Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Battling Boredom

Chola has recovered well from his surgery. He had a little birth defect that involved something not being in it's right place--otherwise known as 'undescended'. While it was getting descended, we decided to do a Junior nip and tuck otherwise known as circumcision. This is one of the big HIV/AIDS preventions that are being touted so we want to set a good example for the community by having this taken care of for all the kids. I understand this isn't the choice each person would make but it was/is the best for here.

We took Chola to a private missionary hospital which, while miles ahead in standard from a government hospital, was still pretty bare bones. I felt sorry for Chola as he had very little to do for the 2 days he had to stay there.

He had his coloring, painting, puzzles, books, and flashcards to keep him busy plus an Alphabet Go Fish game but when you're four years old your attention span is pretty small. He spent a lot of time sighing and staring at the walls. Poor kid.

I was oh, so grateful for mealtime because eating kept him occupied for at least 45 minutes even though (or perhaps because) the food was awful. The only color on the dinner plate was a dried out orange. White bread with sour cream(?), boiled potatoes with mayonnaise but no seasoning, a boiled egg, rice pudding and milk. It would take me hours to force that stuff down too.

In the meantime, you might be wondering what kept me from climbing the walls. I'm so glad you asked. I brought plenty to keep me occupied as well because, I'm a bit embarrassed to mention, that I don't have a much longer attention span than a four-year-old. My mom once said that I must think a lot. "Oh, because I'm smart?" "Well, because you talk so much." Oh, Mom, you don't have to think to talk.....  But I digress!

For my entertainment I brought:

Crossstiching! I've been an avid crosssticher for 6 years now. I've done large and small projects and it is one of the things that keeps me sane. Focusing on tiny stitches gives me a sense of control and the opportunity to create beauty in a mad, uncontrollable, and sometimes ugly world. Wow! that was a negative statement. Look at the pretty flowers!

Next, I brought a book. Ok, I brought three (and one of those was actually four in one). I was scared of running out of reading material. I obsess that way.

Alright, you've forced the confession out of me! I also brought eight books on computer! A friend introduced me to Kindle for PCs and I love it! Can't you tell by the unnecessary exclamatory marks! It was a good thing that I had all those things to read because I did finish all my books and one computer one and started on another on computer.

A new toy for me was my phone. I'm a little bit addicted to Diner Dash. And! I got internet access on my phone this past week! I was able to check in with Facebook and also access Google for important things like 'what is Eggs Benedict?'. Tom just had to have that for breakfast so he called me up and I looked it up on Google. Whatever did we do in the dark ages of the 1990's without our friend Google?

What would you pack as essential for getting through 2 days of boredom?

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Baby with a Grin to Die For

Running an orphanage and living as a missionary in the bush is not easy. I'm sure you've guessed that by now. One of the hardest tasks we have is when a baby is brought to our door. The mother in me, three years ago, would have said, "bring them all! throw the gates wide open"! But it isn't that simple.

When a baby is brought to our door we have to determine whether it really needs a home. There are many times we have to decline to accept a baby. 

It might be because there is no paperwork accompanying the baby.

Other times we are not sure if the people bringing the baby are simply looking for monetary compensation.

Still other times we are not convinced the baby is an orphan. What if we accept the child and the parents come looking for it later.

Sometimes I breathe a sigh of relief when the decision is finally made not to accept a certain baby. The reason?--not every baby brought to our door is cute and cuddly. Sometimes they're downright ugly--at least in my opinion--a real 'only a mother could love it' face. This reason alone is good enough for me to close our doors. Think I'm hardhearted and cold? There are times I take one look and can just tell, "this baby is gonna grow up to be a troublemaker!"

Don't believe me?

Take a look at this baby who was brought recently.

  • I'm very sure there was no paperwork accompanying this guy.
  • I'm extra sure the people who brought him just wanted cash
  • And I'm extra doubly sure I would never, ever want this guys parents coming to claim him.

Thankfully, not all babies are quite this sinister.

Last Sunday we welcomed a new baby into our home. 

