Dr. Adams left for Gabon this morning. He travels wherever Samaritan’s Purse needs him and has done so for more than a dozen years. He told me that I was right on track, not so shocking that I would be culture shocking at the two week mark. He said that when I get back I’ll purge my closets and belongings and talk exhuberantly about the excesses of our culture, the consumerism, the materialism, the absurdity of perceived needs when real need almost doesn’t exist in North America. He said I’ll do that for about two to four months, then I’ll blend in again, get familiar with my old comforts and resume my previous approach. And when we come back to Africa again, we’ll go through the same process again.
We were so thankful when Laura and her sons caught a ride with the ambulance to El Doret this morning. This is our grocery run–a five hour round trip. We are now in receipt of four small containers of yoghurt…aka gold in our home. We figure each person can have a spoonful a day for the next two weeks, when there might be another trip, might being the keyword. Laura even found Knorr’s mushroom soup…yay, a reprieve from beans or tuna for lunch. She also found a carton of whipping cream, so we’ll try our hand at mango ice cream! It’s a good thing I feel confident cooking, or I would be very worried. Our carbohydrate consumption has increased; curiously, our waistlines have been shrinking. Nothing fancy to snack on. Carbs have increased because I can bake bread, cinnamon buns, muffins or roll kuchen, or anything else that has white flour.
The temperatures have been dropping over the last few days, in preparation for winter. Winter not being snow, but rather about 20 or so degrees, and more rain. The rain begins around supper time and makes the soil mucky and difficult to run. Not that I am running as often as I’d like. I take the kids out to the basketball court and run laps, freeze tag, mushroom tag, even with Zach’s suggestion, toilet tag. Whatever we can to get our heart rate up. One of the house helpers remarked that I look like a nursery school teacher running around with the kids.We march and sing: I may never march in the military, ride in the calvary, shoot the artillery, I may never fly o’r the enemy, but I’m in the Lord’s army, yes ma’am! I have no shame.
With Dr. Adam’s leaving, there is an increased workload for Jim. Jim comes home from lunch and says, playtime is over! He does have five medical students streaming in from the University of Georgia over the weekend, but they are relatively new, first year students, so the workload isn’t shared. Jim was intending to blog tonight, but got called away for a seizing two year old, who originally came in for a relatively minor burn. Then there’s the really sick six month old with mumps, or was it meningitis. Over the last week, Jim is aware of four suicide attempts, one that was successful. This twenty five year old had to be trekked here from a few hours away, and couldn’t be resuscitated. His mother wailed at the loss, and my heart poured in thoughts of pain for her. There was a young boy who played the suicide threatening game, drinking just enough pesticide to get himself pretty sick, but not enough to accomplish more than manipulation. A twenty something woman coded and was pronounced dead for reasons Jim didn’t come to understand (not suicide though)–the family was utterly astonished. The fact that Jim didn’t come home to read his Tropical Medicine book this afternoon was a sure sign to me that he had a few more things to do today. The rains are pelting like the hot shower that I’m longing to feel on my back in six weeks, and Jim still isn’t home. May the Lord bless and keep the little one he cares for. And may the Lord bless and keep you, making his face to shine upon you, be gracious unto you and give you peace.