Sunday, January 15, 2012
week in review
Julia and the Varsity Girls' Football team, with Coach Dahlman. They had their first game this week, a loss to the Swedish girls. In spite of the 1 to 0 score, our team played well. And Julia played awesomely. Highlight of the week: Miss Larissa of South Sudan has stayed with us since Wednesday. It has been delightful to have her in the house, to feel like "team" again. You can see how happy Acacia is. I am thankful for her company, ideas, service, cheer, and general presence. Brielle sports her CPAP (continuous pressure oxygen circuit) which is held in place by the little pink knit hat. Charming parents anxious but happy, unstoppable labor, an active little preemie with a reasonable weight and a good prognosis. Hoping she will fight on through. Jack, exhausted with cheering, sinks to the floor in relief when Man U pulls out a victory over Man City. It hasn't been an easy couple of weeks for avid Man U fans, and the losses have taken their toll. Caleb's last step (??) in college apps, the ROTC physical fitness test. He did 57 pushups in one minute and then ran a mile and a half around the grass field in 9 min 6 sec, which is pretty good at this altitude. Here he is smiling with Coach Davis after the run. Miracle baby Wangari. Keep her in your prayers. No baby with gastroschisis has yet survived here, though we've tried to help many. The others have been born elsewhere, languish a few days with their intestines hanging out a hole in the abdominal wall, become infected and dehydrated and can not be rescued by the time they arrive. This baby was born here, and in spite of a harrowing first few minutes when we couldn't get her to breathe . . has done well. Her intestines are now back inside, and starting to work. I taught a conference on her case this week, and reflected on Psalm 139. Rugby tryouts have started a whole term early. Because the varsity team did not do so well last year, they have to play a relegation match this term, so the coaches are training with about 40 boys daily. Rugby is THE sport at RVA . . here is Jack, with the talented Howorth brothers, coming to eat pizza covered with mud . . Some of Caleb's senior guy friends (Titus and Aneurin are our guardees, plus Joop who is just fun) join us for pizza making at the end of the week. One of our other guardees . . Anna Rich . . also joins the party. It rained for hours and then cleared just as we were ready to cook, for a very fun evening. The power has been off most nights for random blocks of time. Caleb has mastered dish washing by candlelight. Sort of nice, you can't see the mess. Fridays the students gather outside during their chapel time for flag raising. Larissa and I went up to see the choir sing the national anthem in Swahili . . I tried to post the video but no deal. It was lovely. Perhaps you can make out Julia and Acacia singing alto, and imagine Caleb singing base int he back. This weekend Scott and I are both on call. Last night I sat with a tiny preemie who was dying, praying with his mom and watching his little heart slowly tick down to nothing. We had been rescuing him with less and less success all day, and by 2 am he had signs of brain death. Meanwhile Scott was doing two C sections. We both got home at the same time, 3 am . . And were both called from church this morning for this little pumpkin, a 33-week preemie whose mom was deteriorating dangerously. Scott did a C section and I whisked her off to be revived. Only she didn't need reviving, in spite of weighing 1.4 kg she was the most active, wailing baby I've seen all week. These two cuties were surprise twins--their mom delivered the one on the left and the paeds team was taking him to nursery when lo and behold another one came out. They share a cot warmer and are twice as cute as one alone. So another week goes by: death watches and celebrations, rescues and cheering, sweat and struggle, meals and messes. Amen.