Meet little Jack!

He is a real sweetheart. His mom passed away August 21st and the family brought Jack to us the very next day.

He's had a tummy bug but seems to be coming out on the other side--not before passing that darling bug on to at least one other child. Baby Peter now has the bug and yesterday, as I held him in my arms, he leaned forward and vomited all over Moriah. Poor little girl! She was totally horrified. For the rest of the day that was all she could talk about. A tattler by nature this was a juicy little tidbit that she just had to share.

The addition of Jack brings our numbers to 16! Love their sweet little faces! Not a troublemaker in the bunch--well, at least not too much trouble.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sundays in My City--Mofwe Lagoon pt. Two

Last week I shared part of our little slice of paradise with you. Now I'll share a few more photos. These were taken on a recent trip we made with our friends.

First we head out of the little harbor, navigating through papyrus reeds. 

The lagoon widens and we enter the main water area.

Here is the handsome captain of our vessel. 

The flowers are beautiful and there is plenty of opportunity for birdwatching.

We even spot a fish eagle.

Along the way we come upon a canoe with fishermen. We had to be careful to to disturb their nets.

After negotiating and bargaining we buy some of their fish.

This man found Thomas hilarious.

As we headed home we made use of the plenteous fauna and flora. I can't decide if he looks more like Peter Pan or Robin Hood.

Lovely girl and pretty flower.

My beautiful friend used both lily pads and flowers to adorn herself. It's an island sprite!

Join others around the world for peeks into their Sundays.
Unknown Mami

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fab Friday Fotos XXIII

Sunset on Mofwe Lagoon

More photos of our own little paradise on Sunday

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

For the Win!

I have made no secret of the fact that we are not your average family. We not only live in the African bush but we enjoy very active imaginations. Well, not me but most of the rest of my family do.

This calls for some very creative birthday cake requests. Some years are better than others and when I asked Troy what he would like his cake decorated as, it was done with no small amount of trepidation. When I heard he wanted a Clayfist cake my heart sunk just a little. This was going to be challenging. I don't blame you if the name Clayfist doesn't ring a bell. Even if you keep up with the comic book or super hero crazes you are probably not familiar with this one. That's because Troy invented him. Troy has created this whole super hero and his accompanying nemesis: Toxicity. Because no super hero would be able to hold his head high if he didn't have an archenemy to fight against--and it's even better if said bad guy is the exact opposite of said good guy. Oh, the poetry!

I love that Troy is creative and has even built his own website: Becrazed Comics to display his art and creations. He has done stop-motion animation, built remote controlled robots and edited a movie that he and his siblings wrote, filmed and starred in. Troy and Timmy also have started filming their own 'stunt' video series.

But when it comes to having to take something that your child created and turn it into a birthday cake--well, that is a little bit of a challenge.

So, are you ready to see the final result? 

Here it is! 
Clayfist and Toxicity battling it out!

We continued with the yin yang theme inside the cake*. 
(Sorry the photo is unclear) 

I couldn't have done this without my two helpers: Timmy and Jasmine. Jasmine baked the chocolate cake and whipped up the icing and Timmy was a big help with the squiggles. I have too orderly a mind to do random art.

Happy Birthday, Troy

May you live long and prosper!**

*The layers were chocolate with with cherry sauce and white cake with a simple syrup infused with cinnamon. I iced the layers with a buttercream frosting. 

**Sorry, couldn't resist....;)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Forgiveness vs. Consequences

Last month a dog from the village broke into our farm area and killed 4 ducks and 2 chickens. It was a mess! Feathers everywhere, traumatized poultry! Anyone who has lived on or near a farm may know that when chickens get stressed out, they can't lay eggs. It took a while for the chickens to feel happy again.

Then, the dog came back again. For the next few days the same dog kept pushing under our wire fence trying to get at the chickens and ducks. The last time Tom, our gardener, and 3 teenage boys chased the dog all the way through the village until it ducked into its home--a little mud hut.

