Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Crazy African Life

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

We've been collecting Christmas cards for over 10 years now and love putting them up on the wall and incorporating them into our decorating scheme. This year Timmy and Jasmine put them up in a shape which is so cool looking. T.J wants to use the rest to do a Christmas tree on the rest of the wall.

Troy was complaining yesterday that he didn't have the Christmas feel. It's because we don't have our tree decorated yet. After our first year in Africa, where we had to use a house plant for a Christmas tree that could only support tiny paper ornaments, we bought an artificial tree. Normally we decorate it right after Thanksgiving dinner but we are short a strand of lights (or two) so we have to wait until after the weekly trip to the city. No dashes to WalMart here.

Anyway, to help take Troy's mind off the bare tree I had him bake the first Christmas cookies of the year. These gingerbread cookies were also the first cookies that Troy had ever made completely on his own.

A favorite pastime in our house is putting together jigsaw puzzles. My mom sent two Christmas puzzles. Yay!

Now for an odd change of subject. Today we went to the hospital to check on the records for the new baby. We also wanted to put in an IV to help her get her fluids. As we looked for the records the nurses told us that there had been no maternal deaths recently. We were confused as to where the baby had come from. The grandmother had clearly said that the mom had died at this hospital.

Matete with our rigged up IV line.

Questions went round and round until finally a patient's family member wandered into the office and said that her sister was upset because she heard there was a baby in the hospital and thought it might be hers. A few questions later and we had the whole story:

Apparently little Matete is nearly 6 weeks old--not 12 days. Her mom gave birth to her (6 weeks premature) and went back home but then got sick and wound up in the hospital again. Her sister took the baby to the grandmother's house but after trying for a few weeks to feed the baby (and failing) she decided to bring the baby to us.

Matete's mom is very sick with HIV/AIDS and the nurses aren't sure how to tell her that the baby is also sick because they are afraid she will take a turn for the worse from the depression.

We had to drive out to the village where the baby comes from and confront the grandmother. She explained that she thought if she'd told the truth we wouldn't have taken the baby.

As it stands now we will continue to care for the baby since the hospital doesn't have enough nurses and we'll see if the mom recovers. We'll take it one day at a time.

And now for another subject change:
I really enjoy reading blogs because it gives me a peek into life in other places and spaces. One that I like to read is The Provident Woman. She and her husband raise bees and sell the honey and other related products. She is hosting a giveaway on her site right now. She's giving away a cookbook by another of my favorite bloggers: The Pioneer Woman. This cookbook is near the top of my Christmas wishlist.

There you have it--my crazy life in Africa: a sick baby with a mystery, Christmas preparations , and a blog giveaway. Just my average day.


  1. Oh my! How providential that the family member was at the hospital when you were! Does the wee one possibly have HIV as well?

  2. You can tell Troy that he did a wonderful job with those gingerbread men and my mouth is watering.
    I will be praying for the baby and mother as well.
    God bless you!

  3. What a day!! I have tons of puzzles I could send you. I wonder how much that shipping would cost?

  4. Those cookies look good - I also love jigsaw puzzles!
    That's wonderful work you're doing with the children're a very special family.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog via SITS FB day!

  5. Found your blog through the SITS site and so glad I did. Though I stopped to see your Christmas post, I couldn't help but continue reading about your life in Africa. Glad to have found you! Blessings.:)


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