Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Which stands for ZAmbia Wins Again

Monday started out with such promise. I had sat up late the night before laying out my to-do list for the week. I still use Remember the Milk, and I was happy to see all my tasks outlined in an orderly fashion.

I got up early and, remembering the sermon we listened to on Sunday afternoon about idols, I set aside time to do my devotions first. It was a good lesson, and then I got right to work.

The only fly in the ointment was my headache. I mentioned it to Tom and he suggested that I go back to bed. Not wanting to abandon such a promising day I stuck it out at my desk.

Before long I was crossing things off my list at a rapid pace. I felt good about it!

However, my head still ached terribly and I began to feel so cold. We only have one airconditioning unit at the orphanage. It is a window unit for the office to keep our computers and printer more free of dust and heat. It does make for a chilly environment for those of us with thinned out Africanized blood.

By 10:30 I couldn't take the cold anymore and crawled into bed. My body was shaking with chills. 

Tom took one look at me and declared it to be malaria

Bye bye productivity!

Hello 3 days of bed and about a week of weakness. 

So much for heightened productivity. I'm trusting that God still has a plan in all this, and I'm trying not to fret. 
And, on this third day of illness (I'm still dizzy if I sit up) I'm getting done what work I can. Thank goodness for laptops. So far I've submitted W2s to the Social Security Administration, and researched companies for Tom, and written this. 
I might do a bit of bookkeeping work too, if my brain cooperates.

And I'm rethinking the whole planning bit. It feels a bit too much like tempting fate.....

What do you think?

(Almost) Exactly Five Years Ago: Keeper, Sleeper, Weeper
(Almost) Exactly Four Years Ago: It's the Little Things That Make Me Smile
(Almost) Exactly Two Years Ago: Snake Bites Can Be Good (apparently I was just recovering from malaria then too....)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Photo of the Week: Michael

A rare, and therefore precious, smile from Michael

Michael joined our Kazembe Orphanage family in September, 2012 after losing both his parents. He was only five months old.  Michael is a sweet kid, but he struggles with life sometimes. He often runs fevers and we've yet to discover what causes them. Outwardly he is healthy and well developed. I'm hoping that as he moves past his toddler years (he turns 3 in April) he'll settle in a bit and become more confident.

When I saw this photo, which was taken by Sarah (one of our volunteers), my heart rejoiced. 

One of our challenges in running this home is helping the kids' hearts heal after their losses. Even those that are so tiny when they arrive carry with them the scars of abandonment. Only God's love and our care can fully patch up those hurt places.

Michael is one of our many unsponsored children. In order for us to provide good care including nannies, food, and all that goes into living, we need $350 per child. You can become a part of the team that sponsors Michael and helps him grow up into an amazing young man for as little as $50 a month. Or you could meet his entire need. The sky is the limit!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Thing One and Thing Two

As I mentioned in my last blog, while Tom and I were in Lusaka we were told about twins that had been born in the local hospital and how their mother had died just afterward. Born to a mother who had already had six children in the last 10 years. These twins made eight. Her elective cesarean surgery was just too much for her body to handle.

Troy and Sarah with the twins on the way home from the hospital

Meet Impundu Humphrey and Kapya Maggie. 

Impundu means twin #1 and Kapya means twin #2. Since we already have a Maggie we are calling the twins Humphrey and Kapya.* 

We still haven’t been able to figure out if these babies were born early or are simply tiny. Humphrey at the time of discharge from the hospital at six days old weighed only 2.2 kg (4lbs12oz) and his sister, Kapya 1.9 kg (4lbs3oz).  They are not only skinny, but tiny too in an almost unbelievable way.

Despite being so small, they seemed to be healthy. Their mother tested negative for HIV, so we could breathe a sigh of relief that they wouldn't be battling a depressed immune system due to HIV exposure. However, their low weight carried its own concerns. They would have very little natural cushion in case they got sick at all. When we brought them home we were encouraged to see them eating so well.