When Tom confronted the owner later (he had not been home at the time of the big chase) he denied that his dog had caused any problems. He refused to acknowledged any wrong doing or make things right so Tom felt the need to take him to court. Every time we have hit an animal or our dogs have caused problems, we have made amends. We feel that everyone else in the village should be held to the same standard they demand of us.

In order to sue this man, Tom had to pay for a summons and then on the day of the court he had to pay a small fee. Well, small is relative. It is about $10--which is manageable for us but a fair amount of money for your average villager. All of the court issues could have been avoided with a simple apology but none was forthcoming.

The court day arrived and Tom showed up with his five witnesses and the defendant showed up with his three defendants. Tom said later that he really enjoyed the experience. In his words: "It was just like TV. I felt like Matlock or Perry Mason".
  Of course the legal and court system is a little bit different here and it was just a civil case so not quite the same as TV but, still.

Once all the testimony had been given and both sides had had a chance to question each other's witnesses, the court was dismissed for a week and told to come back later for the judgment. Tom felt confident in his case because the other side's witnesses had all contradicted each other and lied openly.

Court reconvened on a Thursday morning and after hearing the entire case read back to them--which took an hour, during which both parties had to remain standing--the judgment was read out. The defendent was found guilty and ordered to pay K300,000 ($75) to Tom and K40,000 in court fees. He proceeded to refuse. Not only did he refuse but he pointed at the judge and shouted that he would never pay and that Tom had lied about the entire thing and so he wouldn't pay a kwacha. The judge calmly told him that he could then go to jail. And the court officers took him away.

We don't know how long he actually stayed in jail but a month passed and the date grew near where this man would have to make the first payment of half the judgment to Tom. Sure enough, on the appointed day, he showed up at our gate--but not to pay, but to ask forgiveness. Tom's response was if the man had been truly sorry, he would have come immediately to apologize not waited until it was time to pay and then expect Tom to just set the whole thing aside.

Tom took the man to our 6 yard tall water tower and told him a story about a lady who had spread lies about a pastor in a small town, but later regretted her actions. She begged for forgiveness from the pastor and he said that he would indeed forgive her but that she would need to do a favor for him. She agreed and said she would do anything. He then took her to the belfry of the church, and ripping open a pillow, allowed feathers to drift down all over the town. He turned to the woman and asked her to collect all the feathers and bring them back to him. When she sputtered that surely that was impossible, he agreed and said that just so, our lies can oftentimes have far reaching consequences that are nearly impossible to undo.

After telling this story to the man, he understood completely and said that he wanted to make amends. Tom came up with a plan that would allow the man to show visible proof of his remorse:

Tom asked the man to carry this sign which reads: "I lied in the local court! My dog killed Thomas' ducks! Please forgive me!" He was to carry the sign all through the village center and then stand in the market all day. He readily agreed to do it.

There were mixed reviews to this plan: a couple of our nannies told Tom that he definitely shouldn't do this because as a pastor his is supposed to forgive. When he explained that he had forgiven but the man had to suffer the consequences they just got confused looks on their faces. All through the day as the man walked down the main road or stood in the market, Tom got phone calls from village officials--a community leader, a pastor, the police, the court--all wanting to understand what was happening. Each time Tom would patiently explain and then they would say, Oh, ok, and hang up.
  There was one very positive response from an elderly man when Tom went town to the village to pay for lunch at a restaurant for the penitent man. This older man came up to the sign and announced to the crowd that "Mr. Thomas is doing a very good thing! He has taught this man a lesson and even paid for his lunch!"

At the end of the day, the man walked back up to the orphanage with the two men who had falsely testified and he asked again for Tom to forgive him. Tom took back the sign and explained that in taking the sign he was relieving the man of his burden and giving him forgiveness.

What do you think about the whole forgiveness vs. consequences thing? Would you have taken the same course of action?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sundays in My City--Mofwe Lagoon

I promised to write about our boat and little slice of paradise and so here it is. I have so many beautiful pictures that this will have to be a two-parter. You can come back next Sunday to see the rest.

