Monday, September 7, 2009

Sept 6 Update

Greetings from Sakeji Mission School!  It is Sunday afternoon and all is quiet. The children are in Sunday School and Tim and I are free this Sunday( unless something serious comes up). There are 12 staff people in all at the school so we take turns every other weekend to be on duty or off.  This weekend we are off.

The house we are living in is about 3 feet from the road so we hear every body that walks or drives by between the villages! The house is 120ft long ( I just went and measured it for you)! At the one end is the clinic which is my faith testing ground and then there ae 2 rooms with 6 beds each for Sick Bay. There are two bathrooms for the sickies as well. There is a laundry room  where I try to keep up with the bedding from the sick bay rooms. Then there is our bathroom with a shower and sink and toilet (all working) Then we have a kitchen with a fridge and stove , a livingroom and we sleep in a room at the other end of the house. We are thankful that there are lights as the hallway is a long walk in the dark!


Clinic opened with a bang as soon as we got here. I hoped to have a few days to try to orientate myself, know where to find things and get myself somewhat organized but that was not to be. People were lined up for clinic and so Tim came and helped me which I was very thankful for. Between us we saw everybody and sent one baby to Kalene to the hospital for second degree burns on her leg. We also had staff meetings and spent time in lesson preparation. So that was the beginning of our days here.


The kids came back to school on Tuesday Sept 1st and brought with them pink eye and a flu of some sort. On Wednesday afternoon we took the school down to the River for play time and swimming. We checked the pool for snakes and only found some leeches. We were tired after 4 hours and appreciated getting back to the Dining hall for supper.   On Wednesday night, we had several children vomiting in the dorms.  Thursday, clinic seemed to go better except that I was afraid that I would miss something.  I now have a man from the kitchen who comes and translates for me which is helpful for the village people. We practiced doing the malaria test on me- I  didn't have malaria so now I think I am okay doing it but I am not sure when to do it. When we were in Ndola last year at the orphanage, the kids with malaria usually all had a headache, fever and aches and pains. But apparently up here the malaria symptoms can be different- so I am not sure when to test and because of the cost  of the kit, I don't want to waste them. So it will be a balance, I guess.

Thursday afternoon, Tim and I are supposed to be free, neither of us have classes but one of the girls got hurt playing football and so we spent our time out on the field with her trying to decide if she had broken her hip. Tim and I both were pretty sure she had nothing broken, but she was not able to straighten her leg or bend it much. We sat with her for an hour and prayed and finally she was able to straighten it enough that Tim was able to carry her to her dorm. We gave her some care during the night and she was up and around in the morning.


Well Friday morning started early and was crazy busy. I had children throwing up outside the clinic and throwing up in sick bay and all sorts of workmen and villagers waiting for service.. Part of the problem on Friday also was the fact that I had 4 classes to teach but other staff took turns and stayed in sick bay so that I could do my classes. so that was really good.


Saturday by noon, all the kids were feeling well enough to go back to the dorms and so far no new kids have arrived. So that is clinic. It opens at 7:20-monday to saturday.. I am also trying to learn symptoms of some of the common diseases here. As well I am helping in 4 French classes,  teaching 2 health classes, a social studies  class, a reading group each day, rally once a week, a craft class once a week, scripture class, and swimming class. We all have supervision of the playground and weekend supervision every second weekend. So it is a busy schedule and I am finding it hard to prepare for my classes and still try to read up on stuff for clinic. but in the midst of all this, God has been very gracious.


Tim has a heavy schedule - classes all day, supervision, sports, swimming and because he is a man- he is expected to speak whenever the churches want him. He knew that he was to speak this morning at the village church about 5km away. he did a great job- the translator seemed to have no trouble translating but then he had about a 10 min warning that he was expected to speak at the next service as well. He did a good job.I'm glad that I am not a male around this part of the country.  Tim also comes whenever he can and helps me out with first aid which I am thankful for as well. It is like he is back at his job in Canada with all the marking and preparation in the evenings.

Our meals are provided each day. we eat with the children and supervise a table. breakfast at 7am. lunch at 12:10 and supper at 5:30. the younger children go to bed at 6:30 and the older children at 7:30 and then things are usually quiet. I am able to eat most of the food.-no desserts or things that are made with sugar. but they will have used up the sugar with peanut oil in probably another month and then they will use sugar with palm oil!! The men in the kitchen seem to be aware of it and will tell me not to eat certain things. Vicki - the cook- is careful and was over this afternoon to tell me that I can eat the pancakes at supper but not the we are well taken care of. -Mary


Tim - The weather is very nice with afternoon temps about 30 degrees C and down to about 15 degrees at night.  We are told that the weather will continually get hotter till the end of October when the rains come. At present everything is brown and at times we have quite a wind.  At night they have a practice of burning the dead grass to clear fields but it makes things smoky and kind of un-nerving when you see the glow of the fire.  Everyday has been clear without a cloud in the sky. We are not looking forward to the hot but we will endure I hope. I am thinking that it would be nice to be starting to play hockey again but there is no ice here.  The closest I will get is floor hockey with the kids.

I will try to post some pictures and that should give you a good idea of things here.  Thanks for reading.

Tim McDougall
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