Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
We arrived in Livingston on Saturday around lunchtime. BW gave us all some money to get our own lunch. Sarah and I decided to share something and pool our money at a nice restaurant. It was so good! After we checked in to the Protea, we loaded back up into “Khaki Jackie” and headed to the Royal Livingston for some High Tea. It was so delightful.
After High Tea, we had the pleasure of seeing some small monkeys playing around on the grounds. As we were taking pictures and videos one little monkey decided to be brave and chase after Sarah and me. As we ran screaming from the tiny monkey like little girls, we couldn’t help but laugh at the thought.
Sunday we went on a Safari in Botswana. We started the day with a riverboat cruise in the Chobe National Park. Lebs, our guide was very knowledgeable and steered us around to all of the animals. We saw elephants, monitor lizards, hippos, water buffalo, crocodile, and tons of birds. It was great. After our cruise we had lunch and then we loaded up on our safari trucks and headed out. BW, Sarah and I all sat in the back of out truck with our friends from Mexico in front of us then Meghann, Marja, and Caroline. We had so much fun looking for all the animals. We saw Impala, Kudo, Warthog, Elephants, Giraffe, Water Buffalo, and Monkeys. Then when we least expected it, our driver Ronald, hit the gas and muttered something about a Leopard. We went tearing off through the bush at about 50 km per hour. We plowed through a heard of Elephants, and when I say heard I mean about 50 elephants. It was crazy. Ronald got us there in time to see the Leopard being harassed by two jackels. Then he calmly walked in front of our car. It was great. They say that Leopard sighting are very rare in the Chobe National Park. All in all, it was a good day.
This morning we got to sleep in. Sarah and I did not get out of bed until around 10:30. It was a nice change and a much needed rest. After lunch we went to Victoria Falls to see it during the day. It was so beautiful and amazing to see. We had a great guide who took us around to all of the sights. He was really good, even though we still got drenched.
After Victoria Falls, we went on a sunset cruise. There was food, animals, and good friends, along with an African sunset. A good ending to a wonderful trip.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Today was the last day at the Haven. In the morning we took time and spent it with the babies. For our class, BW asked us to write a paper on the development of one child that we picked. Of course, I picked Teagan. We spent most of morning cuddling on the couch and sleeping. It was the best time I have had in a long while. I am really going to miss her sweet little smile and the way she stares deep into my eyes. Sweet baby child.
After Lunch, we picked up some cakes that Lenord made for us and headed back to the Haven for the afternoon. We presented the aunties at each Haven with a “Thank You” cake fr allowing us to come in and disrupt their routines for the past month. They were all appreciative and sad to see us go. After that we all took up our chosen children for one last snuggle, laugh and hug. As I made my way around kissing and hugging all the children one last time, I came to Peter. I bent down to love on him and he looked up at me with his big brown eyes and grinned, grab my face with his little hands and laughed. I lost it. I am going to miss all these kids so much, I didn’t think it was possible to form a bond so quickly with children that are not mine. But I have. It is hard knowing that some of the sweet ones will not be here next if I get the chance to come back.
After dinner, Rachel and Catherine announced that we would be competing in the first annual HIZ-PATH GA Olympics. The events were as follows: Longest Leg Hair, Sock Slide, Door Lock (with Harry Potter keys), bottle chug, Chitange wrap, and 40 second clothes dash. Sarah Hendrix came in first, Lacey Nunnally second, and Kaylee Carlson third. It was CLASSIC!
After the Olympics we could here music in the distance coming from the college. So we donned our headlamps and chitange and headed out to the college so see what was going on. When we got there, we discovered the college kids having a dance party. Naturally we joined in. It was a blast. The students must have really enjoyed our dance styles because they keep taking pictures of us, I think they thought we were funny!
Tomorrow we head to Livingston for three days then back to the mission for a night. After that we head to Lusaka and are on our way home. Thanks for the continued prayers and support.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Today was our last full day of therapy at the Havens. Rach, Lace and I are back on language duty this week and it is going really well. The kids have finally fallen in to routine, and are really responding to the language stimulation. It is nice to see these kids coming out of their shells and talking more. They are bright little ones with lots of potential.
We have been trying to get the “Aunties” more involved with therapy so that they can continue after we leave. It has been slow going on that front but we have managed to form so close relationships with some of these ladies. I am confident they will do some FANTASTIC language lessons after we leave.
Today is the wonderful Caroline Martin’s 30th Birthday. We are so lucky to have her here on this trip and we are luckier to have the opportunity to share in her first days as a 30 year old. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAROLINE!
