The Misery of Malaria

November 6, 2003

Dear Friend,

DSC00661 (Small) Today is training day and so I will try to grab some desk time to prepare for that.  Chloe did fine with the immunization.  I enjoyed talking with Mama Flavia and preparing her with the news that she might have an eldest son added to her family as soon as Monday. We are planning to place Yoweri in her cottage when the paper work gets completed.  Praise God his blood work was fine.  DSC00546 (Small) When I shared Yoweri’s story with her, she responded sweetly, “I feel that that one is already mine.  It is the plan of God that he should come to my home.”  Can you imagine?  She has only been here a month and has three  3 year olds and a 12 month old and is willing to take on more!

It has not been smooth sailing for her since we brought her the four children from Sanyu.  The longer I am here the more outraged I am by malaria! It is the most awful disease–it grieves me that it does not raise shocked responses in the western world like SARS, mad cow and bird flu do!  Many of our children come to the village already infected.   kato2

The malarial parasites live in the liver but from time to time move out and into the red blood cells rapidly multiplying and making a person very ill.  Kato woke last night delirious and convulsing.  He had to be sponged down and given fever reducer every 3 hours to make it through the night.  Flavia had seen such symptoms before and knew it was malaria.  We did not go to hospital because there is no one there to help you in the middle of the night–you still wait till morning.

This morning we went to SOS clinic and thankfully they responded to his condition “quickly”  and gave him a bed.  The nurse worked with him from 9:40 until 11:00 giving him a fever suppository, a valium shot to relax the seizing activity, syrup to also help reduce the fever, a shot of quinine and a shot of antibacterial something or other.  He wet all over me, bled all over me from a nosebleed and then vomited all over me before we got home.  He was pitiful and the quinine effects are almost worse than the malaria symptoms.  Anyway, on this day I have plead the mercy of Christ for this little one and He inclined His ear and listened.      There is more to share but I am retiring in case things are hopping again tonight.  I love you dear friend and I know that the gathering at the Biltmore was glorious for Christ and His kingdom.

Until later, lissa

November 7, 2003

Greetings again dear friend,
DSC00647 (Small)I remembered you when I awoke and prayed for your teaching time.  May God visit you with much grace and power as you serve the sheep the finest fare from His Word.  I slept very well and Kato did okay through the night.  Part of his take home medication was Phenobarbital to relax his brain from the effects of the malaria and quinine tablets–I am learning much about this disease and none of it is good.

Flavia is doing beautifully in caring for him but I sense the mamas think I am too “soft” with Kato and showing too much concern.   It seems that these African women have a strong cultural predisposition against being soft–or by my standards outwardly affectionate.

I remember reading in American history that when infant mortality figures were high, parents were not as indulgent or inclined to attach too  affectionately to children.  It was a self protective way of coping when a mother was faced with the reality that death might snatch away her precious little one.  Mama Teopista reminded me of that when she said, “JjaJa, if you are too kind to this one, how will he ever want to get well?”  I never stop being fascinated with the threads of cultural norms that I discover here.

I was able to spend some time with the Lord this morning and was grateful for the time then managed a few minutes to get things ordered here at home before heading out to check on the children.   DSC01656 (Small)

We were reminded that we have invaded and only partially civilized the bush as we encountered 2 small snakes at the cottages yesterday.  Any snake is too much for me so I have been walking very much more carefully today!  The mamas laughed when they saw me surveying the ground on my way to and from the cottages.

The folklore of when snakes come out and how dangerous they are occupied our Gazebo conversation.  Pray for mercy!

I hope you arise rested and satisfied in Him and what He did through you last night.  I am off to take Kato more juice–you are to drink plenty of fluids for this malady as well–so if this is spoiling him I am doing it!

With love,