Friday, November 7, 2008

Thank Goodness God Sent a Rainbow or We'd be Gonners

A merry November to you all!

We’re going on two months spent here at Heri and by now I’ve gotten quite used to our routine. It’s nice to have a routine, although the occasional surprise is also enjoyed to break up the monotony. The past week has indicated in a very visible way that the rainy season is here or just around the corner. Each day we’ve had showers. They may only last for 20 minutes before it clears up and appears nice and then later in the day the sky will be dark and I’ll be thinking that I’m about to get swept away in a flood comparable only to Noah’s. The silver lining on this one is that it means we get power all the time, and our water hasn’t run out recently either although it is muddy all the time now. Nothing like drinking a boiled mud puddle.

The construction projects are coming along pretty well. The rain has caused the project that Neil and I oversee to be postponed because there aren’t roofs on those houses yet so they can’t really work on them while there’s a river flowing through the house. We’ve instead been helping supervise the guys working on a duplex near the guesthouse where we live.

Yesterday we were about to watch a video at Milton and Shirley’s (Canadian couple) house when we heard a helicopter. We had been told that occasionally patients requiring immediate care will get brought in on a helicopter owned by an organization in Kigoma. Since we saw that the helicopter was going to land here we decided to go down and see if there was going to be a surgery on the suspected patient. When we got down to where they had landed we found out that there was only the pilot and a lady with him (obviously not from around here). We went over to meet them and were introduced to the pilot who is a doctor from the States but has been working in Africa for a while and the lady who is a nurse just visiting for ten days from Chicago. Although they hadn’t brought a patient it was cool to get to see the helicopter (unfortunately didn’t get a ride...yet) and talk with a couple Americans. Most of the hospital staff speak English but talking with someone that fully understands everything you say is so refreshing.

After talking to them for a bit we went over to the OT (operating theater) to see if there were going to be any surgeries that day. While we were in there a lady showed up at the hospital needing a c-section. I was pretty excited because I had missed out on the other couple of c-sections that Neil had gotten to see. The lady was 40 years old and ended up having a healthy baby boy. It was really cool to see how fast the doctor gets the baby out and then hear it crying within a minute after he pulled it out. I think that c-sections are going to be really cool surgeries to watch more of but watching that one made me really thankful that I’m not going to have to have any babies in my life time. Selfish, I know but it’s still something I’m glad of. My pain threshold is quite low...scratch that, it’s extremely low.

Well away from surgeries...of which I’m going to put some pictures up soon...this week had one other notable highlight. We were invited over for a spaghetti lunch at Milton and Shirley’s. Getting to eat food that we don’t prepare for ourselves and also having it taste really good is always a special treat. This was no exception. I’m glad people view Neil and I as being two poor young men who have to rough it on our own cooking, and this sympathy leads to meal invitations. I must mention that we’ve actually made some pretty good food ourselves and we in no way are starving but it doesn’t hurt to eat elsewhere:)

I think that’s about it. Oh yeah, I learned this week that my blessed country has a new president. My political standing is pretty apathetic although I do have strong views on subjects. The one nice thing about being in Africa is that I didn’t have to watch all the news intent on smearing one candidate or the other. Although it’s really surprised me how many people here follow our elections and have a favorite pick for president, usually based on the candidate’s foreign policy. Imagine that. Well yay for the democratic process and I wish that we had been nearer one of the six or seven places in Tanzania where the US embassy threw election-day parties.

I hope everyone is having a magnificent fall and I thank you all for the comments you’re going to leave and the emails/letters you’re going to send.


Katie said...

Justin, do you and Neil have a phone? I have a cell phone provided by CoL and I'd like to get your phone number. I'd give you mine, but I don't know it! Let me ask someone and then send it to you.
Sounds like you're doing well over there. The rains finally arrived here yesterday. YAY! That means LESS power for us, but oh's nice to have rain.

Anonymous said...

You must be having quite the rainstorms up north! Here we are finally getting some rain - it cooled things off a bit too this weekend. Enjoyed reading your blog! We miss you and love you!

The Patels said...

Hello Justin!
Glad to hear that everything is going well over there!
We saw pictures of the rainstorm...looks pretty intense!
Well have a good rest of the week!

The Patel Family

Ashleigh said...

Justin, it was nice to read your blog! Man I miss hanging out with you and Neil. I have gotten to go climbing a few times, but I miss all our adventures together! I'll be praying for you guys!

Sheila May Garrow said...

Hi Justin, Love reading your blog. I checked out the pictures on Neil's blog and discovered that I knew some people in your pictures other than you and Neil. Milton and Shirley lived in Creston, BC where my sister Roberta Chowanietz and my parents Opal and Bert Kandt lived for many years. Small world, I say. I hope they take good care of you and feed you well. It is pouring rain in Roseburg today as well. Think of you guys every day and pray for you. Take care. Love, Mrs. Garrow

Nickele said...

Oh man, excitement- I hope you put pictures up from the C-section...just tell me when you do so that I never have to look at them, okay?! I'm really glad that you enjoyed it though, truely...I mean someone has to! Sorry about the water being a, how did you say it, boilded muddy bowl of liquid?! Power is good though for surgeries and of course movie watching. You just gotta learn to dance in the rain Justin! You're in my prayers- Gods totally got you and Neil, and he's using you both in ways that you could never dream of- thanks for refreshing my day with your blog!