Thank you for your prayers thus far. I am happy to be writing to you from home, Mundri, S. Sudan. Travel here went without a hitch and my first day was not too terribly hot. Yesterday was a little warmer (105 inside), but Larissa (my teammate and housemate) and I had a great time greeting in the market and doing some shopping for the singles' food supply. I can't get over how different it is here as compared to Bundibugyo, Uganda where I spent my last term. More on that later.
- "she looks like the wife of Michael" (aka Karen Masso - our team leaders)
- "she has a body that looks like mine - it is fat" (great, thanks, it's good to meet you too :) (actually is a compliment coming from an African...)
- "thank you for coming, we don't have enough people working there (at the health center) our children are dying."
- "Thanks be to God for bringing you here."
- "We hope God brings even more of you to come help us here."
- and then the best was the "ay yi yi"s and huge smiles and hand shakes they gave Larissa when I managed to greet them and tell them my name when they asked in Moru :) it's the little things :)
Aroboya to God for his timing as well. Yesterday, the youngest member of our team, Gaby Masso (9 1/2) was pretty sick. Fever, vomiting, and add those things to the heat and you have a recipe for a dehydrated disaster. After making my first consult call to Jennifer Myhre in Kenya (former team leader, friend, and the pediatrician I worked with in Uganda) to ensure I was thinking through things correctly and to check on the correct volume for a fluid bolus, etc., last night I put an IV in the very brave little guy and gave him a bolus of IV fluid. Checked in on him in the middle of the night, flushed his IV to make sure it would be patent this morning if we needed to use it, and thankfully this morning, things have improved a bit. His belly still hurts a lot, so please pray for him to be back to his usual 9 1/2 year old boy energetic self :) Thankful to be able to be here when it happened, and slightly intimidated by the task of being the one to make health decisions like these. Thankful there are doctors and friends, people who *really* know what they're doing, just a phone call away :)
Will write more soon, hopefully, but wanted you all to know I was here in one piece.
Update: Saturday 25 February
Gaby is doing much better. He got 4 boluses over the course of 3 days and this morning is up and around on his own a little more, talking and laughing a bit more and looking more and more bright eyed every day.
I am every day learning a few more words in Moru, slowly by slowly as they say. The first day I was headed to the market and almost felt like I was going to hyperventilate with fear and intimidation about the task of language learning ahead of me. Larissa prayed and we headed out. Since, God has been gracious and I have been more content with the "slowly by slowly" approach to taking on just a few new things everyday, or just reviewing the things from the day before...just putting one foot in front of the other instead of putting my head up and trying to see the next 12 months out in front of me.
hopefully I'll take some pictures around our compound and town in the next week and get them up for you to see for yourself a bit of where I am.