Sunday, October 26, 2008

the times they are a changin

So a lot has happened this week both home and abroad. (not sure which of those is which...) This past week we had another Lily clinic, where both the doctor from the CDC and an ENT from Grey's came out to see the kids. 24 kids had to see the regular doctor, and 19 more had to see the ENT so needless to say it was a little chaotic. Tuesday I was at the hospital to drop off files and pick up some medication prescribed by the ENT, Wednesday was regular hospital day (meaning 7am- to 3pm!), and Thursday we had to go back to the hospital to sort out a problem with one of the medications. I have lots of friends at the hospital now which makes it a lot easier to get things done! People see me coming and know I'm about to ask for a favor.

One of the babies, Mpumelelo, just turned two and has started coming to nursery and he has a little backpack and everything. My roommate and Katie agree that he has busted out of anonymity to be one of the cutest kids in the nursery. He walks by the office every morning and waves and grins at all of us, and he comes to our Sunday School now and just dances his little heart out with a huge smile on his face. It's been so much fun to see the kids grow and develop, to see little personalities and senses of humor and attitudes come out.

These past couple of weeks have been busy for my friends at home too! Josh Casper and Hannah got engaged, and Sheila and Leo got engaged! I haven't gotten to meet either Leo or Hannah (but we're friends on Facebook. You know, where it really counts) but I love them both already. Hooray for love!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

hello loyal readers

Mom and Dad just left a few hours ago and I'm sitting in an internet cafe in Durban. It's amazing to me that they've already come and gone! When we said goodbye at the airport earlier I realized I'll be home exactly two months from today, which is hard to believe. The next few weeks are going to fly by and before I know it this experience that I have been planning and living in for so long will be over.

We had such a good week while they were here though! They were able to meet a lot of the kids and house moms, which was great. Sunday we took two of the younger girls to Tala, the game park that borders Lily. They immediately started naming the people in car, pointing to me and saying "sister", pointing to Mom and saying "mother", and pointing to Dad and saying, "Grandfather!" They continued to call him that the rest of the day and my favorite moment was when Amanda, the 5 year old with us, decided she wanted to sit in Dad's lap for the rest of the trip and shouted out to him, "Grandfather, I'm going to sit on you!" I would hope that any friends and coworkers of my Dad would be thoughtful enough to remind him of this frequently. Even use his new nickname, if you like.

On Thursday we got up early and went to Hluhluwe and Imfolozi, the game preserves near St. Lucia. We saw elephants, rhinos, zebras, water buffalo, baboons, monkeys, wildebeest, warthogs, giraffes, crocodiles, antelope....and the most exciting, lions! We saw a male with 2 females and 3 cubs! That was by far my favorite thing and it was the last animal we saw as we left the park. Because it's spring here, all of the animals had babies with them too which was really cool to see.

Things at Lily have been going pretty well. As far as the medical side of things we have really gotten through the most hectic part of October. We have one Lily clinic coming up Monday and a trip to the hospital on Wednesday, but other than that it all looks ok. The kids have been most healthy too, a few ear infections and coughs but nothing more serious than that. I spent one long unpleasant day in the hospital a couple of weeks ago, but every day I spend in the hospital makes me more and more grateful for our American hospitals. Every time I go, I meet a nurse or someone that wants to know how they could come to America to work. The nursing staff in the CDC at Grey's all says they're coming back with me when I leave in December!

Monday, October 6, 2008

a long week already....

Today we had a 5 hour long Lily Clinic! The doctor had to see 24 kids. We have a hospital trip tomorrow with 3 kids, Wednesday with 2 kids, and Thursday with 1 kid! It's going to be a long and busy week for me. Hopefully Friday I'll find a little time to clean my house because on Saturday my parents are coming! That has really made me realize how quickly the time is flying by, because I remember reserving a place for them to stay the first week I was here and now it's already time for them to be here. I'm looking forward to it a lot and I'll get a couple of days off next week to spend with them, so I'm excited about that.
This week 3 of our kids went to live with families through a program called Focus on Ithemba (Focus on the Family in South Africa). They were dropped off on Friday and Warren, our manager said about the oldest boy (who's 13): "He's the happiest child in the world right now, because all he's ever wanted was a family." We're going to miss them a lot but this program puts them in a home with a mother and father, gives them a good education and pays for them to go to college.
We all got some really sad news this weekend, though. Joerg, a volunteer from Germany who my time here overlapped with briefly, was killed last week when he was hit by a train. He had been back in Germany since April; he was 21 years old. Please lift up his family and friends in your prayers.
Literally an hour before we found out I had just finished reading "Where Is God When It Hurts?" by Phillip Yancey. The news was just a reminder that this world is broken, and our lives our fragile. But Yancey says at one part in the book that he "believes in the fairy tale", that God is going to restore this world to what it's meant to be.