This is the end of February and we have been at Chit for over a month. We are doing okay but Mary has a cold and Tim has a swollen knee. We seem to be doing better than others here as two of the well drilling guys are in bed with pnuemonia and malaria. Today was a quiet day. Mary went to the hospital this morning but is home this afternoon. Tim went out with one of the guys to a village about 8km away and got the pump working. The well had been drilled about three years ago but has not worked for the past few months. The pump had to be removed, pipe pulled up and new leathers put in the pump. The got the pump working much to the excitment of the town folks. They were singing and clapping. For the past few months they had to walk 3km to the river for water or get it from a mud puddle. I will try to post some pictures of that village.
We have been with out internet for the past week but should have it soon.
What follows is some of the things we have been up to the past week or so. This is not in any order so just take it as journal entries.
Mary is home from the hospital and waiting for Tim. If he is hungry , she will heat up some rice left over from the men's meal last week! Doesn't sound real appetizing but we were invited out with the men to the nurse's house for lunch and had a really good mac and cheese casserole. My stomach maybe didn't agree with the cheese but i twas worth it! We are doing well with meals. If you make meals for the visiting work teams, you are welcome to use food from the storage shed. I have doled out the meat that we bought in Lusaka on the way in. I bought 5 packs of hamburger, 6 sausage, 6 chicken breasts and 6 packs of ?meat- so we are still within our plan. Vegetables are starting to show up- corn is ripening and the hospital had some kind of squash today for breakfast so hopefully we can find some too. Also last week the pilot was flying in empty and he brought us potatoes, 2 bags of carrots and a bag of apples. So that was a nice treat. Because work at the hospital usually all day, people will often invite us for lunch. Mary is doing the malnutrition feeding program so not free at lunch but they will usually save me some. She does not think she has lost any weight.
Last week Mary had a bit of a mishap. She had to go back to the hospital as the food for the malnourished babies was gone an there was no boiled water. So she jumped on 4 wheeler driven by the nurse (from Sask.) and Mary was holding her jug of boiled water. Well the nurse turned the corner when she was not expecting it and off she flew-water jug and all. She managed to hold onto the jug and still had over ½./ She was covered in mud and has a huge blue bum bruise but was thankful for the padding. Her shoulder and arm are a little stiff but is okay. Anyway she arrived at the hospital-i was pretty bedraggled looking for sure but it was dusk and the lights were not on! She made enough formula for the 9pm and 5am feeds. This morning according to the charts- even the 1am feed was done!!
Don't think so! Anyway, this morning, the moms came for 9 and the babies did much better. There are two that we could still easily lose i think. I had the dr check them and he says that the one baby may need bowel surgery and the other looks like a failure to thrive- almost 3 years old at 15 lbs. And losing. Mary has been praying for them lots. The mom's showed up for the 1pm feeding even before she went to their ward and it went better. But at 5pm she found that the kitchen girl had not made up the formula for the night and so they did that together. So we will see how things are in the morning.
Eddie, the burned boy is walking much better but had three fainting spells last night according to his brother- sounds like seizures so we are thinking that is why he fell into the fire in the first place. Kenneth the quad was stronger today but his 2 children have malaria and just slept on the floor of his room yesterday and today.
The place is full and there are mattresses everywhere on the floor. Don't know how these people keep up with this all the time. Anyway, enough about my day.
A new day. It is so crazy busy. we guess that the families have run out of mealy meal and are working in the fields growing the new crop but it is not quite ready so they go without. It is just one problem after another- the land is no good close to the villages because it is overplanted and they burn off the corn stalks each year so they don't even compost into the ground, Then you need to keep the white ants from eating the young plants and then flocks of birds or monkeys can descend on a field and completely eat all the cobs in an hour. So someone must stay out in the patch all the time and shoo the birds away until the harvest is done. Definitely is a hard way of life. The croc boy is doing better and I made him a checker board out of a cardboard box and will play him this aftenoon if I have time.
There is a teenager here with his family and he stays in contact with his buds. not that I blame him. So we worked till 6'30 tonight and then went over to the family of the teenage boy and watched the superbowl! They have a tv and dvd player and someone had sent him the dvd. I think I slept through the middle of it. This is a pretty tough assignment-much harder than Ndola. I guess because we see so much first hand. there is so much pain and hurting. Everyday we hear the families wailing as someone dies. Then in a couple of hours you see them carrying the body out to the far side of the airstrip and digging a hole and burying them. I am afraid that one of my kids is going to end up out there soon. I have been praying steadily for these kids that God would give me wisdom and strength but it is tough. Tim is finding the days long and hard. but they are getting some of the wells working. it has rained the last several evenings so there has been no croc hunt but no one else has been taken since monday. the boy is doing fairly well- he was up today and starting to put weight on his foot. the night watchman who sits outside the maintainence garage all night killed a spitting cobra -just a little one-as if there is such a thing as a little cobra! Now i figure the mama cobra will come looking fro her child so i made tim go with me this afternboon to the storage shed. apparently the night watchman also killed a black mamba but i don't know if that is for sure.