Check out these handsome boys! So we had talked about getting a dog or dogs when we moved here. It’s what people do. Not for pets per say but for being watch/guard dogs. We had no idea that a week in of being here we would be presented with the opportunity to choose from a litter of puppies from one of the base guard dogs. Up until a week ago we haven’t been able to take them because of not having the house (and they needed to stay with Mama a little longer) but this week they have come home to live with us. Sometimes I think “what did we get ourselves into raising puppies in the midst of this chaos!” But then I think of the fact that they need time to grow. Time to get to know our family and be of use. So the sooner the better. Without further ado meet Acha Bacha (AH-cha BA-cha named by Josiah) and Snowflake (named by Abigail) Acha Bacha is just a silly word that the kids made up a year or two ago and Abigail thought it would be funny to name a black dog who would never see snow snowflake. So there you have it. Although it may seem crazy to have 2 puppies at once it has proven to be helpful. We wanted them to keep each other company and entertain one another and that’s just what they do.
So we have officially moved into our home!! Its a wreck and there is still construction going on around us and we have a few things yet to move over from the other rooms but we are in! It’s been really nice being in our house this first week. It actually doesn’t feel like our house yet but the kids are settling in and slowly we are feeling more at home. Now to sort through piles again and find places to put things. We desperately need shelves and we have a fundi (carpenter) working on it. We have had several major power outages lasting a large chunk of the day at times which has made moving in and unpacking a tad difficult. We hopefully will get a refrigerator soon. We have been living without refrigeration for 5 weeks now. It’s challenging at times but we have been saying that although life is rough here and we are tempted to complain, we are constantly humbled by peoples’ responses when they see the house. We may be roughing it by American standards but here we are beyond blessed. As we like to say.. “Our problems are 1st world problems”.
Bruce has been trying to shadow or work with Dr. Joel in the clinic a few times here and there. He is just trying to learn the ins and outs of the clinic, pick up more of the language (especially the medical terms and body parts!) and learn which drugs they have on hand to treat patients. Not to mention its just different in a lot of ways.. meaning you see different illnesses here. So learning how to clinically recognize and treat new illnesses he may have not see before is going to take a while too. Over all he is coming along. Hopefully within the next month he will start working. I (Heather) am still waiting to practice (as if I have had a spare moment!). My midwife visa has been a challenge to acquire and time will tell if things will work out. Prayers appreciated as we need wisdom of how and when to apply. Paperwork needs to match up with what they are asking for and that can be challenging. Bruce’s license was hard to obtain but thank the Lord it is all settled. We do not have to leave the country as previously thought but we can remain and just switch over to resident visas.
The base has been expanding and growing. This is exciting! There was a new clinic and diagnostic center that was donated by an American Neurosurgeon who has taken special interest in the number of hydrocephalus and spina bifida cases that go untreated here. In most cases its a simple surgery placing a shunt to drain fluid from the brain (in the case of hydrocephalus) or close off the end of the spinal cord by sewing up the back (in the case of spina bifida) Here with the shortage of places to treat these conditions and the shortage of doctors to perform these operations children grow to suffer from these debilitating but treatable malformations. So all this to say it’s been a week of moving for everyone as the Uzima Mission Clinic has moved into the brand new diagnostic center built just next door to the old clinic. This is exciting as well because the clinic, lab, pharmacy and the labor ward/ prenatal clinic shared a small space and now the old clinic is used for deliveries and prenatal visits! The new building is beautiful building and I will post pics in a later post.
Rainy season is in full swing as we mentioned before. It has welcomed slightly cooler temps (80s) but has been like 99.9% humidity at times. Although it feels cooler you are wet even though you haven’t been in the rain. It makes for interesting drying of clothes.. sometimes it takes days and there are clothes hanging everywhere in our house. Makes you really thankful for the sunshine!
So I will leave you with this.. I’ve been noticing my glutenous muscles (backside) have been really sore at times. Yes, I’m walking around and caring for the kids but I’m not doing a million squats or anything that would warrant the muscle soreness. This was a puzzle to me. So after about 3 weeks of experiencing this I was riding in the car in Dar traffic (which is INSANE) and I noticed that about every 5 seconds I was clenching my bottom muscles. There you have it folks.. no need for ‘Buns of Steel’ here. Just drive in Dar for a few hours.
And one more thing… you know the saying, “When life gives you lemons make lemonade.”? Well, when Tanzania gives you Ugali (cornmeal mush) every day for lunch
you make Arepas!! Thankful for our time in Colombia!
Here are a few more pics.