Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Scientific Discovery

I have recently come to discover that when Namibia becomes overcrowded with Makua (white folk) it equals sudden freak thunderstorms in the middle of dry seasons. Now I also know that twice doesn’t equal any sort of scientific proof, but then consider it my hypothesis, as it were. This is now the second time that a team has arrived from America and as soon as they got here we’ve had a freak thunderstorm. So there…that is what I’ve learned today…in addition to the fact that a bottle of water costs about $3,000 in Zambia. Luckily there’s a 4000:1 exchange rate.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Adventures Thru Time

Adventure and lack of time is basically the way of life over here. If its not one thing its always another…to varying extremes. And this past weekend was the kind of the epitomy of what African time is really like. On Sunday evening I left on a bus with Jessica and one of our small girls, Elisa, to go to Windhoek, the capital. Our two biggest goals were to go to the eye doctor to get new glasses for Elisa, but also to pick up Jessica’s truck…which is where the time issue really begins. Her bakkie (pickup truck) had some water damage during the flood that caused some electrical problems and she has now been 6 months without it! So now that it was finally fixed we hopped on one of the most reliable bus services in Namibia to take a lil road trip with my faithful travel buddy. Well the lil part soon became a very large understatement as what was supposed to be a 14-hour bus ride slowly turned into 23! After stopping and going multiple times through the night to try and fix whatever was wrong, the stops quickly became longer than the goes to the point where we would hardly go half a kilometer before pulling over again. Finally, when we were supposed to have arrived already, they announced that a rescue bus was on its way and we began the next stage of this lovely little waiting game. The next bus finally arrived…a bit of a tighter squeeze than the last, but at least it ran…for a while. The bus riders started getting more chatty as we began discussing everything from Starbucks to McDonalds (or lack there of) to toilet paper uses in Namibia (don’t ask) to how ridiculous our American Afrikaans accents were (basically like Americans making fun of British accents). Then as soon as we thought we might actually make it, we stood very corrected. We crawled to each robot (stoplight) hoping it would be green b/c everytime we had to stop, the whole bus would also. Fourteen stall-outs later, this now over-heated bus was also a complete goner. So 23 hours later and 2 blocks from our final destination enough protest finally arose that they let everyone offload in the middle of the street…trailer and all.
So then we were left with 5 minutes to both pick up Jessica’s truck and get Elisa to the eye doctor appointment in a taxi where the driver said he knew the road, but, after dropping Jessica, we drove all over the city only to find out it no longer exists!
In the end it was a successful trip and a good adventure…for me at least…but then again Jessica’s still convinced I also enjoy rain when camping, ha! We came home with a fixed truck, new glasses for Elisa, and none other than my first ever speeding ticket…and in Africa nonetheless! In my defense it’s a very silly idea to expect people to be able to slow down from 120 to 60 in what might as well be 10 feet…but there was my new friend standing next to the 60 km/h sign with the lovely ticket pictured above. I felt better knowing I was only clocked at 84 while the guy behind me was doing 116. And at least its a lot cheaper than it would be at home. N$150 is only about US$20…not bad for going almost 25 over.
Then, while off on my own adventures, I apparently missed some good opportunistic ones back at cozv. Since we have vehicles here, we are occasionally called upon to be the local ambulance. In this particular case, I missed getting to take in a guy that had been attacked by 2 hippos in the river while fishing and had had his whole hip basically crushed in the mouth of one of them. When they took him in they had him so wrapped up in a tarp and who knows what else that when the medics went to go and find him in the tarp the poor guy had fallen out onto the floor before they found him! O the things that happen here…

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


So I’m not sure who to thank, but somebody has been prayin :-P Just 2 days after my last posting, the results for the first 30 kids have now come back (all negative), the lovely little green sputum collection cups are back in stock in Katima…for now…because we have another 20 lined up to be tested tomorrow, and we will hopefully have more put on the prophylactic treatment! And so far no one seems to even be symptomatic!!! All that is clearly answered prayer so thanks to whoever was prayin!! :-) God is clearly giving this situation a good kickin!! Please pray the good news keeps coming!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

To Be or Not To Be

We have a bit of a situation on our hands that could use a bit of Godly intervention if you could spare a few prayers. Nearly a month ago, one of our girls was diagnosed with TB after having been sick for quite some time. Although glad to finally find out how to treat her, we then also had a huge situation on our hands…where did she get it from and how do we keep everyone else from getting it, especially those who are HIV positive and therefore much more susceptible. So then began the saga of testing all 57 kids, 26 staff, and the volunteers. Since we apparently didn’t have enough adventure in our lives, we began taking them in groups to the hospital and one of the nearby clinics and waiting for hours on end to be called to hack up loogies in little green cups. However, we very quickly ran every clinic in Katima out of sputum testing cups and, on top of that, the lab technician got called to Windhoek before the first group of 20 kids could even get their test results. They unfortunately don’t have that convenient under-the-skin, get-the-results-the-next-day test…instead its just a series of 3 spits and, three weeks later, we still have no results and there are still no cups. Meanwhile, we are only praying that it won’t spread while we sit here with our hands a bit tied. And on the prayerful note, latent TB can remain in the body for years before becoming active…and won’t test positive unless it’s active. If we don’t get this situation under control, we could have a bit of an ongoing epidemic on our hands. Please pray for Godly intervention for the health of these kids as well as some increased cooperation from the doctors…they don’t seem to realize the magnitude of our situation here. On a more positive note, we were able to finally get the 12 youngest kids on a prophylactic drug since they can’t cough up the sputum. But that also means an extra 10 kids getting meds for the next 4 months, in addition to the twenty some that get meds daily already. The biggest joy will be Josiah, the 1-year-old, ha!