I realized today that it's been just about 2 weeks since I updated on here, and I apoligize. For those of you on my email list, you know that I've had a rather tough couple of weeks. I would like to say that I was just too busy or too lazy to update, but honestly, just having to think about some of the things that have happened are just too much, but i'll do my best to fill you in.
Where did I leave off?... I'll start with some patient updates for you:) My little man Geraldo(who pictures of can be seen on my facebook) quickly became one of my favorite people here over the couple of weeks I got to spend with him. He was released 5 days after their original date they'd set for him, but he's not at the hospitality center. I made them bracelets, and his mom gave me one in return, which I love:) I got to work the afternoon he left, and one of my co-workers said 'They got a hold of you, right?' and I was like 'who?' then she said 'D ward'(the ward I spend my time in) and Iwas like 'no.. CAN I GO?' and she was like 'quickly.' I ran my tail off, got to the ward, and the girls were like 'Michelle, you JUST missed them.. run to the aft gangway... RUNN.' So I ran and ran, and got lost ,and ran some more, and made it down to the car and there they were- Geraldo and his mom. At this point I didn't know he would be at the hospitality center. I said goodbye, with tears in my eyes all the way back to work. I got to visit him on saturday, which was a nice surprise for his mom, I think:) I also made friends with Julian and Chisom(who I mentioned before) and those pictures are all on facebook:)
I've made some new friends in the ward as well.. Edoh is 3 1/2 and very funny. I play with him and make faces and he imiatates and we just goof off. He likes to talk, but I have no clue what he's saying, but it's funny and I try not to let it get to me that I have no idea what he's talking about hah. David is a 10 year old who loves to make faces as well and he knows just a little bit of english so he says 'Good-bye' to me every time and 'welcome' :) Maome( the little 3 month old I talked about before) is still here, no surprises there, and her mom and I have little inside jokes even if we can't talk.
In the corner for 3 days was a little girl. The first time I saw her, I knew she was very sick. She had very little hair, and what she did have was spotty, she was so thin I could see her bones, and she wimpered the whole time I was in the ward. One day, her mom was in the shower, and so I sat with her, but was scared to hold her becuase I didn't know what kind of surgery she had and I didn't want to hurt her, but she just looked at me with these sad little eyes and just wimpered. She died 3 days after I met her. I can't even tell you how hard it was- especially because I'm friends with a lot of the nurses now(spending so much time in the wards has given me instant friends). I was working and I asked my friend how the baby was, and she just had this look and I knew it wasnt good.. she told me, and I had to keep it togetehr becuase I was working. Later, at lunch, I saw my friend Kathleen who worked iwth the little girl pretty closely, and I was like 'man it's so sad' and she was like 'yeah I know... I wonder how she's doing' and I was like 'you don't know' and so I told her, but man.. it killed me. She started crying, and I just...I'm glad she knew before she got to work an hour later, but i never like to be the bearer of such horrible news.
All of this has made me so thankful that Jordan is so healthy and wonderful and grateful. I know that could change at any moment, but this baby was 1 1/2 years old, and never had a good life because she was always sick. Her mom was detatched, and everyone knew it was not good. The doctors talked for like 20 mintues to decide what to do, but I believe deep down we all knew that night she wasn't going to make it. I almost started crying so many times that last night I was in her ward. When they were moving her to the ICU, I just went over and looked at her, and said a little prayer, knowing in my heart it would be hte last time I'd see her.
This whole experience has been so wonderful, but so challenging. Things like this make me wonder why GOd could take such a small child out of this work, but then again, I know it's so much better for her because she'd have had so much brain damage and health issues, she wouldn't have had a good life- especially here in Africa. If she'd lived back home, maybe things would've been different from the start, but that's not how it is. Not everyone is fortunate enough to be cared for the way we are in the US. We never realize how lucky we are until we see a life slip through our hands because of differences in society.
Other things that have happend are my camping trip. Man that was crazy. Got burned, got to go swimming, lots of fun, no sleep hardly because of a thunderstorm, bugs attacking us at dinner, etc. IF you want more stories, let me know. I have a ton, but jsut don't feel like typing them all out right now.
I've also seriously been considering what I'm supposed to be doing with my life in the future because I am certain now that the path I originally picked is not really for me. We will see. If you'd like to talk about that little problem, I'd be more than happy to talk... I could use a few people to talk that out with, but don't feel its really necessary to type it out here..
Anyway, I've had a few stomach things(which are not rare around here), but I'd avoided the nassty flu that attacked the ship. They were scared it was the swine flu for a few days, but it was a strain that is uncommon and pretty serious, which was even scarier for some people.
The summer program has begun, and I thought it'd be more stressful, but really it's just organized play time:) I love it. I thoguht i'd have more to do, but really, it's not that bad. Just song stuff I gotta do, but you know:) oh.. also I was on a worship team this weekend... talk about intense.. we had a 2.5 hour rehearsal lastn ight right before the service, and an hour the night before.... UMBC IV kids.. I thought of you and how much I miss our 20 minute rehearsals:)
Anyway, off to dinner!