Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hope does not Float....

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

The Funk has come and gone...

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

Wacky Wednesdays.....

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

Ode to an Eight Legged Friend


Little Miss Jaime sat on her pillow,
Writing her blog today.
When along came a spider,
and sneaked in beside her,
and Sarah ran to saved the day.

Yes that is correct, while composing my previous blog I noticed a spider had snuck into my bed with me. Calm and collected, I called our resident spider killer and she properly did away with him.

Don't be mad mom, these are not cute little garden spiders. You would approve.

Zumba in the Bush...

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.

More Tomorrow.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Straight Twinkin'

This morning we woke up to no hot water again. All is good though, we took baby wipe baths. When we came out of our rooms, Rachel and I were dressed the same!

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.

More Tomorrow.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Snack Bar....

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

2 Chitange and a tribal mask.....

Today we decided we were going to make a trip into Choma. All 12 of us loaded up in the "Khaki Jackie" for the 45 minute drive into town. We stopped at the post office so we could send out postcards and run to the ATM. A local man was quite taken with Meghann and I offered to trade her for 2 chitange and a tribal mask. She did NOT go along with the idea!

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.

This place was HUGE! They sold everything from dried minnow (which I am sure they use for some sort of eating purpose) to buckets and machete and everything in between. WOW! American strip malls have nothing on this place. We were able to barter with pens and ponytail holders for a few things but mostly we were just happy to stimulate the local economy.

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!

More Tomorrow!


Friday, May 21, 2010


Today we woke up and had a wonderful breakfast of biscuits and gravy! Yummy. Lenord is a man after my own heart with all this fattening southern cooking. So far we've had fried chicken, grilled cheese, pizza, and french toast. I am told to expect baked cornflake chicken and baked potatoes for dinner...yes please!

After breakfast, we returned to our house and took a little nap. It was so nice, considering Sarah and I have the possessed closet for a bedroom! Then after lunch we were off to the Haven for some baby time. DW and DT returned to town to buy all the stamps in Kalomo but returned unsuccessful as they were all out!

When we arrived at the Haven, the Aunties immediately turned all the babies lose and they swarmed us. SO GOOD!!!!! I spent my afternoon loving on the medical fragile children (ones with TB, HIV, or some other illness that prevents them from living in the same house with the well babies). Lee has taken my heart! I am in love. If I could bring him home with me, I might just do that.

It is amazing, the babies here are so calm and quiet and content to just be held. They don't require any specific accommodations, just a free lap and a cuddle. They LOVE their one on one face time, and occasionally got feisty with each other when they felt like their girl was being taken from them.

After the Haven we had dinner and then played Apples to Apples in the dark with our headlamps. Rachel won with the most schizophrenic personality. After that, Marga, Catherine, and I went to campus and busted in on a college singing group. I would love to learn the songs and be able to sing along but it was so nice just to listen. They have invited us back everynight they sing.

That's it for now! Loves.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Oh I left the 8 off...."

So the Internet is back and running!!!! It's a good day here at the graduate house.

We have had rolling blackouts to conserve energy here and finally we got the correct password for the internet. We have been to town (Kalomo) and back today with a successful trip to the market to buy Chitange's. Then we rounded out our morning with a visit to Mrs. Mono for some satchel shopping! All in all a good day for shopping and we are now officially African!

We went to chapel this morning at the college and met some wonderful women that are attending classes there. They offered to help us learn to wear our new chitange's and told us they would teach us to strap babies to our backs with them. So Bonus!!!!!

There is a football match at 3pm. For those of you that don't know, football is soccer! And I hear they are serious about there football too. So this will be interesting.

Look for more updates as the internet continues to work. Thanks for all the kind thoughts and words.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

We made it....

After the longest two days of traveling ever, we finally made it!

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

Today is the day....

We are pulling out of Searcy in about 4 hours. I cannot believe this day is finally here. For those that care I am attaching out flight schedule with numbers. You will have to go online to look the details up but they are there.

Keep me in your thoughts and prayers while I am out.

flight numbers are
May 16
Memphis to Atlanta Delta 0668
Atlanta to Dulles Delta 1752

May 17
Dulles to Addis Ababa Ethiopian Airlines ET 0503
May 18
Addis Ababa to Lusaka Ethiopian Airlines ET 0873

June 24
Lusaka to Addis Ababa ET 0873
Addis Ababa to Dulles ET 0500

June 25
Dulles to Atlanta 1961
Atlanta to Memphis 1265

Africa....Here I come!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I caved....

So, I caved! I was not going to do this but I decided I wanted to have my own experiences and stories to keep forever.

This summer I am living at the Namwaingia Mission in Zambia, Africa. For six weeks we will be doing hearing screenings and language enriching activities for school aged children, and toddler learning classes at The Haven for orphans birth to 2 years old.

I cannot believe we leave in just 3 days. I really never thought this day would get here, and I am leaving with mixed emotions. I know this is going to be an amazing experience and I am sure it will be tiring and hard. But I really don't have any words to describe the anticipation!

Keep me in your prayers and thoughts.

We are as a class required to keep a blog. You can follow that one at