Sarah, Marja (which I just found out this week, I have been spelling wrong all along), and I attended singing class after out movie night on the Hamby porch. Febby and Npoyanna (Two girls we have become close to here) said they were very sad to see us go on Saturday. Aubrey insisted we come to one last practice tomorrow night so that the group could all say goodbye. Sad Day.
We leave the mission in a week and the general feeling of the group is bittersweet. We have grown to love the babies here; each of us has claimed one of our own. We will be sad to leave them and I am certain I speak for everyone when I say that we wish we could take them with us. Home will be nice though. The land of reliable internet, hot showers, and few power outages.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Matty is little bitty thing and really likes to be cuddled up next to someone!
Lushomo is also so serious, he has a worried look in his eyes but it receeds when you make him laugh.
Hamilton is our Superman, he has gained weight and the “Aunties” even call him fat. Ha Ha.
Chowlee is super inquisitive and always likes to be the center of attention.
Bennett is a star, he has a sweet little smile and never complains that he itches, he has congenital syphilis, just always greet with a big smile and a coo.
Amanda is our resident princess, she cries when no one is paying attention to her or when we demand too much out of her.
Under the shade of big tree we buried Kelly this afternoon. Many Tongan songs were sung, tears were shed and Kelly was laid to rest with a peaceful breeze blowing across the African bush. We all knew a day like this might come but never did we anticipate how hard it would be. Kelly rests with Jesus and plays at the Lord’s feet now. We thank him for the time we had to spend with her and how her sweet, calm spirit touched our lives in such a short time. I am certain that Kelly will not be forgotten anytime soon
Monday, June 7, 2010
So after we fully drained the market of chitange and single-handedly stimulated the Kalomo economy, we headed home for dinner with Diet Cokes in tow. Sarah had complained of have a rough throat all day but I really thought she was just thirsty. Sunday morning she awoke with a horrible throat ache, the nurse confirmed Step throat. So once again, my roommate is sick! Great! We headed to church and had a blast singing with kids at children's church. We had another nice pot luck lunch which included Mrs. Ellie Hamby, who is something is a celebrity here in Zambia! She is larger than life and fantastic. After lunch, Lacey came down with something and after an all nighter, she also saw the nurse and has been down for the count. I babysat the sick ones while everyone else heading to sunday night service.
We headed back over to the Haven this morning for therapy. This week, we changed the groups a little (Rachel and I still get to be together) and we are doing both feeding and language therapy. Rach and I started with feeding this morning and Caroline had a great idea to read a sweet book the kids. "No Matter What", the words are simple but true. No matter what you are or where you go, I will always love you! So sweet that Rach and I began to cry. Sitting in that room, holding our babies tight, I realized I miss home but I will also miss my sweet ones when I leave. Mine is a torn heart, I love my family and want to be home, but I have also bonded with many of the little ones here and care for them deeply. I think the hardest part is leaving them with the uncertainty of knowing what will com of them.
Pray for our babies. They need as many as they can get!
I would post some pictures but after nearly 30 mintues of waiting for them to upload, I give up!
Friday, June 4, 2010
We have been on Language therapy duty this week, and it has been a real experience! It is amazing to see our little ones coming out of their shells and coming alive. We have been hear a lot of sound imitation and babbling in our baby classes, and lots more sentence structure with our older kids. They have been requesting and imitating words and sentences, also they are more vocal independently. Our day starts at Haven 2 with they older kids where we have a modified circle time, we introduce items and sing song about them. We have even managed to get the aunties involved. It was awesome to see them teaching portions of the circle time, makes me think this stuff is sticking. Then head to Haven 1 for our 1 year olds and younger kids. We do kind of a modified cradle roll class. After lunch we usually head back to Haven 1 where we do some individual type groups. Small groups with three of four kids and one therapist. We read books, sing songs, and imitate sounds for treats!! Yes bribing works here too. Then we go to Haven 3 and have two groups. One with little babies in bouncy chairs and another with about 12 toddler corralled into two beds. More singing and reading is done here. We have really seen these kids come alive this week and it has been truly amazing to be apart of that.
Wednesday after dinner, Marga, Sarah and I decided to head over to the college to attend the singing class. When we arrived we discovered there was going to be a bible study before our singing class began. The topic of discussion was Forgiving and Forgetting. These ladies posed some really tough questions to each other and it was intense to say the least. After the lesson was finished, the student body President and VP came in to make some announcements. It was a little uncomfortable for the three of us, as they were kind of airing dirty laundry. They told the girls that “there will be peace in the girls dorms”, the president then went on to say “he didn’t want to name names but he would.” After this was brought up, the VP discussed the dress code (which it seemed to me had been discussed more then once). This consisted of modest neat dress, with below the knee skirts and no trousers for girls. I can get behind that, it sounded good to me. Then the big kicker came. The President told all of the women “if you have a husband or a boyfriend that is not on campus, honor them with your actions.”
