Friday, October 25, 2013

Back in Africa

We arrived back in Dar es Salaam a week ago Wednesday.  We had a quiet evening in Dar es Salaam and caught the bus Thursday morning early.
We were expecting to go to Eden Valley Foster Care Mission on Sunday, but Janet had some things to do so we changed the plan to leave on Monday.  It was good, because Kibidula needed another driver to take the Evangelism Students to the three villages where they will be doing three weeks of outreach and evangelism.  Doug took the Evangelism School's Cruiser, supplies, students and some staff and left the house at 7:30 am.  He returned close to 8:30 pm!  He told me it was a VERY GOOD THING that I didn't go.  He said the places he had to drive would have made me very nervous.  He said some of the road was on the mountain side with steep hill on the one side of the vehicle and steep drop-off on the other with very little room left on either side of the vehicle.  He said there were several bridges that he had to pass over that made a LOT of cracking sounds as he passed.  These bridges were made of leftover slab wood.  I think he is right that it was good for me not to go.
Monday we loaded up into Janet's pickup with her and three young ladies (8, 10 and 11 years old.)
Tuesday Janet had to drive a lady and family to the hospital because she had fallen and hurt her knee quite badly.  Doug pulled a bad loose tooth for a village school child.  Tuesday night Janet and I went over to check on a mother and baby that had been having problems.  Oh, did they have problems!  The baby is two weeks old and has spinal bifida cistia and the mother's Cesarian wound is open about 1 1/2 inches and is clearly infected (pussy.)  We changed out dressings on the wounds and said that they would both have to go back to the hospital the very next day (it was already late at night.)
Wednesday afternoon, we took them to the hospital.  We found out that the mother insisted on being released early (because of concerns about paying the hospital bill.)  After much persuasion and some financial help I think she is convinced that she MUST stay in the hospital until she is well enough to travel to Dar es Salaam to take the baby for surgery for the spinal bifida.  It is really a sad, sad situation.

Then yesterday, Thursday, Janet again had to go to the hospital to get the first lady back to the village that she had taken in on Tuesday.  One of the students here at EVFCM has a problem with her finger.  Janet cleaned it up and put a clay poultice on it.
So far, today, Friday, there have not been any trips to the hospital, but the girl with the finger was back.  Janet squeezed a BUNCH of nasty puss out of it and tried to clear out any foreign objects that might be in it.  It was a painful situation for sure.  I am NOT a good nurse.  Doug is a much better assistant.  Doug said it has been good for me to face these things.   That was three hours ago.   She was told to come back for us to check it (it has a charcoal poultice on it.)  Janet will change out her dressings.  She (the young lady) says it feels a lot better than it did this morning.
Teaching has been going well.  We are glad to be here.  I think I am getting over the jet lag.  Getting up in the morning is easy enough, but the afternoons are tough!  :)
I got news
Thank you everyone for your prayers.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

More Pictures from our USA Trip

Ah, ha.  That is why I couldn't get the pictures off his phone.  That mystery is solved.  So here are some more pictures from our trip to the US. 
The donation box Ruthlynn set up to gather supplies for us from her church. 

 A HUGE "Thank You!" to everyone that made our trip so amazing!  
Our loaner Volvo from Ruthlynn and Alan.

Alan taking Joshua for another horse ride at their peaceful place in the country.

Ruthlynn and Alan are awesome!  They did so much for us.  God blessed our socks off through them.  THANK YOU.

Blake and Joshua building a fire.  Blake is Doug's Navy buddy that we visited east of St. Louis for one night.
 We had such a great time listening to Doug and Blake talk about their experiences.
Blake brought down the corn snake for Joshua to hold. 

At the Zoo in WI taking a little spin with the boy on the train.

Devils Lake (was Spirit Lake before they changed the name) - Wisconsin.
 There are some amazing hiking trails around this lake.  The weather was GREAT!
Joshua got his wish - he and Rita took a spin around the lake on a paddle boat.

Looking down into the worship area of the Middleton Church "house/church."

Not in the US anymore!

