Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Simple Pleasure

This morning some Southern Baptist Missionaries stopped by our house as they were leaving town. They come to Kadiolo to do some work for a few days about 4-6 times a year. They have a guest house in town and we help out by giving out salaries to the guard and housekeeper each month. When they stopped by they brought a box of leftover food for us that they did not want to take back to Bamako. It was such a treat! We got chocolate chip cookie mix, blueberry muffin mix, juice boxes, ranch dressing, a taco dinner kit complete with crunchy tacos, and much more. What I was most excited about was the Cheerios. It is hard to come by snacks to give the kids... especially for Jethro who can't manage some things by himself, or they are super messy like a mango. I was so excited to throw some Cheerios on his tray and let him have the joy of picking them up all on his own. He was pretty excited too! It seemed crazy to me how something so simple could bring so much pleasure!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Crash course in Birthing

We are working hard to learn Bambara. And I thought maybe combining my need to learn Bambara with my desire to help women and learn some midwifery skills might be a good idea. And so the following story was 'born'.

I was called at midnight by a local midwife to find out if I wanted to assist her with a delivery. I had previously explained that I was interested in womens health and delivery. So I decided to go. When I arrived the woman was six centimeters and was laboring outside. Shortly after she was tired and went in to lay down.

When it came time to check her again the midwife handed me a glove and said, OK, go ahead. Hold on, I was not expecting that. But I guess that is the only way to learn. So sure, I checked. Knowing how much these checks hurt when you are in labor, I felt a head and that was good enough for me. She asked how many centimeters I thought she was. When I responded I had no idea, but I felt the head, she just laughed. She was 7 cm at that point.

This is a very small clinic. Aparantly women go there that do not want a hospital experience. So I was expecting more of what our culture calls a home birth or birthing center experience. It was not so. There was no one there to encourage this woman. Her husband waited outside. An other woman came, but only to clean up after her. It is the families responsibility to clean out bed pans, puke buckets and throw the placenta in the outhouse. She was told to keep her legs in one spot but no one held them for her. Finally I went and held one leg in place, so she didn't have to work so hard on that part. When the head was out the midwife pulled the baby the rest of the way out. I became VERY light headed and felt faint. (Unexpected) I think it was mostly from the roughness of it all. After that she quickly cut the cord and sucked out the babies nose. She then pulled out the placenta. There was no putting the baby on moms tummy, or waiting for nature to take it's course. I was surprised and a bit bothered by how much intervention there was. The baby was weighed and taken out to the family. I don't think the mom ever saw him or was told he was a boy.

This photo was taken after I took a seat. I really thought I might faint and I have NEVER in my life felt that close to fainting. My legs were weak and trembling and my heart was pounding. It was a very strange experience. I think it came from understanding a bit of her pain, and feeling for her that she had no one on her side so to speak. It felt very lonely and joyless. I prayed for her a lot and wondered what I could do to bring some comfort and joy to the birthing rooms in Kadiolo. Or is that even my place?

I wondered at first if this little guy was even alive, but after sucking out his nose and slapping him around a bit, he made a little sound. I think he is a healthy little boy and despite the difficulty of the experience for me, I am thankful for his little life. Praise God, the creator of LIFE!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Nous avons tué un cochon aujourd'hui!!!

DISCLAIMER: An animal was killed in the making of this blog. Not for the faint of heart!

Parce que je parle en français toute la journée, j'ai pensé que je devrais écrire mon blog en français aussi.

Aujourd'hui, les enfants et Jeff sortit à la terrain de Jonas et tué un cochon.

Ils ont l'apporté à la maison dans le wagon de notre moto.
Ce projet était très intéressant pour nos enfants.

Nous avons bouillie l'eau dans la cuisine à l'échaudure le porc afin qu'ils puissent décoller les cheveux.
Drew a gardé les ongles comme les cadeaux pour nos chiens

Puis ils ont le suspendu dans notre manguier.
Puis ils lui coupé en deux et sorti son intestins.
Après cela, ils lui couper en morceaux pour moi.
Je les ai mis dans les sac pour congeler.

Apres tous ca, on a bien mange l' atcheke ensemble.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Heading out with my new moto...

So it feels good to have transportation... Harley and I headed out this morning for a few groceries so we could do some baking and cooking. Today I made, granola, cookies, yogurt and sourdough starter... I'm going to take a break before I need to start on dinner...
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My New Wheels...

I am happy to announce that I have wheels... I can how be seen cruising around Kadiolo with a moto much like the rest of them... maybe I will blend in more than I did on Big Red... Probably not, but I like it!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

He's Back

What an amazing day it was yesterday... I don't have photos of most of it... but here is the rundown...
Our power came back on after a week of being off...
Jeff came home...
We got a huge thunder and lightening storm followed by a real downpour...
Our container showed up in town just before midnight...
and then this morning Drew's chickens gave their first egg!
It's been an exciting 24 hours... Jeff is outside right now putting the kids bikes together!

Jeff coming home...

Pancake breakfast...

Our first egg...

Getting ready to open our container from France...

Putting bikes back together...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Goodbye Jeff

I kissed Jeff goodbye this morning as he left our house to go find his bus. He is going to Bamako to try and convince our company to release our container with our bikes from France. They really want us to come get it as the longer it sits in Bamako, the more we owe in holding fees. But they need proof of our wire transfer which is somehow caught up in France, so we have been stuck, unable to move forward or backward. So... he is going there to talk with them in person. Pray that they release it to him. And that he can find a good form of transportation to bring it down here to Kadiolo. Jeff will also be doing some shopping for us in Bamako. Things we cannot get here but are available up in Bamako...
Toilet Paper,
Strawberry Jam,
Oh my list is much longer, but you get the idea... hopefully he can manage this on his own. It takes one day to travel each way... and I imagine his Bamako errands will take him 4 days or so. So we are on our own for a week. So far so good. Except for the power outs. I don't know the system for getting the generator started and switched over to run the house power. So I am really hoping it just stays on! Pray for us this week!