Sunday, March 3, 2013

Village Clinic, Teaching and Wrapping Up.

This week we were out at the YWAM village clinic. We decided that instead of moving out there for the week we would commute back and forth. This decision was made because the kids regard where we are staying right now (the friary) as home and since we are leaving for another country this coming Friday we wanted to give them a few more nights of security sleeping in there "own" beds.  Moving out to the village for a week is not really a big thing but with a family it becomes a bit more and it always takes the kids a few nights to settle in.  In spite of an exhausting commute (45min-1hr. + each way) it was definitely worth the decision.

We love the YWAM base there. It's such a change of pace from the business of the city.  I really had my first huge culture clash this week and learned and important lesson. I was working in the busy immunization clinic this last Weds. and I walked in and another student said "Hey, can you take over weighing the babies so I can do some immunizations?" She gives me the low down of how it runs including calling the moms up, weighing, charting, deciding what immunizations they need and asking the mom to pay the small fee in Swahili.. no big deal right? She rattles off 10-12 things and then goes on to give shots.. I am left saying.. what? I had to re-ask how to ask for payment in Swahili like 6 times before it was cemented in my brain. Then many of the cards you can't read the writing and a lot are charted wrong and have to be readjusted. There was really no one to clarify all this and I had all of these women and babies staring at me in expectation. I'll admit that in my Western mindset  internally I started freaking out. Thankfully, seeing my distress the head midwife came up to me and said. "Heather, this is Africa. The only thing these women have planned to do today is come and get their baby weighed and immunized. Regardless they will be here most of the morning. No one is in a rush. You are a student. Take your time." It was exactly what I needed to hear..
I relaxed a bit and then called my next mom and baby. Laughter... the Muzungu (white person..not derogatory) is trying to say our names. It's just funny to them. Now in our culture when someone is trying really hard and you laugh at them it's considered rude. Not here. Here its just another way of being relational. Sure they actually think its hilarious that you are trying to say their name, but really it's an acknowledgement that you are different and they actually like you trying to connect with them. The situation is awkward so they laugh to make a connection.  Trying to remain light-hearted about the laughing (because I had yet to understand the cultural reason for it) one of my fellow students (an Aussie) comes over to help and starts calling out more names in her Aussie accent. Now there are rolls of laughter. When both of us finally realized what was going on we started to relax and enjoy ourselves. Lesson learned? If you're going to put yourself out there to connect with people, learn to laugh at yourself and with others. Just lighten up! I have a long way to go on learning this as I tend to be pretty hard on myself and try to be as efficient as possible. But here it is a necessary ability.

On a side note, while out at the clinic we were also able to get our first ultrasound! We are blessed to say that we have a healthy baby growing and the due date is spot on of what we had calculated (Aug 18th). :)

 Here are a couple of pictures from our time there. Some I borrowed from a classmate.

outside bathing. :)

a baby one of our students delivered this week

This was our 4000th BAS delivery! The mom brought them in for a weight check :)

Josiah's FAVORITE spot. The sand pit. He even says goodbye to it when we leave!

Abigail and one of her new buds Hannah climbing trees as usual.

In there own beds :) well its actually our bed they are in. 

its hilarious to see what people try to carry on the back of motorcycles.. deep freezer anyone?
This Friday we actually stayed back with the team in the city to do a teaching at a grade school. Abigail joined me and we taught the 7th class about how to make ORS (oral re-hydration solution) to treat diarrhea. Something that is a simple solution to a huge problem here.  There were 100+ kids packed in this classroom!! 
 This weekend we had a team time out at the beach. We were able to stay the night there and just had a relaxing time together and had time to process and think about our time here in Tanzania.

the kids this morning

So folks. That's all from Tanzania at the moment. This week we work in the hospital for 3 days and then Thursday packing and Friday we are on a 2-3 day train ride to Zambia!! We definitely covet your prayers for travel mercies and a safe journey. We will not be posting this weekend because we will be traveling. We will post as soon as we get settled in Zambia and are able to connect to the internet.  We are anxious to move on to the last outreach location and are looking forward to seeing what God will do there. I was looking back through pictures of the last 9 months and I can hardly believe all that we have done and seen! God has been so good to us and so faithful and we have been so blessed with health and safety! Thank you for being a part of this journey with us!

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