A typical fisherman in his canoe

The beautiful lily pads. The locals have an interesting use for them. 
I'll show you next week.

Fishing traps--made out of grass or bamboo

Fresh fish
A typical fishing hut. 

 You can see the size and scale in this picture.

A homemade dehydrator for the fish. 
It is constructed from half an oil drum with bicycle rims woven with wire for the drying rack. 
You can see the extra racks in the background.
Sadly, sometimes the fire gets out of hand and burns down the little huts.

I'm going to think twice about setting foot on those islands again after Tom brought home this picture. Can you see it there?

Tom wanted to pick up this very dangerous cobra to get a closer look,
but those in the boat convinced him not to. I'll be forever grateful.
Fishing for the day is done. Time to head home.
For others, it's time to paddle out into the lagoon
for night fishing with small lights.

For more peeks at life around the world visit:
Unknown Mami

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Where Does Character Come From?

First of all, I'd like to thank you for your encouraging words over the last few days. It has really helped to know I'm not alone.

I don't consider myself an expert on the feelings and thoughts of young people here. If I were, perhaps I would know better how to handle cultural issues that come up. What I have observed of the young women in this country has left me with more questions. This is partly why I'm writing this--to help put my thoughts in order and perhaps I'll see things more clearly.

I said on Thursday that I would be writing about the lack of motivation that I see here and I will. But the problems run much deeper than just a surface lack of initiative. And truly, when I stop and think about it, it makes me very sad. I feel a bit like Jesus did when he wept for the multitudes. He was there, right in front of them, the Savior of the Universe but even He, due to our majesty of choice, couldn't just wave a hand over the crowds and make it all better.

At the moment, the greatest problem I see is hopelessness mixed with extremely low self-esteem. I know that this is a very different tune than the one I would have been singing Thursday if I had written this then. This is why I gave myself some time to gain a bit of perspective. I was overwhelmed and disappointed. We have invested so much time and effort in training the young women that come to work with us that when they throw it away, due to pettiness or pride, it's heartbreaking.

But back to my topic. A few years ago, a friend of mine, who was teaching in middle schools here, asked her classes what they would like to be when they grew up. There were only 4-6 professions thrown out. For the boys: accountant, pastor or teacher. For the girls: secretary, nurse or teacher. No astronauts, no engineers, no doctors, no circus performers, no outrageous choices. All very practical, attainable goals. And while this can be a good thing--they are all preparing for choices that will help them support their families, it is also incredibly sad that they have no imagination, no drive, no hope for a different and perhaps better future. 

Now I see girls leaving school with an "I can take on the world" attitude, and while I could be happy, I'm not because their bravado is hiding real insecurities. I know this is common all over the world and is one of the 'symptoms' of adolescence, but here (and in many developing or impoverished communities) it is especially bad because children are not treasured and built up by their parents and caregivers but are treated more like commodities and free labor until they are old enough to pay back their families for their investment. So the insecurities that come with youth and a changing body and mind, are not temporary bumps in the road but real deficiencies.

The interesting thing I've seen from talking to volunteers that work deeper in the bush in smaller villages, is that the girls in their communities have such low self esteems that they can hardly get them to participate in any programs or projects because they feel they have nothing to contribute.When someone has zero self-esteem because they have never been told they are special in God's eyes or anyone else's for that matter, when they are given any amount of power it can be a heady experience. It can make it hard for them to listen and learn.

I've had scores of young ladies come to my office looking for work and stand before me with an attitude of: "you'd be darn lucky to get me. If you don't give me the job, it will be your loss. I graduated from 12th grade!" What they don't see is that Grade 12 is hardly the quality education it's meant to be.

Rather than coming with a desire to learn or grow or help their community they have more of an entitlement mentality. And, while I could take on some of the blame as a white person and say that we have caused this by depriving and colonizing the masses for years, I don't believe that is true. It runs much deeper than that.
I've been troubled recently to see the young women in my community develop attitudes which are completely counter to their culture. Recently I was shocked when, after we were involved in a motor vehicle vs. pedestrian incident, I was verbally assaulted by a group of young school girls who would never have considered speaking to their elders in such a way. This shows me that there is something that has gone off track.