In Closing, honor your husbands and boyfriends with your actions. Remember who made you and who you belong to.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Today we celebrate the birth of our dear friend Rachel Pugh. Thank you Mr and Mrs Pugh for having her.
We haven’t had good internet service for a few days and every time I tried to post my blog, the internet would go out. So this might be a long one. I am going to combine a few days here.
We have had some great successes at the Haven this week. Our language group has seen imorovemnets in most of the children. They seem to be responding better to group activities and are transitioning much better from one activity to the next. We have even seen a decline in most of the behavior problems we initially saw. This is such a wonderful blessing to see these kiddos unfold and become more interactive. Most of the babies are feeling better but we still have some sick little ones. One in particular is baby Sidney. She is a Tuberculosis baby and is have some serious trouble. She has labored breathing, and is also having trouble eating because she cannot seem to breathe and eat at the same time. BW took her to the clinic today to see the nurse, so keep this precious little one in your prayers.
Other than sick babies and lots of spit up it has been a pretty successful week so far. It is amazing that we have been working at the Haven for almost two weeks now. I have seen so many of our wonderful little one really come out of their shells and it has been such an awesome blessing to witness. I am so thankful I have had the opportunity to come on this trip. One I am sure I will not be forgetting anytime soon. Keep us and our work here in your prayers.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Today we woke and Rachel had caught the funk! I sure hope we are not going to just keep passing this around to everyone.
After Breakfast we headed the Haven for our morning rounds. Feeding groups at Haven 1 and Haven 3. Language groups at Haven 2. I am so excited to tell you that our little guy, Hamilton, is doing well. He is filling out in the cheeks and his coloring looks tons better. Keep praying for him but I am going to add another babe to the mix here. Chowle, a 10-month-old little boy is having some real trouble eating. He aspirates, which means liquid gets into his lungs when he eats. So he now Has an aversion to eating. Luckily this little guy is not giving up. He is a fighter. He is happy, inquisitive, and alert. This is so not typical of a failure to thrive baby. We are giving this little guy up to God. Only he has the power to heal and make it possible for him to eat! Do your best work guys.
My personal miracle of the week has been little Teagan. She began this week, on monday, with absolutely no expression or desire to intact at ALL. As we played more on monday, we noticed she has some sensory issued that had not been addressed. So I used the z-vibe to stimulate her oral cavity a little more everyday n=and she has really come to life. She giggles and babbles and mores wonderful eye contact. None of which was she doing on monday morning! I am so pleased to see this precious little one coming out of her shell. Our God is bigger than any obstacle we face. Praise him.
After the haven rounds, we came back and did some buns and thigh workout in the backyard before heading to a dinner spaghettis and garlic bread for dinner. Delicious. Now we are trying to figure out how to watch a movie. Possibly Hope Floats but maybe Twilight! Who knows?
So we could not get the movie to work and Hope does not float...sad times.
That’s it for tonight! More tomorrow.
Friday, May 28, 2010
So I am alive! Yesterday I came down with a stomach virus. And let me tell you, it was NOT pleasant. We woke up in Livingston and had to ride back in “Khaki Jackie” on the extremely bumpy roads for two hours. Every time we swayed or bumped all eyes were one me. Thankfully I got to take the afternoon off and sleep. It was much needed, though I was in and out of bed making trips to the bathroom about 20 times.
I felt not a lot better when I woke up this morning but decided the show must go on. I headed to breakfast, where Sarah made me drink some juice. It was about all I could handle. Then we loaded up and set out for the Haven. ALL of the babies seemed to be running fever and sick today. So this made for a long morning. I got thrown up on several times and sweat on a lot. I feel so bad for these little ones.
After lunch we took a short nap then head back to the Haven. Babies were feeling better and that made the afternoon go by very quickly. After baby time at the Haven, we were invited to tour the radio station here on the mission. It was neat!
We had a BOSS dinner courtesy of Lenord. It was chicken and rice with green beans and apple cake. Yummy! It was my first full meal in two days, so I was on it.
So in closing, ALL the babies I came in contact with today were sick. I am sure I will be coming down with it again. But seeing the little eyes stare into yours is so worth every minute of sickness.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
This morning we woke up and headed to breakfast. It was the one I had been waiting for…eggs and toast! It was so good. After that we all went back and packed an overnight bag to go to Livingston.
