[June 21st, 2011 : 1:25pm]
Busy day today. Drank 3 bottles of water already (the big 1.5 liter). Very cool day, not sweating enough to merit drinking that much so now I’m peeing all the time.
Today has been different from yesterday. Lots of kids today, since they are all inside due to the torrential rains we are experiencing. Lots of kids holding onto me at all times; I have a party of 10 or so with me whenever I step off the third floor. Both my hands will be full of at least 4 hands! One older boy wanted to have a private conversation with me. I kept telling him later.
(I finally had this conversation close to the last day I was in Liberia and here is a picture of him. He wanted me to find him someone to support him for highschool I believe. The school handles this but I listened to him and took his picture anyway.)
I am so thankful for the coolness we have had today though, it is helping us all acclimate to the weather. Don’t boil a frog in pure boiling water, turn the heat up slowly 🙂
I helped Louise (the Sinkor school nurse) in her office today. Ruth was also there of course. We checked kids and staff for malaria as they came in sick. It was a very different experience. There is no sense of urgency when dealing with patients in this setting, and it was very unorganized system. To me at least, this is Louise’s job, so she knows what she is doing. But to me it did not have a good flow of time.
My stomach feels good so far. Martha, our cook, has been taking great care of s. Today they have been washing our clothes. It is different to have someone do all the housework for you. They are cooking, cleaning, doing the dishes, and our laundry (and they don’t have washing machines). They sacrifice so much for us while we are here. I understand they are getting paid, it’s still odd!
Austin is still in the hospital. He had a blood transfusion last night and will be having another one today. He also had the malaria medicines he needed. I hope Ruth and I can go see him later tonight. It would be great to see the little guy doing better.
Breakfast was Liberian donuts; Lunch was grilled cheese, veggies, and fruit.
[11:25pm Same Day]
Took a nap this afternoon, felt like I really needed to lie down so I did. Was just going to lie down to rest, just do some relaxation breathing and such… but it ended up just being a nap. Today, after my nap, I walked around campus for a bit, talked with people, then went back upstairs for dinner.
There is a leak right over my bed I think. I can’t move my bed because of the mosquito net either! I put a light shower curtain above me, so hopefully when the rain does start pouring again I won’t get soaked if the roof chooses to leak onto me. The ceiling is just wet right now, not me.
We went to see Austin at JFK hospital tonight. He is doing MUCH better. He even sat up and scooted to me when he saw me, so apparently he remembered me from yesterday. His Mum was sitting with him. Sackie drove us in the rains 🙂 It was lots of fun. Pot holes, mini-lakes, other cars, on top of the fact we did not know what wing to go to! We got there though, it was a fun outing for sure. All the white guys left today, so only the four women were at the school.
A group member seems to be adjusting hard to culture. It seems like they keep wanting to Americanize the way the teachers do things here. This is not what we are here to do. It is hard though, when you work in something that you know works, and then come here and see how you can change things to work better (at least better in your mind for your culture). But, what they do may work just great for what they have and where they are. The way we may want to change them may be the wrong way for them. This is their country, their school, their culture… I feel that just being there and being a person to help out is the biggest way I can help them in whatever way they need. I feel that my first priority is to just love on these kids. Talk to them, hold them, touch them, smile, tickle, play… anything that shows them some loving attention. I don’t want to waste my time teaching them to be American.
Oh, the hospital! Seeing the children there was like walking into a World Vision or Compassion commercial. They are not lying when they show those kids, even though with how they whore out their propaganda it would seem so. The facility was clean, not American clean by any stretch of the imagination, but it could have been WAY worse.
I absolutely hate this picture of me, great of me to be the fat white girl!! But Cynthia is the girl right to the left of me in this picture. The girl to the right kinda in the back is Mary Ann. Her and I talked a lot while I was there. I would like to believe we became close for an eight year old and 24-year-old of different cultures. I love her and miss her so much, her smile could brighten up dark days 🙂
I have found a girl for Tyler and I to sponsor ( I can’t find a pic of her just yet, her name is Cynthia and the last week we were there I did not get to see her as much as I wanted), as well as for my parents. I wanted to call my parents( her name is Dorcas — see picture– IS SHE NOT ADORABLE!?) and let them know, but I got Liberia busy. I could still easily call, but Doug is in bed and has the phone. It is nearly midnight here, and I need to go to bed. I have a feeling the rain may stop tomorrow and it is going to be very hot. Also I think Ruth wants to go to another clinic to see it since we did not get to go today due to Doug taking one car and Sackie and Zak taking the other one to 15 Gate. To be honest though, staying here at the school the entire trip would be completely satisfying. The kids are great to play with, and most of the time they are kind.
Venders have started to come through. I always keep my money locked upstairs so I get to always tell them I do not have money. But I saw beautiful bracelets and beaded doilies today. Mum told me to get her something, so they are coming back next week and if I don’t find something at the market this weekend I have a backup plan.