I think it really does have more to do with not having a foundation in their lives that builds them up and develops their characters. And where does one start when faced with a generation of children who are now being taught, and rightfully so, that they can 'do anything, be anything, change the world' but are not given any foundation for that belief system and have few if any opportunities to put this all into practice.

The day after the nanny quit, our former manager came by to buy a computer. I told him what had happened and he said he is seeing the same problems all over. A young lady who used to work for us and quit under false pretenses (she said she was going back to school but in reality just didn't like the work) is working in a town a couple hours from here. While she worked for us she was earning $100 a month with free room and board. Now she works in a shop for $15. When I asked how she could possibly live on that amount of money, Nkandu said that she gets tokens from her many 'boyfriends', such as new clothes, lotion, phone credit, etc. In the meantime she is exposing herself to so much danger. It is so sad that she would rather live that lifestyle than have an honest job that is making an impact in her community.

Bottom line: I really don't know what the solution is for young women in this community. Ok, that's not entirely true. I do believe that Jesus is the answer for them--and not just planting their behinds in church every Sunday--because they already do that and then they go right out and live a life that is completely opposite His teachings. I believe that if Jesus were alive to them and that they had a true and lasting relationship with Him, that would be the answer! He can build a person up and show them their real worth better than anyone on earth. We just have to introduce Him to them!
After writing this I feel even more challenged to work harder to reach the young people around me. I still don't feel like I have the answers I need--but I'm willing to keep trying. While my primary goal remains raising up these young babies, there is so much more to do as well. Pray!

Please do keep in mind that these are my opinions. Opinions can change and are fallible. If you have a differing opinion, I'd love to hear from you--especially if you have worked in developing nations or impoverished communities.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Boss Woes

Sunday I woke early as usual to open our doors and take care of the shift change. I'll have to explain more about our staffing schedules later. On this particular day three of our nannies head out for their two-day break. I have to search their belongings (sigh....yet another blog post) and I usually chat with them about how the children did during the night. This day, one of the ladies told me that one of the 2 year-olds had a fever in the morning. She actually said, "her temperature was high". I asked if she had passed on the information to the new shift and she said yes. 

I said goodbye to two of the ladies (the third was not yet ready to leave) and then walked into the nursery to check on the child and confirm that the new staff had received the information about her illness. I discovered that the new shift had just gotten a very abbreviated passing comment. Since this shift was just coming off their own two-day break they didn't have any idea what the 'medical history' was for this child. I pulled the log book off the shelf and checked. Not only was the notation missing that she had had a fever in the night--but there was no log entry at all for Saturday. 
Furious, I rushed to the door and called the two nannies back--they were waiting at the corner of the road for the third nanny to join them.

When asked why the day nanny hadn't filled in Saturday's entry she shrugged and said, "I made a mistake." The night nanny insisted that she had written about the night but that she had written it elsewhere in the book "since I thought that was the right page." I was absolutely livid. The entry she had written was in between days so, clearly out of place and was painfully short--"she had a high temperature". No details about what time she had had the fever or if she had been restless in her sleep or anything else. I knew the child had had a headache the evening before but due to the day nanny not writing it down, the new shift would have had no idea.

Another reason I was so upset is that this was not the first time these two nannies had been 'called on the carpet'. They had both shown a pretty lazy attitude toward their work. I told them off sternly--emphasizing the importance of paying attention to details when caring for kids--and had them fill in the missing information in the logs before leaving for their time off.

Monday evening, the day nanny was supposed to report back to work. She didn't come and the following morning had still not shown up. I called her phone but she told me she "was too busy" to come. I asked if she was really telling me she had quit working. She said yes. I asked why she hadn't let me know out of courtesy that she was quitting so I could arrange a replacement but she had no answer.

