Wednesday, April 6, 2011

11 days out of touch and off the grid- Part 4

Emma has had a fever for the last couple of days. It seems that were are all fighting off something (and losing) as we all feel under the weather. Many of the kids here walk around with a perpetual runny nose. We’re trying to be good about washing hands and limiting exposure but the cultural lack of personal space and continual shaking hands, even with people you may have seen only a half hour before, has made it hard. Doctor Scott from Kudjip loaded us up with some industrial strength first aid supplies including children’s Tylenol and even some general antibiotics if we need them. We can radio for advice if it lasts more then a few days or gets worse.

It got worse...
We now all have gotten the flu except Ethan who had some kind of allergic reaction and is covered in angry looking hives and a rash. On top of it all Joani hurt her back and has been laid up in bed for 2 ½ days. So much for the rest and relaxation part of the trip. We got through it but let’s just say it wasn’t fun.

I treated my first “patient” yesterday. Many doctors have spent time here and they occasionally run a clinic on the front porch. I guess he assumed that I was a doctor too and showed up for treatment. He had a badly infected cut on his finger wrapped in a dirty rag. He came up to the porch, politely introduced himself and attempted some small talk in pidgin. He then showed me his finger and asked if I could help. The best I could do was clean it and give him some Neosporin and a band aid. I told him I wasn’t a doctor but it didn’t matter to him. He then proceeded to ask me about some sores he had in his mouth. After once again letting him know I wasn’t a doctor, I told him that the best I could recommend was to rinse out his mouth with warm salt water three times a day. The oral health of these people is a definite problem and many people are missing the majority of their teeth with swollen gums and lesions. I’m sure their limited diet, ready access to sugar cane and no dental care is a huge factor. I hope things get better for him. It’s amazing what a little medical care would do to improve these people’s lives.

Finally the whole family is well just as we are wrapping up our trip to Dusin. We’ve genuinely made new friends and learned a lot over the last few days. In addition I feel a lot more confident being away from the familiar and much more willing to go rustic and into the bush again. In comparison to what the first missionaries went through in this place, our time has really been easy. I believe it was also a good opportunity to reset our expectations of what the basics of life really are. For the long run it has made me realize how absolutely blessed we are in the US and that there are places in this world where people live their whole lives on a mountaintop without the things we consider a necessity. We look forward to settling into our new lives in Kudjip.

Below are a few picture we took that we really like.  There's more on Joani's Facebook page that you can link to here!/profile.php?id=768379851

(There's nothing like looking down on a cloud)

(Yes, I fully intend to live out my Indianna Jones fantasy)
Sitting on "The Stone" high above the valley floor on the edge of nowhere...


  1. Dan and I enjoyed all four of your blogs. Your whole family are in our prayers daily. We know how good God is - just keep listening to Him, which we know you do! Love you all!
    Judi (Fortune)

  2. Kiss a Wookieeee, kick a droid... :D I always enjoy your humor, Randy!