Sunday, February 20, 2011

A New Nursery and a Tiny Miracle

Well, it finally happened.  Our new nursery is finally open!  Thank you to all of you who donated funds to make this a reality.  We went from a tiny closet for our premature and sick infants to a new, warm, welcoming and much larger Newborn Unit.  I have already noticed that the moms are spending more time with their babies and the nurses are present much more often.  We had a dedication ceremony to dedicate the new space to the Lord and give each of the current infants, and those to come, to Him.  It was wonderful and so great to see the looks on the mom's faces when they saw where their babies were going to be cared for.

Our previous closet of a nursery

Incubators in the new nursery with chairs for each mother

So much space!

Our dedication service
We've already had a graduate of our new nursery.  Abel was born 14 weeks prematurely by emergency C-section because his mother was hemorrhaging from placenta previa (where the placenta is covering the cervix).  I'd had her on bedrest in the hospital because of intermittent bleeding, but that night was different.  By the time I got there, her bed was covered in blood.  I sadly told his mom that we would do what we could, but being only 26 weeks, his chances of survival here were very low.  As I pulled him out, all I could think about was how small he was - until he started screaming!  At 850 grams, he was the smallest baby I'd seen born here and cry, much less survive.  Each day, we prayed for him, and he outdid all of our expectations.  After less than 2 months, he was discharged.  Today, mom took him to Kijabe Hospital (a large mission hospital here in Kenya) for repair of a minor heart defect.  We praise God for our little miracle baby!

Abel the day after he was born.  As you can see, he was barely bigger than my hand.

Dr. Kyle Jones, Tekla, little Abel, and me last week

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Christmas - in February?

So, I know it's nearing the end of February, but I figured I should blog about Christmas.  It was, afterall, my second Christmas here in Kapsowar.  It wasn't so hard being away from home this year - although I did miss my family, of course.  I think this was because my mom, sister, and Carson had just been here, and because this is starting to feel more and more like home. 
Christmas started out with the annual hospital Christmas party for all of the staff the week before.  This was convenient, as it was right outside my house.  It was a fun time of games and a live nativity play directed by Vanessa Jones and starring most of the station kids.  It was also a fun time for all of the hospital staff to hang out together.

Isaac Jones dressed up as a shepherd for the nativity.  Shepherds have paci's right?

Agather, one of our cleaning ladies, transferring beans with a straw

Hudson and Jude Jones enjoying the party

I decided to do something special for the nurses that I work with - those on the maternity and female wards.  I decided to have them all to dinner.  However, since this involved about 20 people, I figured it was easier to order out.  So, I ordered some Kenyan dishes from Elegance Hotel (restaurant) and got more than I bargained for.  The rice could have fed about 50 people.  They all enjoyed it, though, and I hope they felt appreciated for all of their hard work.

All the food ready to go in my kitchen.  The big black pot under the counter is the rice.

James, one of our Kenyan docs, with several of the nurses

The guys enjoying their food

Just like last year, on Christmas Eve, we did candlelight caroling around the wards.  It was, once again, a very neat experience and it was so great to be able to bring joy to the patients who were spending their Christmas in the hospital.  Afterwards, we all went back to the chapel and I shared with everyone about the risk that Mary took when she carried Jesus and how we should not allow what people think to sway us from what God has called us to do.  It was a good time of fellowship.

Caroling on the children's ward

Me with a special patient

Christmas morning I got up and went over to the Jones' to open presents.  It was so fun getting to be with my Kapsowar family for that.  After going into the hospital to round, I came back and we had a big brunch with my new favorite breakfast food - pumpkin pancakes.  Yum!  That night, we invited all of the medical students and visiting staff over for a big dinner together.  It was a good day - even though I did get called away from dinner for an emergency C-section.  Ah well.

Hudson and Jude with their stockings

Hudson showing off the Spiderman puzzle I gave him

I made buckeyes for our dinner.  They were great!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Family Visit Part 3 - Safari!

Never in a million years would I have dreamed that I would take 3 safari's in one year.  But, how can I have my family come all this way, to one of the best places in the world for big game safari, and not take them?  Also, April would have killed me if we wouldn't have gone, since she's a huge animal lover.
We went back to Mara Safari Club, which is now my favorite place to go for safari.  Mom and April were very impressed with our tent accommodations and they loved standing and watching the hippos in the Mara River right outside our tent.  We also got to sit on the deck of our tent and watch Calabas monkeys playing in the trees around us.
It was so much fun watching mom and April see all the animals in their natural habitat for the first time.  And, since I've been there before, it was fun to just sit back and enjoy the scenery and the animals.  My other job during our game drives was to hold Carson, which I didn't mind one bit :)  It was also fun to see his reaction to the animals - although a couple of times he got so excited we thought he would scare off the animals!
April was a star animal spotter and at one point our driver joked he was going to hire her.  Her best spot was a female leopard that was hiding in some bushes.  We were very lucky, seeing 3 leopards during our safari.  Even our driver, who does this every day, was excited.  A lot of people don't even get to see one. 
We had a great time relaxing and spending some quality time together.

Back from our first early morning game drive.  Lovin' the Colts outfit!

Warming up in front of the fire

Ready to see some animals!

So amazing!

Carson enjoying the big comfy bed

Carson and April with a Masai warrior
Mom after her massage

Enjoying lunch outside

Monkey outside our tent