If I tell you I was angry I'm not lying at all but I was also a little relieved. This girl (because she truly is that) had been a difficult worker and I would like to see someone with more passion for the kids in her position.

I, later that morning, got a text from her saying that she had quit because "U don't know how to work with people, U like talking too much and U shout at people". I admit this is the point where I felt the need to stomp my feet a'la Scarlett O'Hara. Aside from the obvious untruth about the shouting (Oh, Lord, how I would have loved to from time to time--I actually hadn't given into the urge--not even when this happened), this girl had received reprimand upon reprimand and mercy upon mercy. 
  I know it is normal to want to blame others for our own failings. Heaven knows I do it often enough. I know that quitting a job can feel, too often, like a breakup. "Surely it can't be me failing, it must be my ogre of a boss."

The other feeling that was really strong for me was, and is, sadness for the young girls in this country. There seems to be such a lack of motivation and initiative. This is such a big topic that it deserves its own post. I will write about this on Saturday.

In the meantime, please pray for me. I need wisdom in leading this project. Oh, how I wish I could take off my 'boss' cap. And please also pray for God to send the right people our way who can really be here for the kids.

What is your best boss advice for me? Do you have now, or have you had in the past ,a boss that made it a pleasure to go to work? What was it about them that did it? Or, do you have an ogre boss story to tell that will make me feel better?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Life in Africa

Friday we did our usual shopping except our kids tested for their belt upgrade in their Shotokhan karate class. They were so excited to get their new yellow belts. Both my video camera and still camera batteries died just at the belt awarding ceremony. I will be asking the instructor for copies of the pictures he took next week.

True to African-form, the class and ceremony ran extra long which meant we left Mansa 2 hours later than usual. This wouldn't have been a big deal except that we had houseguests arrive that afternoon. I felt so bad about them arriving to an 'empty' house but shouldn't have worried. When we finally got back they had already made themselves at home and were busy playing with all the kids.

Another consequence to being late was having to meet up with a Social Welfare officer, from Lusaka, on the side of the road rather than at the orphanage. I was especially disappointed about this as this particular officer had been less than enthusiastic about our home for children when we met her last month in Lusaka. She was more of the school-of-thought that children belong with relatives rather than in an institution. I agree with her wholeheartedly but I longed for the chance to show her that our home is truly that--a home, not an institution. Sadly, she only viewed the property from the gate and then after phoning me arranged to meet me on the road as we drove back from Mansa. Oh, well, maybe next time.

We had a wonderful weekend visit with our guests from Belgium despite not having electricity for all of Saturday and Sunday. At the time I was so irritated because I had piles of work that needed to be done on the computer and I had planned to sneak away from time to time to try to make some progress on it. Now, looking back, I can see that maybe it was a gift from God to allow me some good visiting time with this sweet family. We really loved having them with us AND, bonus, they left their son with us for the next 3 weeks. He will be playing with the kids and focusing  primarily on physical exercise and development. He has already jumped right in and gotten busy.

Monday started out really well with electricity and the opportunity to make some progress on my computer work while Tom took our Belgian guests out on the boat. Have I told you about the boat and showed you pictures? If not, I'll have to remedy that right quick. In the words of our friends: "Tom has created a real paradise".

Monday afternoon I spent in the office of the local Social Security office taking care of employee taxes. Yep, folks, even moving to the backside of nowhere in the depths of rural Africa won't get you out of paying the government its due.

Arriving back home I found the power out again. I admit to throwing just the tiniest of ladylike fits at this point. I try to see the big picture but it's hard when the lights keep going out.

This morning I found out some news that troubled me and gave me cause for another foot-stomping tantrum (not that I gave into that urge--at least not as far as you know) and provided a good part of the agenda for our weekly staff meeting this afternoon. But that is a post in itself and you'll just have to come back for that.

Please tell me about your weeks. Surely back to school week is tons of fun. I need perspective, people.

