09 October 2011

The day that a lollipop made everything better.


Waking up, it was chilly.

Like that first day in fall when you notice, “wow, it’s not going to be swelteringly hot today” and you can feel a calm peace in the air. 

I thanked God for letting me experience one of my favorite things about fall, when actually, I think it’s Spring here.   But I was so upset about “missing” my favorite things about fall, so I think this was God’s way of saying, “See, just because I called you to the other side of the world during one of your favorite seasons doesn’t mean that you won’t get to experience some of your favorite things.”

I appreciate that.

It could have been a better day.  We got dropped off to clinic earlier than normal, only to find out that we were running the clinic today with just Festina.  Who’s great, but doesn’t speak much English.  Which is also ok, but not when our patients don’t either.

[Frances in the lab writing in the Patient Registry Book]

Festina gave out patient booklets as Frances and I “screened” patients and did all the labs.  Who was supposed to come in today?  Who is supposed to be supervising us?  Who are we supposed to ask when we don’t know?

Festina didn’t understand we were students and not comfortable seeing patients with no supervisor.

She kept sending people to us.  They have no other option.

If you don’t help them, no one else will.

Just bad.

Mixed with our inability to communicate,

Felt like an inability to help.

Really really bad.

The 1 moth old who we had no idea what was wrong with because neither the mother, nor Festina, spoke enough English to help us figure it out.

Multiple children with positive and negative malaria tests.

The man who had a chest pain, the second time in 2 weeks.  The first time he came to the clinic and got 5 shots of ??? (we had no past record book.)  We had no access to the store room with the Aspirin.  We had no access to new batteries for the blood pressure cuff.  We had no access to our transport.  You can’t tell someone with chest pain to walk to the nearest hospital.

No access to language, to supplies, to a cell phone to call for help.


Not helpful.

When we finished seeing patients, we started the walk home because we had no way to contact our supervisor.  Don’t get me wrong, we love walking home, but we walked home yesterday, and it was hot outside.  And we really weren’t in the mood to walk again.  It was already a long, hard day.

The day needed to be redeemed.  Big time.  So we did what we do when we have a bit of time and we want to start the day over.


We didn’t feel that much better when we woke up.  We were out of regular cookies, so we decided to walk to get some.  Cookies are a great way to cope with things.  We didn’t find just cookies.  Frances decided to be brave.  She bought 2 and we each stuck one in our mouth.

And that’s how the lollipops fixed everything.

Much better.


Ok, so it didn’t fix everything, there’s still so much more that’s wrong with the world.  So much that’s wrong with our lives.  So much that’s wrong with my heart.

[another sunset]

But God and I are working on that, slowly.

Frances and I watched a movie, Something Borrowed; since we couldn’t watch our Aggies play football.

We ate caramel popcorn with the movie, which was fabulous. 

Then we returned to sleep.

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