After breakfast we headed to the Haven for our morning rounds. We started in Haven 1 with playtime and feeding stimulation. Then we headed to Haven 3 to help with lunch and feed our little ones there.
We had chicken spaghetti for lunch, then we loaded up in “Khaki Jackie” and headed to Livingston. It was a two hour ride, cramped in the back of the Jack on bumpy roads but we sang songs and laughed a lot which made our trip go by fast.
We arrived and our hotel is AMAZING! They have some of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed in here in Zambia. We checked in and walked around a little then went to dinner nearby. Kaylee, Lacey, Sarah and I headed for hamburgers. Now I don’t normally crave a hamburger, but I was yearning for one really bad. As it were, it was “Wacky Wednesday”, when you get two burgers for the price of one. How could I pass that up?
After dinner we headed back to the hotel for a little rest before we made our way to the falls. Victoria Falls was indescribable. Millions of gallons of water rushing with enough force to knock over tree and spray mist hundreds of feet in the air, AMAZING. The best part was on this rare occasion, we were able to see the “moonbow”. This occurs only when there is a full moon and the skies are clear. The light from the full moon cast a rainbow over the falls. It was breath taking. After capturing pictures of the bow, the group trekked around the falls to several other locations where the mist sprayed us like rain. A few brave souls (Rachel, Ian, Meghann, Jaime, Marga, Caroline, and Catherine) followed our dear guide across the bridge and were SOAKED when we returned.
Back at the hotel, a nice hot shower was in order. After a good long rinse in HOT water bed ime called.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Rachel and I did not dress the same today. After a pancake breakfast, we headed over to the Haven for our morning clinicals. Rachel and I will be spending the entire weeks collecting data on our “at risk” babies and doing some feeding groups.
We started our morning in Haven 1 with the feeding group. Seven babies to be exact. With some extra thrown in cause they are so cute and could use the individual interaction. During this time we work on the non-nutritive suck, feed bottles, did “tummy time”, sang songs, and practiced sitting. Later in the morning we crossed over to Haven 3 and had another group of babies for feeding. More of the same. By Lunch time we were EXHAUSTED …feeding is harder work than I thought.
Lenord made us some Meatloaf for lunch and everyone was so tired, I don’t think many words were spoken. After a quick lunch we got an hour of rest. It was so nice and very needed.
Then back to the Haven for afternoon clinicals. This time we started at Haven 3 and moved to Haven 1 about 45 minutes later. We did more of the same. Got babies up from naps, changed diapers and clothes if needed. Then we started out feeding groups.
We have a VERY small baby who is in need of A LOT of prayers. He is very tiny with no fat and very little muscle on his little body. The song “Jesus loves the little Children” takes on a whole new meaning when you are holding one so weak and so fragile in your hands. I know God is good and hopefully little Hamilton will gain some weight with our amazing Caroline and stay with us.
We came back and had dinner and then did some Zumba. Might I say that is the funniest thing I have ever seen. 7 women doing some pretty rad dance moves to workout in Africa. I am certian not many people can say they have done that.
Monday, May 24, 2010
After a breakfast of cinnamon rolls and bagels, we loaded up the “Khaki Jackie” and headed to the haven. Ian Tullos lead an expedition through the African bush. Catherine, Sarah, Kaylee, Lacey, Rachel and I decided to take the trek with him. After nearly 30 minutes of walking we asked some local if they knew where the haven was and they directed us around the corner.
Moral of the story: Don’t follow mini DT into the African outback.
Rachel and I spent the morning with Caroline at the Haven 3 identifying the “at risk” swallowing babies. All these babies are considered medically fragile due to their exposure to HIV, syphilis, or Tuberculosis. We went through there available medical histories and did some screening for development.
Lenord made some sweet enchiladas and rice for lunch complete with banana nut bread for dessert. Yum Yum.
After lunch we loaded back up and headed back to the Haven. The afternoon was spent collecting more data on some of our very little ones. We did some oral stimulation and some Beckman exercises on our tiny ones. Might I just say Caroline is AMAZING. She is a great teacher and wonderful clinician. I am learning so much just being with her today.
After dinner we were invited to attend a welcoming party/dinner. They had wonderful food but we were all so full from our previous dinner we were not hungry. Not a group to turn down food, we did eat again! It was good. After the dinner, the men’s choir from the college sang and they asked us to sing a song. Luckily we had practice “ Wonderful, Merciful, Savior” so we sang them that song.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
No HOT water again to day. This makes for a grump morning when you jump in the shower and turn the water on, only to find it is FREEZING cold. We did breakfast on our own without Lenord, Tear! Not as good but it still got the job done. After breakfast we headed to Church in the Johnson. (Pretty sure I called it the Jefferson yesterday…oops.)
