Saturday, August 23, 2008

grace my feet, faith my eyes....

One big difference I've noticed between hospitals at home and hospitals here when I went to visit one of our kids in the hospital is how they treat the parents. There's a room on some of the wards for the moms to sleep at night (the kids are in rooms with 6-8 beds in them). I had to laugh when I noticed this schedule on the door of the moms' sleeping room:

4:30 am- Wake up and make sure you are groomed neatly
5:00- Attend morning devotions with staff
5:30- Clean your sleeping area and make sure the bathroom is clean
6:30-Feed your baby
7:30-Bathe your baby and assist nursing staff with caring for your baby
9:00- Bond with your baby
10:00- Tea
10:30- Doctor's rounds. This is the time you are allowed to ask about the condition of your baby and if there are any changes if the doctor is not too busy.
12:00- Feed your baby

And so on and so forth, including a 9 pm bedtime. Maybe my friends at Vanderbilt should try it and see how it goes over?

In other news, we found a spitting cobra at Lily this week living under the steps of House 10. Not cool. What's even less cool is that he was small, which means he has a cobra family somehwere.

I've added another one of the kids to our chest physio program and he actually loves it. He's been entertaining me every day, especially with his attempts to blow up a balloon. When I was doing chest percussion he said he was going to take a nap because it was very relaxing. He's a trip. This now makes 6 kids who need chest physio three times a week at minimum, and some have been requested to have it every day. I feel like a respiratory therapist all of a sudden!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I got to go on holiday for two weeks and it was wonderful and exactly what I needed. We started off in St. Lucia, a little beach town where they have lots and lots of hippos. There was a big beach that divided the ocean and an estuary and you could walk down there and see a huge family of hippos sleeping along with a few crocodiles. Around 5 pm or so they would all wake up and start swimming around so they were very entertaining to watch. I couldn't believe how incredibly big they were and how cool it was to see them that close out in the wild. While we were there we went to a game reserve called Hluhluwe, and we saw a huge herd of about 28 elephants (including some really small babies), along with rhinos, giraffes, baboons, zebras, impala, wildebeest, kudu, water buffalo, warthogs and lots of birds (which were not that interesting).

After that we went to Swaziland, which was pretty . We had rented a car and it was so nice to have a cd player and air conditioning! We were able to go hiking by a river and waterfall, and we saw monkeys there too. After Swaziland, we flew to Cape Town which was incredible. Not only did Cape Town have fountain drinks (!) and Haagen Daas (thank you God for midnight cookies and cream) but the scenery was amazing. Hiking up Table Mountain one day gave us views of the whole city and also reminded me how out of shape I was. Cape Point was beautiful too and we stopped on the way down at Simon's Town where the colonies of African penguins live. The beach was so beautiful and the penguins were so cute! They're used to tourists so they didn't pay any attention to us at all and just waddled and swam around. The next day I was able to see some friends who work with a ministry in Cape Town who had visited Lily, and we went out to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was in prison for over 25 years. I stayed with Naomi, my AIM missions coordinator and on Friday she took us to Hermanus, one of the only places in the world where you can see whales from land. We sat out for about three hours just watching the whales swim and splash around (and possibly, ahem, make little whales).

It was so restful to go on vacation for a while. It was almost exactly my halfway point here and I couldn't believe how nice it was to relax and know that I could sleep through the night or get in the shower (which was also a treat) and no one would come knocking on the door. Sometimes it's hard in the middle of something to see how much it wears you out but I was definitely getting worn out. I missed the kids so much while I was gone though! It was a very small taste of what it's going to be like in December. It was so good to see them all when I came back. They were so excited to see me (especially the ones who thought I left forever without saying goodbye) and the house moms were all sweet and gave me big hugs and told me they missed me. It was like coming back home after vacation and I can't really imagine what it will be like to leave for good.
This week has been good and busy again as usual, so not much has changed! I've had some kind of stomach virus the second half of the week which helped me kick that annoying eating habit I had for about 3 days. I'm feeling a lot better today though and my appetite has come back with a vengeance. Otherwise things are going well and I posted some pictures from the trip: