Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Sleep-Over

(Yempaabu, in yellow, and some of the moms from our prenatal clinic)

At this age I'm not looking for "extreme" adventures anymore. Just a good ole regular adventure would suit me just fine... But that wasn't to be the case this past week. Having been gone from the Bush clinic for over 2 months, I really needed to be there for the all-day clinic on Thursday and then the Friday morning Prenatal check-ups for our expectant moms. Rather than bump and bounce over the track out to the village (45 min.) back and forth both days, I decided that it would be better for me to just stay the night out there and either sleep in the bed of our truck or in the clinic. This being cool season and the night promised to be pleasant with a full moon, I made my preparations.

On arrival that Thursday around noon, the clinic was bustling. Pastor had already seen quite a few patients, and had some he wanted to refer to we quickly became busy. I had also brought out a large order of medicines that we needed, so those had to be put on the shelves and priced. Meanwhile, Yempaabu, who does most of the wound treatment, was busy working on an abcess. Outside there were two of our faithful volunteer men divided between the two groups of people - the Gourma and the Fulani - playing recordings from the Bible. We had at least 20+ patients still waiting to be seen.

Mid afternoon, I got a surprise visit from two of my former Prenatal moms, who were bringing their newborns to see me. What a fun reunion we had, and both kept thanking us that they had had good births with healthy babies!

The last patient was finally seen and leaving as the sun was low on the horizon. Pastor gave me the key to the clinic and told me to rearrange as I needed. I brought in the benches and put 3 together, put a foam mattress on them and then linens. I had my fold-out camp chair, so put it in the doorway to enjoy the early evening light. Across from me was a Fulani man bringing the herds of goats and sheep in from their wanderings to graze. They were lowing and bleating in soft tones. I could hear the laughter of Pastor's little girls playing in their family compound and mom was cooking. Every now and then mom would call out for one of them to help with a chore. All around me it was peaceful and comforting.

A bit later, Pastor, his wife and kids, all came up to the clinic to bring me my supper. He asked if they could all come in, because he wanted us to have a time of prayer all together. Little 8 yr. old Cilimiadi had brought me a bucket of water for washing up later. After finding a place to sit, Pastor asked me and his wife to pray, thanking the Lord for His help that day, for the food He provided, and for good rest that evening. After our prayer time, they shyly bid me good-night as I thanked them heartily for sharing their food with me. I washed up, and enjoyed the delicious meal.

(Supper of Cabbage Spaghetti with Chicken and Fried Bread -- Yummy!)

My two women health workers came alittle later so that we could plan the next day's Prenatal clinic. When we had covered that, they began talking of other things, asking questions. They wanted to know about my prayer journal, which led to a great discussion of scripture prayers.

After they left, I did a last wash-up, climbed in my bed and read until my rechargeable light went dead. As I lay in the dark room, with the moonlight streaming through the one open window, I remembered Pastor telling me that there were mice in the clinic. I kept waiting to hear the patter of running feet. I made sure my feet were covered with the blanket to protect against nibbles during the night!

Just as I was drifting off to sleep, I heard a lot of scratching noise begin from across the room. It just kept on going and sometimes getting louder. Now my imagination was going wild. Did I dare tiptoe over to that side and search? I got out my book light and went looking. As I drew closed to the pail of water, the scratching got louder and didn't run away. I aimed the light just oooover the rim of the bucket and there was the culprit! A big mouse (rat?) was swimming for his life and trying to climb up the sides. He just couldn't make it and was getting tired fast. Now I had a decision to make: Could I lay back down and listen to him until he drowned? or should I try and kill him myself? or should I try and get him out? I finally decided on the latter, unlocked the door, went over and with outstretched arms, I lifted the bucket with mouse and moved to the door. There I just flung the water out into the yard. The mouse hit the ground, and dazed, he stood, then shook himself all over and ran off! (Probably to come back and climb in my bed some night!) It was a bit harder to get to sleep after that, but, I must say, I slept soundly through the rest of the night. It was so quiet.

By the next afternoon, we had done check-ups on all our expectant moms, and it was time to head home. Half way back, I heard a flapping noise, looked in the sideview mirror and saw my back left tire flapping rubber! I slowed down and stopped. Here I was way out in the middle of nowhere with a shredded tire! Up pedaled some older Fulani men on their bikes. They saw me taking out the tire iron and jack and as I put the jack under the axel, they took over and began changing the tire for me. They were so kind and helpful and after I thanked them profusely, I was back on the road home. When I arrived, Gary was amazed to see the condition of the tire! Pretty bad!

So I think I've had enough adventures to last me for awhile now! I'll leave the "extreme" stuff to the younger generations! I can still have fun without "extreme"!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


November & December 2010

Recently Gary and I were blessed to be able to go home and celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with our families. It's just wonderful to be able to reconnect with everyone, especially with the grandchildren. Some of the highlights of our time follow in pictures:

Getting to spend a day in Casablanca, Morocco, on the way home.....

.......and a day in New York City enjoying fall colors in Central Park.

Meeting baby Autumn Dawn, for the first time (Nick and Karen's daughter)!

Celebrating Thanksgiving with our children, grandchildren and parents!

Seeing Michael again...

...and having his family visit us in Toccoa!

Having Christmas with family!

Having a White Christmas!

Watching our grandkids, Madison and Landon, play Indoor Soccer and getting to eat a Christmas meal with each of them at their school!

Landon made 5 of the 7 goals for his team! They won.
Maddie made 2 of the 8 goals for her was her first time to play!


Spending time with our grandchildren having fun and making memories!