We worshipped with the Zambians on the mission this morning. They brought the babies and I got to wrangle Catherine. She is a spitfire with lots of attitude and energy. Sounds familiar. She also has some vision problems. Surprisingly, most of the babies were really well behaved and we rarely heard a peep out of them. Though Catherine was up and down out of my lap about 50 times during the 2 and a half hours of church. Yes I did just say 2 and a half hours.
During church Kaylee, Lacey, BW and I were like a snack bar. We started with a little candy (wholesome breakfast, I know!), then we moved on the Goldfish, quickly followed by Cherrios and finished with more candy. Those babies can eat!
After church we walked over and had leftovers prepared by us. It was delicious. We had spaghetti, pizza, peaches, cheese garlic toast (courtesy of Catherine and me), When lunch was cleaned up everyone headed back to the house for some rest/quiet time. It was amazing! I forgot how much I love to nap. Grad school doesn’t leave much time for that.
BW made some serious grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner tonight! Yummy. Catherine, Marga, Meghann, Sarah and I did KP duty and then we were off to church. Hoping it won’t be as long as it was this morning!
Saturday, May 22, 2010
After that we went to the Choma Museum and Crafts Centre, to learn about the history here and do some shopping. Shopping was first priority for most and then a quick run through to see all of the neat artifacts.
BW took the liberty of buying us some delicious chicken and chips (French fries) lunches. Complete with Diet Cokes, cookies and oranges from a local street vendor. Best picnic ever! When we were all done, we loaded up again and were off to the market.
You will be happy to know that I DID NOT buy everything in sight. Though I might have wanted to. I practiced some restraint. All I got were two chitanges. So now I am officially done buying those. I am in search of some sweet African looking jewelry now!
Mrs. Mono is going to make me a cute sundress out of one of my new chitange. I am so excited about it. We had some clutch spaghetti for dinner tonight, courtesy of Lenord! Love Him.
Tomorrow is church in the Jefferson, where we get to hold babies and teach the American equivalent of cradle roll. NICE!
Friday, May 21, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
There were some bumps along the road. Starting with a minor hiccup in Memphis while checking our bags. Dean Weave (DW) got it all straightened out for us and after going through security we were on our way. From Memphis we traveled a short jog to Atlanta, where Kaylee, Lacey, Catherine, Sarah, Rachel and I just had to have one more stop at On The Border before we left. After eating quite possibly every chip in sight and inhaling a gallon of salsa, we received a frantic text from DW telling us to "Run to gate 31E! Run!". So with 30 pound bags in tow, we took off Amazing Race style through 4 terminals and barely made it on our flight. Oops!
After we found our seats (sort of), they realized there were two seats sold for 22A. The pulled a standby and all was well. We arrived an hour late to Dulles, DC and found the DW bag had been eaten. Not by a Lion but a baggage machine. Literally melted her bag, but she handled herself with grace under fire! We are proud!!!!! Then we took four cabs, 12 people, and 24+ bags to the Comfort Inn for a little nap before we started again.
Monday morning we woke early and ate breakfast at the hotel before heading out. Our flight was again delayed an hour due to some unknown issues. We meet a group from Troy University going to Malawi for a trip. Once on board, we all spread out around the plane to try to get some sleep. Traveling in the daylight does not make it easy. Most were able to rest or in Kaylee and Lacey's case, coma! I however, did not sleep for more than an hour, Ugh. After a LONG trip across the atlantic we landed in Rome for a short stop. Then we were off to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We arrived there minutes before our next flight was scheduled to leave but lucky they waited for us. Another four hours of travel on a stuffy, hot and quit full plane and we landed in Zambia.
Gathering our bags we noticed that we were missing seven out of 24. Luckily not mine. We loaded the bags we did have in Mission buses and headed to the Protea Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia. It is very nice with Hard wood floors, big beds, and a waterfall shower!!!! After we had dinner, everyone went back to their rooms to shower and Skype. I loaned Lace some PJ's for the evening. Her bags didn't make it!
Off to bed, I promise the next one won't be as long!
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Memphis to Atlanta Delta 0668
Atlanta to Dulles Delta 1752
Dulles to Addis Ababa Ethiopian Airlines ET 0503
Addis Ababa to Lusaka Ethiopian Airlines ET 0873
Lusaka to Addis Ababa ET 0873
Addis Ababa to Dulles ET 0500
Dulles to Atlanta 1961
Atlanta to Memphis 1265