Friday, June 11, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes

One year ago this very week, we were praying that Lydia would survive. Here she is! Isn't she precious in her Minnie Mouse outfit!


We lost one of our sweet babies during the night. She was just not strong enough to make it so she is now with Jesus. It was hard on us. We had our talk about the fact that it might happen but until it does you never quite know how the group will react. I am in many ways glad that Ian was not in town of the burial. He and Dan had gone to Lusaka to pick up Keri. Ian has a very, very tender heart and he prays EVERY day for the sick babies by name. So, we watched as a tiny particle board coffin was laid in the African soil. Sweet hymns in Tonga accompanied the service. I was also struck with the fact that everyone remains while the dirt (mixed with branches) is shoveled back on. All the males that were present each took a turn shoveling the dirt. That was a very impressive sight.

Since someone had officially declared that Wednesday should be a day of extremes our opposite end of the spectrum was Ian's 13th birthday party that evening! Ellie suggested that we all go out to Jordan's Rock to roast hotdogs, each guacamole and chips, roast marshmallows and have Leonard's chocolate birth day cake. It was so much fun. We decided that since we were
going to be in a very "Lion Kingish" location to celebrate Ian turning 13 that we needed to have some type of spectacle! Sarah has "Circle of Life" on her iPod, Jaime has portable speakers and we are always ready for a spectacle. As the sun was setting, we cued Dan to lift Ian up towards the sunset, the song began and the students all acted like they were the animals bowing toward Ian. It was priceless!! Ian was taken totally off guard and was laughing his head off!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Searcy Living

There is an article about last year's program in the current Searcy Living.

Ashton did a beautiful job of writing the article.

I will have to blog about today later much is one day!!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Driving After Dark

The first year that Sara, Dan and I came to Zambia (2008) to scout the place out. We were advised by many who had been here before not to rent a car. We didn’t listen and we rented a car. We were also advised by many who had been here before not to drive after dark. We did listen and we did NOT drive after dark. There are many reasons not to drive at night here. 1) Lots of people walk at night and you can’t see them very clearly, 2) there are very few street lights, 3) there are many who are drunk and unstable as they walk in the darkness and they can stumble into your path, and 4) there might be animals in the dark!!!

Last year (2009), I had to drive in the dark once or twice out here on Namwianga property and I had to drive a short distance in Livingstone in the dark. I survived but it was a hair raising experience.

This year I have already been driving around in the dark like I have good sense. First, I drove the whole group out to Victoria Falls and back to the hotel in the dark. Then, tonight we had a situation. Webster, our night watchman was ill. I am not sure exactly what the illness was but he had already visited the clinic and received a couple of kinds of medicine then was back on our porch shaking and obviously in pain. I told him that he should go back home if he was ill and he said, “No, Madame. I can not ride my bicycle.” I could not let him sit there in pain so I asked him where he lived. He said in Kalomo and I said we are taking you home. So I rounded up Dan and Ian, we put Webster and his bicycle in the back of Khaki Jackie and we headed to Kaloma. At 7:45 at night. In the dark. In Zambia. We had to stop once for him to be ill but we plodded all the way to Kalomo. Then we had to get to his house, In the back roads behind the hospital. As he was telling me to turn left and turn right on dirt lanes with NO street lights I was wondering how we would be able to find out way out. As if reading my mind, Webster said, “Madame, when we get to my house my brother will ride back with you to the hospital to show you the way back and then he can ride the bicycle home.” And that is exactly what happened but first Webster had to take off his boots so that his brother could have a pair of shoes to ride on the bicycle in the dark. They share a pair of boots.

So, I drove for about an hour in the dark tonight and discovered that I am wealthy beyond measure because I don’t need to share my shoes with anyone.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Blind Man Stood by the Side of the Road

Those have spend any time in Zambia know that if a vehicle drives by and has any space in it at all, then you generally pick up the individuals who might be walking and drive them into town or maybe out to the clinic, or whatever direction you are going so that they might be a little closer to their destination. Eliie Hamby says that the Zambian motto is there is always room for one more.

The other day Dan, Ian and I had to make a run into town to check on the immigration office since we all have to have our Visas renewed on the 17th of June. We drive Khaki Jackie, our 12 passenger Land Cruiser. We stopped at the clinic to pick up several who were waiting for a ride into town and suddenly we had 15 people crowded into the back of Khaki Jackie and three of us in the front. Always room for one more.

So, this afternoon we drove all twelve of us into Kalomo to boost the local economy by purchasing every piece of chitenge material available. On the way home, we had to pass several groups of people wanting rides back out to Namwianga because we were full. I was driving and suddenly, we saw a young man from Dan’s class standing by the side of the road with his white cane. Yes, he is visually impaired. At the same time we came upon a speed bump so I slowed down. He thought we were slowing down to give him a ride and he began to trot toward the sound of the slowing car. Immediately from the back of Khaki Jackie I heard, “We can make room. We can get him in. We can’t let him stand there.” So, one got out to guide him into the back side seats and make sure the door closed and Ian crawled into the front seat with Dan and me. Off we went back to Namwianga.

This is why I love these students. This is why I love my job. They constantly do things that make my heart overflow with joy and my eyes overflow with tears. They understand the true meaning of servant heart.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

What a Week!

We have been busy every day! Working with the babies. Consulations here and there. People stopping us on the side of the road and saying my child had hearing problems, can you help? WE NEED AN AUDIOLOGIST!

On Wednesday, we became concerned about one of the medically fragile babies who had pneumonia. Her breathing became very, very shallow and then she started this high pitched shreak with each breath but it was not a cry. After much consultation with the Aunties, and several anxious minutes, Kathi Merritt, the director, arrived and we rushed her off to the medical clinic. It seems that the baby was having an asthma attack along with the pneumonia. More shots and medicine for the tiny babe. The ne
xt day she seemed some better. I hope that it improves before Monday!

I am going to attempt to upload photos. I think that I have discovered how to make them small enough files to not clog our internet here.

These cuties below are all two sets of fraternal twins. Each was named for a former HIZ faculty/spouse team. We have Nita and Ross in front and Shawn and Donna in the back.
[HIZ-Path has a tradition of assigning new names to our students (their travel names) so sometimes we also assign new names to folks we meet here...just as Dr. WifeMan) The personalities of these babies are nothing like those they were named for but we can not simply refer to them as Nita or Shawn. They are known among our students as Nita Cochran, Ross Cochran, Shawn Daggett and Donna Daggett. It cracks me up to hear the students say: "Nita Cochran, you can not take her bottle away from her!" Or "Shawn Daggett let me see you smile." Or, "Ross Cochran, you get out of that!" Those three are constantly in to something they should not be in to. Donna is a little more laid back. I have heard the students say, "Donna Daggett, you are just fine in that chair and stop fussing to get out!"

My heart smiles everytime I heard one of the babies referred to by their HIZ-Path names. We love our babies.