Monday, October 29, 2012

Thoughts from the village

I was going to entitle this entry, "A bat in the latrine, a snake in the house, and a scorpion in my room" but I thought that was a little long. So here I go, some assorted thoughts and conversations:

Me: "There seem to be bats inside the pit of the latrine."
Francis: laughter, "You don't need to worry about that."
Me: "But what if I'm going to the bathroom and the thing flies up and successfully comes out and hits me?"
Francis: more laughter "It cannot."
Me: "are you very sure?" thinking... I'm still going to have trouble squatting over this hole when i can hear the wings of some animal flapping around below me...I'm sure the thing may somehow get lucky and make it back out of the hole, and then there will be much screaming and running.

A few days later:
a thought as I used the pit latrine. "I just felt the wings of a bat as I was squatting. I'm outta here. What I'm trying to do isn't that important anyhow."
Another conversation as we were busy plucking peanuts in the garden:
Robert: I smell snake
Me: Like a dead snake or a live snake? Please say dead one, please say dead one, please say dead one...
Robert: A live one.
Me: Crap. How do you know what it smells like?
Robert began rummaging around the ground (This guy is crazy, is he looking for the snake with his hand or what??) until he finally found the ants/termites that were also busy in the garden.
Robert: It's these ones which the snake eats and then makes that smell.
Me: Oh Ok. So what the heck are we still sitting here for? Shouldn't we move away from the "live snake smell"? And why are you laying the baby on the blanket just near the area and leaving her there as we move on to the other part of the garden? Maybe it's not a dangerous snake that smells. Maybe they only feast on insects and not human beings. I have a lot to learn.
Francis: Oh yeah we killed a snake in your house while you were gone.
Me thinking: Oh, nice, thanks for letting me know. Oh what? It's not a dangerous one? Well that's reassuring?
I went to my bedroom to get some thing. It was dark, I was using my flashlight. Curious to know whether a certain spider had shifted from where she had been earlier, I shined my light on the wall. Is that a gecko? Then it moved, and I looked closer.
Oh, that's a scorpion, at least it looks big so it's probably not deadly, but it's still a scorpion in my bedroom. I guess there's a first time for everything. "Francis! come here."
Francis: Oh, that's a scorpion. That thing can punish you. You need to be careful, if that thing bites you, you will feel serious pain up until this time tomorrow night. 24 hours.
He proceeds to grab a broom and tries to kill the thing and fails, but eventually gets it to the ground where it it killed with a hammer.
Me thinking: I'm sure i'll sleep well tonight. At least I have the mosquito net, and you better believe I'm going to tuck that thing in well tonight.
I wanted to include other thoughts and conversations that didn't involve creepy and crawling things, but I can't remember any off the top of my head.
I normally don't like reporting these types of things, because, let's be honest I would like visitors to keep coming, and I don't want to scare them away, but there just happened to be so many incidences in one week that I couldn't keep quiet about it.
I still love the village and I'm still planning to stay there until God calls me somewhere else.
I thank God for the constant protection He grants me, and the way He is caring for me and removing fears from me. He's a good Father.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Another beautiful delivery

It began as any other evening. I had just gotten back from the village, enjoyed some supper with teammates and then took a couple of their kids, ave (7) and Miriam (13), along with Betty (13) to have a sleepover at my house. We were still watching the movie parent trap when around 9:20pm I got a phone call from one of my friends and co-laborers in kamuda, Paul. He said his wife had been having labor pains for most of the day and that they were in the village not in town. I asked if He wanted me to pick them up and bring them to the hospital in town. After discussing with the wife, he said they would continue to wait and then when morning came they may call back and go then. Well...then right around 10pm he calls back and said, you'd better come. So I asked the girls if they wanted me to leave them finishing the movie and sleeping, but no, they wanted to come. So we drove the 17km out to paul's home and the whole time, i'm hoping my teammates won't be too upset with me for bringing their kids out to the village at that time of night. I'd do it if they were my own kids, right??? Anyway, when we arrived, Paul met us outside and told the girls to remain outside while we went into the hut and "assessed the situation". Well when I walked in and found his wife jennifer, wide legged and pushing hard, with the head pretty much crowning, I told paul, I think we'd better stay here, there's no way we'd make it to the hospital, she's got to keep going here. So that being said he handed me some gloves and I joined the other two ladies who were already assisting her in giving birth. I asked paul if they knew what they were doing (because I certainly didn't) and was reassured that they knew. After a few minutes of pushing that head came right out up to the shoulders, we could see the cord was wrapped around the neck, and we just prayed and told her to keep pushing. Shortly he came the rest of the way out and we quickly unwrapped the cord, good enough it was not very tight around his neck. Paul then asked me how we tie and cut the cord. I called my nurse teammate, who though groggy from being woken up, gave me the information i needed and we proceeded. The baby gave a few good screams, she got the placenta out, and we were in business. They quickly cleaned up the mess, thankfully they had a plastic sheet which caught everything, rather than direct onto the mud floor. Once she was "decent" again we invited the small group of children who had been patiently waiting outside in to see the newest member of the family. Once we got Jennifer in bed along with the baby we sang a song of worship and prayed some prayers of thanksgiving together. By then my girls were tired and ready to go home. Jennifer began telling me that she had worked so hard much of that day to have their new "guest hut" ready for me to sleep in, but it wasn't quite ready. Sorry. I told her don't worry about it. We left with the promise that I would come back in the morning to bring them to the health center. We were back home and in bed by midnight. just two hours from the call to come. not bad. The following morning I left the girls shopping and making breakfast while i took some drugs out to their house and to take jennifer and baby Ekako to the health center for immunizations. When i arrived back at their place I found Jennifer out walking around and full of energy, i never would have guessed just 10 hours ago she had delivered a child. She told me the story of her day of delivery as we took tea together. She had woken up with the birth pains, but decided to go the garden anyhow and weeded three rows of cassava, then decided that since she was still feeling the pains she should probably go back to her home. From there she continued working on the guest hut and cooking food, etc... then by 8 that's when the pains started worsening. These ladies here are tough. we went to the local health center, but they didn't have any immunizations, no way of keeping them cold, we should come back on tuesday, but not this tuesday b/c it's independence day, but maybe next tuesday. Ekako weighed about 7.6lbs. He wasn't eating at all for about the first 14 hours of his life, but is now happily suckling away. So if someone asks me what does it look like to walk along side the local church in uganda, I would have to relate to them such a story. Doing life with each other, praying through these situations, experiencing life and death, joys and sorrows together.  I feel so privileged to be able to do that with christians here. Sorry, i left the camera at home, so I'll have to put photos up next time I go visit them. But for those of you happened to see the happy birthday song, and the birthday chicken videos on facebook, it was that very pregnant lady in the videos who gave birth.