A few days after we brought them home Humphrey started looking peaky and weak. The next morning when I checked on them (they were staying in a room with a nanny), his eyes were sunken in and he’d lost the will to eat. It was very scary! We jumped into action right away with mixing ReSoMal (like Pedialyte, but for malnourished babies) and changing his bottle to a softer nipple. Kapya also had very little appetite, but at least she was eating—20-25 ml (about an ounce) at a time.

Humphrey was not eating at all and we had to drip the milk carefully into his mouth. Sarah took over his care which meant giving him either ReSoMal or formula every hour around the clock. Since he couldn’t suck on the bottle, it could take 30-45 minutes each time.

I looked after Kapya who was doing OK, but still not eating much. Her feedings also took 45 minutes to accomplish. Both babies had dropped weight and we were really concerned.

Thanks be to God, after only a day Humphrey looked much better, the day after that he was drinking faster (though not sucking), and on the third day he was sucking properly.
We are happy to report that both Humphrey and Kapya are drinking like champs now. Over the last two days they gained 140 and 150 grams each (about 5 oz). 

Please continue to pray for their growth. We can hardly wait until they are chubby and real baby sized.

*Tom's a little disappointed with the names because when we heard there were twins we first said simultaneously "We can name them Jack and Jill!" But we already have a Jack and a Jackson, so we decided on Mark and Mindy......When we got to the hospital we found they were already named [which is unusual for newborns here] so there you have it. Oh well, there's always next time. LOL

Exactly Five Years Ago: Mr. Tom's (and Amy's Wild Ride)
Exactly Three Years Ago: Kute Kids

Monday, February 9, 2015

We Make Plans, and Then Life

So, my commitment to you this year was that I would write at least three times a week. Aaaand, that lasted less than a month. 

However, in my defense, there have been some major extenuating circumstances. Let me elaborate:

In the middle of January, on one of the wettest mornings we've known I hurried into our washroom to collect a battery-operated bubbler for our fish. Not only had it been raining for over 12 hours straight, but the power had also been out all night and I was worried about my Christmas goldfish.  I'd waited years to be gifted with a fish tank and I wasn't about to let the little pretties die.

I was also rushing because Tom and I were heading out to Mansa to do the bi-weekly shopping trip. Rushing is never a good idea

As I stepped down from the dining room into the washroom I had just a moment to register the huge puddle before my feet flew out from beneath me and I crashed to the floor knocking my head hard on the edge of the cement step behind me. 

It was a good thing we were already headed to Mansa because I ended up needing five stitches. Since the doctor refused to examine me fully, I may or may not have had a concussion. All I know is that I was pretty useless for nearly a week, and am still pretty draggy. My head hurts a ton at the end of the day--especially if I have to use it which at this time of year is pretty much a certainty.

Just when life looked like it was returning to normal and I was able to put in nearly a full day's work, Tom returned from a day of work at Terra Nova and was unable to sleep due to pains in his chest. 

This has been ongoing for several years now, but we both felt strongly that it was not something we could ignore any longer. A good friend of ours (who happens to be exactly the same age as Tom) just had to have a stint put in very recently. We're getting up there in years and can't keep pretending we are immortal. 
We spent much of the night praying and by morning had decided to travel to Lusaka to see a doctor.

A week later we rolled back into Kazembe feeling much better. Tom's heart seems to be fine but we need to make some changes in diet and exercise. More about that later.

While we were in Lusaka we were contacted by the mission hospital near us to say they'd had a mother pass away during a cesarean delivery leaving behind twins! So, the day we got back to Kazembe we drove over to the hospital and brought home a new baby boy and girl. I promise to introduce you to them properly very soon.

So, as you can see. Life has been moving along at a right clip already this year. I'm just hanging on for dear life. 

I'll leave you with my Facebook cover photo for this month. 

And the struggle continues.....this was supposed to auto post on Sunday, but something went wrong....oh well.

Exactly Two Years Ago: Keep Praying for Missionaries
(Almost) Exactly Three Years Ago: Checking In
Exactly Five Years Ago: My Week in Review 

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