Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I love Wednesdays...

Because Wednesday is the official start of the clinic week, I feel like most of my weeks have two Mondays. Some weeks that is okay, and some weeks it is by calling upon the grace of God that I get through it.

Today was a fun Wednesday. I arrived at the clinic pretty much on time. (Major miracle... I hate mornings.) I have prayer with Teresa, find where I am on the John tape to play for the clinic patrons... and read that section in my Bible before heading out. The yard men meet me, I forgot their key, so had to go home for it. They decide to whitewash the last of the clinic building today. : ) The whitewash job should be finished by tomorrow!! The three guys have been whitewashing every building on our compound. They started about 5 weeks ago. (They have had time off and they have done other jobs, but it has been five weeks.)

Half way through our clinic day I plan to meet with our staff to tell them about our summer plans. I missed judged my patient load and didn't get to talk with them until about 11 am. After chatting with the staff, I saw a few more patients and then headed to the cillage to pick up Joanne. We were going to go talk to the head of the Village Development Council, about the summer closure. I take Joanne along, not for moral support, but so that she can clean up my Wolof. We had a great time with Malik... who is Joanne's son. (All very gambian here... her namesake, is Malik's mother... therefore, it could be said that Joanne is his mother. She is my mother too. I remind her of that sometimes.) On my way back to the clinic I pass a woman and her young son and he has a huge wrap on his head. Turns out he was getting Mangos out of a tree and was hit in the head by a stick. Nice gash! I had them get in the car and took them to the clinic andthen sewed him up! I finished seeing patients at about 2 pm, just had a quick bite to eat and now I am off to the office. I have a man coming to get our butane bottles this evening. Another man is coming to fill in a sink whole (a tree used to stand there... until we burned it out... it burned for weeks.) My yard crew should be back any minute to start the lst of the touch ups with whitewash. What a day!

The sad news is... the humidiy is coming back. It was 95 degrees with 705 humidity in the clinic today... that would be about 122 degrees. : ) Praise God for showers and running water!

Chat at ya later!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Relaxing Weekends Gone in a Minute.

Teresa liked heading to Banjul for a treat so much last weekend that she suggested we do it again. I was game. It has been pretty hot here in NK, I wondered if I could talk her into going in for a day or two and going to a pool. It was easy to talk her into it. So, Friday afternoon, we packed up our stuff and headed out. It would be a very relaxing weekend. We weren't going to take a car, we had no shopping to do. Arriving in Barra, our ambulance driver dropped us off a the ferry, when we bought our ticket we discovered they were already in the process of loading foot passengers. Praise God, we didn't have to wait in the hot sun. Upon arrival in Banjul, one of the two taxi drivers I have used in the past and trust found us at the ferry and offered to be our taxi. We introduced him to the fruit cocktail drink and a schwarma sandwich at the KING OF SCHWARMA downtown Banjul. Delicious. Then it was off to the money exchanger, the roadside veggie stand, and the grocery store. We arrived at our place in Ker Serin in rare form. Friday evening was a relaxing time. Saturday noon we spent the afternoon at a new to us pool. As patrons of the restaurant, you can use the pool. We never had, but it was great! No one around, very quiet. Saturday evening... more rest. Sunday, church... what a blessing the music is to Teresa and I. One of the families that has been attending has a teenage son who plays the flute, another woman who attends with her husband plays the keyboard. I think both of these families are from Korea. Other Sundays we may have a violinist, and maybe a guitarist. In Ndungu Kebbeh it is accapella, so we are always blessed to hear the instruments.

After church, Teresa and I headed to one of our favorite hotels, great pool, okay food. I hadn't been there since I returned to The Gambia. Strolling down the side walk I hear my name... (not unusual.. but my English name... very unusual. It was the lady from the front desk, I may not have been there in two years, and since the quest house opened up I haven't stayed there... but I am still known. (pretty cool!) The pool was indeed great and the owner has made several improvements. The only improvement we saw in the area of the kitchen was a great new seating area. (Yup, the food was still lacking, but great pool and the price was right.)

After two wonderful days of relaxation Teresa and I braved the return to NK. Adelia, our team mate that runs the guest house, drove us the Banjul where we ran some errands and then she took us to the ferry. It was exciting to see a ferry lined up at the dock. That is until I ran into one of the sellers I know... she told me to go have a seat somewhere. It would be a while before we would leave... the president was crossing. We waited a total of 2 hours, as we waited we counted our blessings....1) we weren't under the direct sun, we were fairly close to a ceiling fan, 2) the bathrooms weren't near by (you can figure out why that would be a blessing) 3) we didn't have a crying, wet baby on our backs... Arriving in Barra, we were able to get a taxi (opting for a private one not a bush one) and were home in no time. It is hot, there is a slight breeze, the shower was great and it is good to be home. Oh, but the best was that on the way home we passed all the school kids that were waiting at the side of the road for the president to pass by. He made a detour north and then will come this way. As the driver passed the school children in our village and they saw me sitting in the car... you could hear them start to chant... Maam Soxna, Maam Soxna. What a welcome home!

The work week starts as soon as I open my door. I need to find something for lunch first. Have a great week.