March 25, 2004
Psalm 78 reminds us that we are consistent in our forgetfulness of the great works of our God–but he remembers His covenant forever. That is good good news!
Casey is off from school today and so after the meeting to train mamas, we are going into Kampala to get haircuts. This is one of those times that brings such remembered pleasure to our days. Mike has headed to Entebbe to pick up some mini missionaries who are making a second visit to Uganda. We have had 3 flat tires in the past couple of weeks so I am praying that the patched tires will hold up for the journey. Yesterday was full and busy. We had a second interview with a woman that we hoped would be a mama in training. Effective interviewing is so difficult–the women are so desperate for the position that they will often tell us whatever they think we want to hear. I don’t blame them. This dear woman revealed under closer questioning that she is a single woman with an 8 year old child who is living here with her child instead of the child being in Kumi with her mother as she had told us on the first interview. I praised God for her honesty and was thankful that we did not offer her a job that would make an orphan of her own child!
We also went to Nsambya Babies Home and saw 2 children that we hope can come live here in cottage #4. Over the past week, I’ve spent several hours with our new housemother Robinah Nafuna. She is a treasure with depth of knowledge, both of people and of faith. She made me laugh so hard when she shared a story with me. I had invited her to my home for a follow up interview. She got there around the lunch hour and since I knew that her journey on the matatu had been long and hard, I offered her a bowl of bean soup and some tea or water. She asked for water probably so that she would not cause me extra preparation time. I felt her eyes watching me quietly as I prepared her meal. I noticed that she did not drink the glass of water and just assumed that like many Ugandans that drinking water was not her habit. These folks have to walk long distances to streams and carry the water they need in large plastic “gerry” cans. Since the water comes with contamination, they must boil all water for drinking and cooking. I think as a result, they must think of drinking water as a costly extravagance. Well, I had drawn her water right from the faucet, and when she saw that I did not “cook” it she was convinced I was a misguided mzungu trying to make her ill! As she shared what she was thinking about me and these crazy foreigners in the village, I rolled with laughter. What she did not know then and what will be a great treat for her as she lives here, is that here in the village we have a deep bore well. The water comes up uncontaminated and immediately suitable for drinking!
I don’t know if I have shared that we heard that baby Sophie, who we are waiting to bring to Rafiki, was recently hospitalized. We are not sure what is going on but we did stop by Sanyu while in town to check on things with her. Joyce met us and took us into the lunch room where the children sit in those little chairs around the edge of the wall to drink their porridge. We saw Sophie but she looked so much smaller and weak. As Carolyn talked with Joyce, I noticed a sign above her high chair that said “TB use own spoon and cup only!” Things began to make sense about why Joyce had not released Sophie to us. We had heard through the grapevine that there has been an outbreak of TB at Sanyu and we had been wondering if any of our children are infected. They all had passed the TB serology tests but evidently they discovered through chest X-rays that some Sanyu children had the disease. This throws many things up in the air for us–Carolyn is e-mailing the Rafiki pediatrician in Nairobi to see what we should do now. Well girlfriend, I need to move away from the laptop and get my mind ready for the mamas to come for training today.
P.S. Dr. Dan in Nairobi told us to bring Sophie as soon as possible so that we can get her treated for the disease. The treatment can take up to a year. He told us not to panic about the other children that he would test them all when he visits in April or May and not to worry about it. That was very encouraging.