USA Trip pictures

Our free layover hotel room.  WOW.  It was nice.  Doha, Qatar

Doug's little sister and family (Brenda, Keith and their son's Ross and Kyle)

Doug's parents and siblings all together for the first time in 11 years, Michigan.

Doug helping my dad out with a little project in Arkansas.

My big brother, me and my dad.  It is so good to see Dad up and around after his bad wreck in 2011!
Time with Mom and Cliff in Missouri.  We had a great visit.
Playing music with the Tafts and Norwoods in Summersville, MO.  WONDERFUL TIME!

The Middlton Church's "Church House" that we stayed in and also had service.  WOW.  What a house!

Fletcher and Rita took us to the FREE ZOO!

At the zoo, trying to get Fletcher to come out of his shell in the kiddie park.

Joshua (Fletcher and Rita, too) enjoying a spin at the Zoo.

Zoo, Madison, WI

The view from our hike by Devil's Lake, WI.  The fall colors were wonderful.

Devil's Lake, WI with Fletcher
After I can get some pictures off Doug's new phone and tablet, I will post some more pictures.  These were taken the old fashion way - you know, with a camera.  So I hope to get a few more pictures added when I get that figured out.  Maybe in a few minutes - or I could take a nap.  I am sitting in the Doha Airport taking advantage of high-speed internet (free.)  :)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Trip to the USA

We have been very busy over the last several weeks.  Vacation can be an on-the-move kind of thing.  We have been busy visiting family, friends and churches.  It has been a real treat for sure.
Our first day of traveling was only slightly eventful.  Our second "bathroom break" was out in the middle of nowhere.  The bus driver announced, "Dakika Kumi kuchimba dawa!"  (Ten minutes to go to the bathroom.)  The culture in Tanzania is that men only have to turn away to relieve themselves, but ladies must find a bush to discretely take care of business.  A quick look around showed NO DECENT BUSHES AT ALL!  I had made friends with the Tanzanian lady behind me previously to this stop.  I decided perhaps I would just wait a few more hours until we reached Dar es Salaam.  Fortunately, God knew we would be delayed and He encouraged me through my new friend Joyce.  After the crowd had exited, she stood up, and hit me on the should and told me to "chimba dawa!"  I said "there is not good bush here."  She informed me they would have to wait or we would have to hurry.  So off we went with a few other ladies and spotted a bit of a knoll in the distance, and we headed that way at a trot.  After getting over the horizon a bit from the bus and the men, I found a bare limbs to squat behind.  I am so thankful for Joyce's encouragement, because only 16 minutes away from our final bus stop, we had a fender bender.  I think that delayed us about one and a half hours.  We didn't realize we were so close to our destination.  It took a long time for the police to show up and to get things squared away.
The next day we flew to Doha, Qatar via Qatar Airlines.  It was very nice.   They actually got our meals correct (and we each had a different special meal preference.)  I highly recommend them.  The hotel that they put us up in was the nicest I have been in.  The restaurant had things on the salad and fruit bars that I had not seen in a long time (like all kinds of dried and fresh fruits and nuts.)  There was a multitude of lettuces to pick and choose from.  Joshua sat down with his plate and wanted to know which of all those forks he should use.  :)

Our flight to Chicago also went very well.  There were several documentaries and "infotainment" options to watch along with other things to do.

