We are slowly getting more into the clinic and ministry here. Bruce is going 3 times a week to the clinic and is seeing patients on his own now (at times with the help of a nurse for translation issues). He is starting to gain more confidence both in the language and in treating the common illnesses that they see here. He even performed his first circumcision! Oy! One of the docs asked him if he could do it and he had seen it done many times and so took the leap. He did a great job!
I (Heather) am going to the clinic on Thursday mornings while Bruce trades off and home schools and cares for L. It has been so good to get back into the clinic mostly because after 5 months here it just gives such a refreshing reminder of why we are here. The women are incredibly beautiful and vulnerable and so hungry for assurance. I am shadowing the head midwife during the antenatal clinic (prenatal for you Americans). I am able to do all the measurements, blood pressure, palpations (feeling the baby from the exterior), finding the baby’s heartbeat with a doppler and sometimes giving injections. Mostly I am intensely listening to the language and trying to follow along in order to ask questions and understand the answers. So far I am amazed by how much I am catching on but there is every now and then the patient that when asked when their last menstrual cycle was (to find the due date) will start to go off talking about goats and you are straining to understand the correlation. Haha. Lord, help me with the Swahili language! The head midwife hopes that Sarah (another previous BAS student from Oregon) and I will eventually be able to see patients on our own. We don’t really have an option for a translator so we need to have a good grip of the language. The antenatal clinic is a very important part of midwifery here. Most problems with the delivery can be foreseen if a woman is given good prenatal care. Sometimes women only come in 2-3 times during a pregnancy so it’s vital to have good care when they do come in in order to avoid surprises later.
The kids are doing so well. They have been adjusting and we are noticing how flexible they have become. We are so proud of the way they respond to situations. They are many times faced with situations where they do not know the language or the food or what we are doing from minute to minute and they just go with it.
Abigail is finishing up her 1st grade curriculum, although I purposely saved some things to do throughout the June- August months as kids here have school year round. It’s been so fun for me to see her unsure of herself while starting a new concept and then tackle it like its no big deal. It’s building her confidence. She is also growing in proficiency as a reader as well as writing. And she is so good at math! It’s cute when she learns something and then tells me how this thing that she learned will help her to become a good animal doctor someday. I love that. More than anything I just want her to love learning and to never stop wanting to learn new things. Abbs and Josiah both love doing science experiments. Today we talked about elements and did an experiment with boiling water. Its fun to watch them in their free play time think up different experiments that they can do. Abigail is picking up bits and pieces of Swahili and sometimes she will amaze us when she pipes up and says what something means or is explaining to Josiah. She is also doing well greeting in Swahili which is a big deal here. I am so proud of her for even trying. She will even greet people she does not know well. We are also beyond grateful for our church and the english speaking friends that she has met there. Once a week she gets to play without the language barrier and both she and Josiah greatly look forward to it. She is also an amazing big sister and enjoys playing with her brother and taking care of her sister. Here are some pics of Abigail modeling the classroom and some furniture we had made for it. Complete with reading nook and lego table.
Josiah is nearly through the alphabet as we focus on one letter a week. Something he has found fun is going through the grocery store on our weekly trip and finding all the things he can that start with that particular letter. Then we try to plan meals or snacks that incorporate that letter. We’ve been blessed with some more craft stuff recently so he has been enjoying “centers” that I set up for him each morning and per usual music time. His anxiety has calmed down and he has just relaxed. Its been really good to see. He loves church school (sunday school) and is always bursting with something to tell us about from his time there. He also loves to swim! He prefers the pool but has recently started liking swimming in the ocean with daddy. He also has a favorite shirt that he attempts to wear daily. He is our little ham and alway is cracking me up. The other day he had taken off his pants to go to the toilet and came back into the main room where I was making tortillas. He wanted to help so he was washing his hands. He was still naked from the waste down so I said he could help me after he put his clothes back on. He looked at me with a glimmer in his eye and said “OR we COULD just cook NAKED!”. Ha!
Lily is just changing so fast! She tends to do things overnight, meaning one day she doesn’t have any desire to crawl and the next day she is not only crawling but standing and trying to cruise along things. She reminds me a lot of Abigail in that respect. Crawling is just a necessity to be able to move faster but all of her energy is put towards trying to walk. She has even let go a few times trying to stand alone and was successful for about 20-30 seconds. Brave little girl. She is really trying to keep up with her older siblings. Its hard to believe that she will be 1 in almost a month. She has now officially spent more of her life on African soil than on American soil. She is our little African baby. She loves music and trying to dance and she is smiling most of the time! She has 2 lower teeth and the top 2 are just breaking through. She truly has brought a lot of joy to our lives and we are so thankful to have her during this time of transition!
We celebrated the 4th of July here. Well… The kids wore all the red, white and blue things they had and we ate lunch a Kentucky Fried Chicken which is actually franchised by an Indian man. Oh well we tried.. We asked the kids what they missed about America to which Abigail responded : Cheerios, sidewalks, grass and parks. Josiah (confused because he has spent most of his cognitive life not in America) responded : that he miss 3 places. Coincidently 1 of the places was in Australia and 2 of the places were in Zambia. So there you go. Bruce said that he missed paying for something and actually getting what you pay for. Namely in a hotel room. (we were having a bad experience at the time. Ha!) I as well miss the convince that America has to offer and my beloved Trader Joes.. Ha! We also all miss our families and friends and wish we had a teleportation device.
Here are a few more pictures:
The bush behind our house caught fire. Made me feel really thankful for the fire department back home. After all the men and some women on the base ran to work slashing grass to contain it and the rest of us filling buckets of water and running it out to the people controlling the fire it was contained enough to let it burn down. Thankfully Bruce had recently paid some men to clear about 30 feet the bush that directly surrounds our house so there was no immediate danger if the fire was under control and the wind didn’t pick up. All in all it took about 2hrs to contain it. One of the girls kind of chuckled and said “You were nervous huh?” I explained to her that back home you would probably never have to deal with something like this. You dial a number and men in fire protective suits with a huge hose of water run to your rescue. Ha! Such a different world.
Oh and just some random wildlife sightings: