Thursday, April 9, 2009

We got up this morning to NO WATER! A

Every day seems to be just that! The kids, Aimee and I got back to Tchincombe last night. We got up this morning to NO WATER! A pipe had burst. What should be a relatively quick fix took all morning but we do have water now!

The Cavango clinic project has a large Ford 550 but it’s down and in need of parts which have to be gotten from the USA. Peter and Shelley have been anxious to get out there to begin work so we as a community got together to help out – us from SIM/UIEA and Brent from MAF. Peter and Shelley are working with AGA (Advancing the Gospel in Angola)/UIEA.

On Wednesday at 4 AM we left Lubango loaded with 400 liters of fuel (2 drums), two 100kg gas bottles, 50 kg of salt, 50 kg of cement and one generator. We were a 4 vehicle convoy headed to Cavango Mission where Peter and Shelley Duplantis well be helping to develop the clinic. The other three vehicles were also loaded to the max! 16 hours and 500 km (300 miles) later we arrived! The road was challenging! Good rains have improved the crops but not the roads!! Tents were thrown up and supper made in a hurry as a storm was approaching and did it rain!? YES! It was a damp night!

Along the last 150 km there are 31 villages – at each people ran to the road to see who was coming and to wave greetings! When we actually arrived at Cavango despite the darkness many came out to greet us with huge smiles of welcome!

Thursday we drove 45 minutes to the airstrip at Chinhama to transport freezer, fridge and citrus trees that came on the MAF plane. Steve Foster also came and did clinic on Thursday afternoon. Friday morning Steve along with Shelley assisting performed 4 surgeries! - an amputation, 2 umbilical hernias and a saphenous vein ligation. The people are so grateful for even the least thing you can do for them. It was quite moving to see how much some of them had suffered without access to healthcare. One 13 yr old girl fell more than a year ago and fractured her hip - now she can hardly walk and the affected leg is 2in shorter than the other. Her pelvis will be malformed and she will be a cripple, unable to bare children or work and so of no use in this culture. Without surgery to repair this hip, her life is ruined - over before it got started. Steve has asked her to be brought to CEML where he will operate and try to repair the damaged hip.

Friday’s return trip was not uneventful! Rain a lot of the way. I got stung 4 times by some pesky tiny bee like creatures that somehow got in the car. Brent’s vehicle had minor electrical issues. Despite all these things we did get back in 12 hours!

Stirling held down the fort here at Tchincombe – baling hay, etc. He came to town on Saturday. We had a lovely day at beach on Sunday – Stirling lying down on back seat most of the way! Though he did drive the last half because there was a big rainstorm and yours truly does not like to drive at night in the rain! It took one hour to drive the 2 km up the hill to the compound where we stay in Lubango. The road had become a river and many vehicles were stuck!

PRAISE that 2 visas have been issued for missionaries planning to come to Angola! The Verhoefs and Frances Gralow – Frances will be working with translation of Olumhuila (very close to Olungambwe)!

This update from Sheila about Mum Foster:

“The big praise item is that Mum was transferred today to the special rehab unit where they will work intensively with her on speech, physical therapy and occupational therapy. The plan last Friday was to give her a week's worth of rehab- now that she will only really begin her week's worth tomorrow. I'm not sure how everything will pan out in terms of when she can come home.

At the moment, Dad and I are concerned that one or more of the anti-hypertensive drugs is causing some negative side effects like being out of it and with less ability to walk and use her right side. It's all very strange. They are giving her 3 different meds for her BP so I will try to see the docs tomorrow morning first thing. We talked with the rehab doc today but of course he hadn't seen her before so had no way to compare. Anyway, pray that this will get sorted out quickly so that she can make the most of the rehab program.

Seeing her regression today was discouraging for both Dad and me- and I'm sure for Mum as well.”

With Love,

Donna for all of us!

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