Fletcher picked us up in Chicago and then we went to Lake Michigan while we waited for Doug's sister Brenda to arrive from the Detroit area to pick us up.  It was WINDY and a bit chilly by the lake.  We enjoyed the seagulls (which Joshua chased) and all the beautiful rounded stones of various colors along the shoreline.  Then we had our transfer into Brenda's vehicle and the additional drive to her house.  (Brenda gave us an extra special treat of apples, dried sweet cherries and walnuts!  OH! WERE THEY GOOD!) All three of fell asleep at various times during this part of the trip.  Doug's older sister Sue had come up from Kentucky with her daughter to visit with us, also.  We had a lovely couple of days visiting with them.
Then we rode up with Doug's sister Sue to visit his parents for 5 days.  It was a lovely time.  It was the first time in ELEVEN YEARS that all four siblings and their parents were under the same roof.  We had some wonderful food, fellowship and fun.  We picked up gallons and gallons of apples from under the apple trees, helped deliver "meals-on-wheels" to the shut-ins, and I took advantage of some down time to do some puzzle-putting-together.  (We were VERY well fed at both locations including a couple of restaurant visits!)
Then we took a bus from East Lansing, MI to Chicago, and another bus from Chicago to St. Louis.  I learned why they call Chicago "the windy city."  It was cold and windy.  Doug had lost his jacket somewhere on the trip, and he suffered the most of all three of us.  We enjoyed using the free wi-fi internet and powered plug-ins.
Alan Savoy picked us up in St. Louis.  We had two very nice nights with him and Ruthlynn.  They are dear Catholic friends of ours that we will treasure forever.  They loaned us their Volvo, gave us a home-base to station ourselves, fed us, collected donated items for us and treated us better than we could have ever hoped to be treated.  Their place is out in the country with ducks, chickens, horses, a donkey, a rabbit, guinea fowl, fish, cats and dogs.  It was a great quiet place to retreat to between visits all over Missouri and Arkansas.
We visited (so far) 6 churches (Summersville, Pioneer, Rogers, Mountain Grove, Ava and Elk Creek) and did presentations at each.  Lots of friends came out for the presentations.  It was so nice to see everyone and visit with so many friends.  I can't even start to list all the people who came.  I would surely miss a lot of names!

We visited my mom's place (her and Cliff, also) and also my dad's (Barbara, also.)  We had a family get-together at Dad's and a lot of family came by along with some friends and my dear brother.  It was such a joy to spend time with all of our family members and friends.
We had a lot of fun at Mom's also.  We worked on putting together a puzzle, made LOTS of waffles, enjoyed feeding the fish in the pond and all the animals.
Then we took two nights at the Taft house.  That was such a blessing.  Three-fourths of the Norwood family were there, Hal, Janet and Alfreda also came to visit us while we were there.  It was such a retreat from all the travel and being busy.  I would sit down to play the piano, and many of the children (up to EIGHT!) would pick up an instrument and we would play hymns together or some would sing (including adults.)  I played until my thumb felt like it had a blister, and some of us were getting hoarse from singing.   It was a grand time.
All the children have grown so much.  Ah, my hearts is so full of new good memories that my eyes are a bit teary.
We had a very nice visit back to Baker Creek Seed Company in Mansfield, MO also!  We had been regulars there at the festivals (both Spring and Fall and then the Heritage Days) for six years (would have been eight if we had not been Africa for the last two.)  It was delightful to see old friends there.  There were so many, some came up all the way from Arkansas (Thank you Darin and Elaine!)  The only thing I could have asked for more would have been that there had not been any wind and that the temperature hadn't dropped.
 Then we were back to the Savory house to gather ourselves and start packing, and to unwind a bit.
Yesterday, Alan drove us to the other side of St. Louis and we met up with the Farrells.  Doug was in the Navy with Blake.  They were so much fun to listen to as they shared stories and pictures.  We had a nice visit with them.
They delivered us and ALL OF OUR BAGS (10 at the moment including backpacks and food bag) to the bus stop.  I am typing this up as we cruise along I-55 in Illinois as we head to Chicago.
There Fletcher will pick us up.  We will then make it to our last stop before flying back to Africa.  I think he has a busy schedule planned for us (which is great.)
We have enjoyed our visit immensely.  Thank you EVERYONE who has been a part of it (through visits, calls, support, donations, prayers - or even reading this!)  I will treasure this trip in my heart.  God has been so incredibly wonderful to us through all of you.
PS - We are still looking for recruits to Eden Valley Foster Care Mission and also Kibidula.  If you think you might be interested, contact me to start getting your questions answered.
Tafts and Lisboas - looking forward to seeing you there. :)
Our camera batteries died a while back and we haven't gotten them replaced.  I don't even know where my camera is!  I will try to upload some pictures of our trip on a later post.  Thank you everyone for everything.  Prayers mean so much to us.
(We are currently on the top level of a two-level bus - Megabus and the scenery is nice!)  I recommend Megabus, by-the-way.  It is NICE.
PPS - We are also looking forward to being back in Africa soon!