeps me from having to show my face to the bright light of the sun. The last few weeks I’ve been running smack into it, day after day after day, like a brick wall obstructing the only road. It’s gotta come down, or I’m not gonna get anywhere! But be gentle, k God?!

future – bright. But blurry. Being the Miss Practicality that I am, I have never really stressed out about my future…Wondered? Sure. Curious? Sure. Dreamed? Sure. Planned? Absolutely. I’m not sure what my life will look like this time next year. I’m not sure what kinds of words will be featured in a theoretical post such as this one a year from now. But it’s fun to dream, fun to think about all the options and possibilities. I am thankful to have such a privilege as options/dreams. Decisions are going to need to be made in coming weeks and months, will be interesting to see what comes to be on the other side!

Mumbai – Christmas. My lovely sister has FINALLY been given her visa for a year-ish long fellowship in said Indian metropolis. She leaves the States next week. Why is Mumbai connected to Christmas you’re wondering? I’m getting there…I was sooooo bummed when she wasn’t able to come with my parents in August due to her visa being held up, but now that it has come, plan B is in full swing and I’m super excited to be planning for her to come here to Bundibugyo for Christmas! We’ll both be out of the country for Christmas, so what better solution than to be together!

Nalongo – mother of twins. A dear friend at home in St. Louis is pregnant with twins and due to “produce” any day now...she will soon be a Nalongo (mother of twins)…how sad I am to not be able to be there, to hold those precious little babies and love on them and their mama. She’ll be celebrating a birthday of her own in just a few days as well. Praying for ALL of you here, dear friend!