       Your adventuring fool,


P.S I hinted about a future blog post telling about an investigation and all sorts of juicy details but the woman in the U.S has asked that I not share details in case the guilty parties on this end feel the need for retribution. I have filed the story away for my book so you'll just have to read that when it comes. :D

P.P.S Please continue to pray for Chola and his upcoming surgery. Thanks

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chola in the Big City

Last week we took Chola down to Lusaka with us as we took some volunteers back to the airport. The last time we took him down with us, he had a terrible abcess on his upper leg which needed to be 'taken care of'' (no details needed--very very painful) and so he was not enthusiastic about getting back in the car.

While this trip also meant visits to the doctor, we were determined to make the most of it for his sake.Tom was really good about taking pictures so that the memories would be saved and we can show Chola (and the other kids) that a trip to the city is tons of fun!

The first night in Lusaka we went to a new restaurant that had a trampoline, jumping castle and playstation area all set up for the kids. We sat in view of the play place so that we could watch Chola play. He had so much fun!

I'm not sure who enjoyed the video games more.

The reason we took Chola with us is that he has a minor birth defect that will require some surgery. We had to get an ultrasound down and then set up the surgery appointment. A very nice, Egyptian missionary, surgeon will be performing the surgery. He will need to stay for 2 nights in the hospital.

A highlight of the trip, for Chola, was visiting the airport when we dropped off our friends. He got to watch several small airplanes land or take off.

 It was really nice having a chance to spend one on one time with Chola. With the kids being with nannies all the time we tend to only see the surface. Having the five days with Chola meant that I could see his personality more and also see where there are some educational gaps. By the end of the trip Chola had come out of his shell much more and was more communicative and playful. We had a really enjoyable game of Go Fish where Chola giggled and trash-talked up a storm.

Nearly all our kids have sponsors who help with their daily expenses but when it comes to medical procedures, this is a new expense. The entire surgery with 2 days of hospital stay comes to just about $600. With traveling expenses added in, it is still under $1000. Not bad considering! If you would like to help with this extra and very necessary need please click on the button at the upper right side of this blog. Or you can email me at amymorrowinafricaATgmailDOTcom and I will give you instructions. When we reach this financial goal I will let you all know.

Thank you and God bless!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Still Here

I'm having technical difficulties with the internet connection, getting computer time in and managing (juggling) my to-do list.

Just wanted to drop in here and let you all know I haven't disappeared or fallen into an especially large pothole.--Although that is getting to be more and more of a possibility. I sincerely pray that they fix our roads soon.

When we drove back from Lusaka on Saturday we had a carload full of medical equipment (more on this exciting news soon!) and felt/dreaded every pothole even more because of our precious cargo.

Another item to make our trip that much more interesting was that our back up gas tank failed to turn on when we pushed the switchover button. We stopped once to pour our back up, 20 liters of diesel into the tank but that didn't get us very far. Of course this had to happen on the most deserted stretch of road. When it looked like our little bit of extra diesel wasn't going to get us to the next town, Tom got really stressed out. He asked me to switch off the music because, "it wasn't conducive to the emergency". LOL 
I think we were listening to country music at the time. I should probably download the Jaws theme for the next time we have a roadside emergency.

The next town we came to did not have a filling station but someone was selling diesel from a drum on the side of the road. We carefully put in another 20 liters and made it to Mansa where we could fill up our primary tank. Still no idea what's wrong with our secondary tank....

Yesterday I spent the entire afternoon investigating a possible mail fraud situation involving a sweet lady in the U.S being taken advantage of people just down the road from here. I'll share that story with you as soon as I can. 

Basically, just more of my crazy life. And here I thought I would run out of things to talk about. Imagine that!

Coming soon: pictures of Chola enjoying Lusaka and news about why we took him there and also I'll tell you about that precious cargo.

Until then, may God bless and keep you on your own personal adventures!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fab Friday Fotos XXII

Baobab Tree

No one guessed my animals. Good tries though! My favorite animal was the warthog. They have such character. The animal that got me the most excited was the Buffalo because they are part of the Africa Big Five. I was happy to cross that one off my list. 

I am in Lusaka and will tell you all about it soon. Have a great weekend.
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