Saturday, May 24, 2008

long time gone...

Greetings from an internet cafe, finally. We haven't had internet access for a couple of weeks here at Lily, so I haven't been able to email anyone or blog for a while. That has been minor though, compared to our lack of running water this week. Off and on for several days, we haven't had running water and we also ran out of our reserve supply that we keep here. On Tuesday, the water company was supposed to send a water truck to refill our containers but that didn't happen. It's amazing how much our lives revolve around water and how much it stinks (literally) when you can't get it! It's been really nice that we haven't had any power outages lately though.

It's been a busy couple of weeks. Between working towards getting the community clinic open, doing homework club (which I taught my first session of this week and I must say that elementary school teachers deserve medals of honor. or straitjackets. maybe both.), Bible studies, devotions, food distribution, hospital trips, and random injuries around here there's been a lot going on. We had an emergency trip to the hospital on Thursday morning around 3 am with our diabetic child, who got admitted to the pediatric ICU. We had an emergency trip for stitches for a cracked wide open head. It's been really interesting to see the health care system here; how it works and the differences between here and home. I'll say this much: it's good to be a nurse at Vanderbilt.

I started getting mail last week and it's been so fun! I got letters from my Aunt Gayle, my mom, and my grandfather and packages from Mom, James, and Lauren with candy, candy and more candy plus RANCH DRESSING! Packets, at least. It was pretty awesome. Lauren made me a belated Easter basket and it had a little stuffed rabbit. I asked a couple of the kids for suggestions about what to name it (I'm not really good at naming things) and the two suggestions I got were "Rabbit" and "Thandeka" (the latter was made by Thandeka, surprisingly enough). I think I may have to come up with something on my own.

On the Animal Kingdom side of things, the past couple weeks I saw rhinos again, more warthogs, giraffes (cool), owls (also cool), monkeys (very cool), more bats (very uncool), and a spitting cobra (very VERY uncool). All of these things I saw either at Lily or within a couple miles of Lily. I don't think I've ever coexisted this closely with this much wildlife. Not really sure how I feel about it.

I posted more pictures today:

Friday, May 9, 2008

Another eventful week at Lily...

The past two weeks have really been great and have flown by so quickly. The team of doctors from the UK was here and hopefully have made quite a bit of progress towards getting the medical clinic open. It's so involved, and mostly because of red tape issues. They're also opening a clinic in a rural village in India, which got me thinking about my next adventure...hmm...
This has been a week full of beauty. First of all, I saw the giraffes for the first time! They were on the hill across from Lily and I saw them two days in a row. I didn't realize at first that when they said Tala borders Lily, it really borders Lily. There is a barbed wire fence separating us from the animals. So if the water buffalo want to come in, they probably could. Let's hope they stay happy where they are.
Another thing I love here is the sunrises and sunsets. They're beautiful, every single day without fail. And at night, if it's not cloudy, you can see the Milky Way really clearly all the way across the sky. It's amazing.
So one of my friends asked me this week what a typical day for me here is like, so I decided to tell him about how this Monday went (as follows): A typical day means don't expect anything. For example, at 8 Monday morning, as I was mentally planning what I was going to do for the day, someone came knocking on my door asking when I was leaving to take a child to the hospital for surgery I had no idea about? So then we left in a hurry and got about 50 feet before we realized something in the engine smelled like it was on fire. We worked that out (as only 2 of our 5 cars were working) and got to the hospital where we then waited two hours to see the doctor who decided not to do the surgery that day but to send us for a hearing test instead. We were told to come back in an hour, which we did, to find that they were at lunch for another 45 minutes. Then after the hearing test we went the pharmacy where I waited about an hour until they told me they were out of some of the meds I needed, did I want to come back tomorrow? Because tomorrow they were pretty sure they would have one of them...but the other one they didn't know when they would have. That would be a typical day. Ha.
Africa definitely teaches you flexibility. And how to wait. (my waiting skills have been improved by the fact that this week I finally learned how to play Sudoku and I am officially obsessed with it. )