Well, here I am again…at the keyboard. My fingers are kind of flakey…don’t worry it’s not some new tropical disease, it’s just that I used superglue earlier on and, well, you can guess the rest – I have been peeling my fingers ever since…
But that is not what I am posting to tell you about although I am sure the state of my fingers is very exciting to you all. I just thought I would tell you about our day. Actually I’ll start with yesterday when Andrew spent the whole day out at Tent Siti working on the church building. A wonderful team from the Doulos came out again and they almost finished the building. It was a long day, although thankfully it was a bit overcast for a lot of the day, but of course we are in the tropics so it was still very hot.
Today I brought Ashlyn to school for another “trial” morning at her playschool. Next week Thursday I hope to start the literacy course so these last two weeks we put her into the playschool to see if it would work or if we would have to make other arrangements…well, she was kind of excited about going again, but would sometimes say she did not want to go. After we dropped Kirilee and Shiana off at school she knew it was her turn next and she began to cry while my heart began to break and fall apart – though I put on a brave front (“school is going to be fun, Mummy will come back to get you later, let’s see all your nice new friends, etc, etc…”). Anyway when we arrived at the school she jumped over to lots of seats and into the back very quickly trying to prevent me from getting her (like I can’t open the back door!!!). Anyway, I calmly got her and we went into school after which she calmed down completely, though clinging to me tightly the whole time. I sat with her for a minute, explained what was going to happen again and repeated a number of times that I would be back to get her at lunch time. She screamed as I handed her over and I could hear her as I left….but, the good news is that I called ½ hour later and apparently she cried for less than five minutes!!! Also, when I returned to pick her up I was told that she really joined in with all the songs this time and interacted a lot with the other kids. We are so, so thankful for that!
When I was just about to go and pick her up this morning from school, Julie (a lady who works for us a few days a week to help out with the housework, so my time is somewhat more freed up for the church work here), arrived at my front door looking very flustered. She called to me and I went to her. She told me that her daughter’s husband has been arrested and is being held at the police station until they pay K100 to bail him out. She was worried about her young (and attractive) daughter being on her own in the settlement at night without her husband there, so she begged me to lend her the K100 which I would then take out of her pay tomorrow and a small portion from the next week… I asked why he was in jail and it was because his driver’s license had expired and he was still driving a bus (he works for another man and earns about K100 every two weeks for this...)…so I gave it to her …
But the thing that never ceases to amaze me about Julie, and many like her is how they so easily give their money away. Part of it is cultural – you always care for your family, what you have is theirs too. Just earlier in the week she had asked me for an advance so she could give it to her Papa who had come down from the village and needed to pay the bus fair back there. So this effectively means that her whole pay for the last two weeks has been given away to family. And that is not the first time this has happened. And these people have no bank account with other money in it, or social security to fall back on, or something of value to sell. What she earns week by week is all she has. When I ask her about how she will eat when I know she has given all her money away, she calmly tells me that she has a bag of kaukau (sweet potato) and taro sitting at home and she will cook a few of them each day. Then sometimes she may share some food from another family member. Because we know the way she lives she always has a big lunch when she is here, we try and make sure she gets some fruit and she loves bread and cheese. I often have leftover rice which I can give her to take home, and she will always take things like the outside/brownish leaves of a lettuce to cook up or the skin off the chicken, etc. Initially I felt awful giving her things that I would throw away, so I used to wrap them and chuck them in the garbage without her seeing, but then I just had to wake up to myself. Because of my own pride I would rather waste food that she could eat – how crazy is that?! Anyway, now I ask her if she wants anything that I am throwing away (and she usually does – even leaves of the cauliflower and broccoli I buy) and she is extremely happy and now so am I – sure is better than throwing it away anyway!
Andrew spent the afternoon at the hospital with Ian and yet another team from the Doulos. The team from the Doulos had care packages (hygiene things, eg soap, toothpaste, etc) to hand out and Ian and Andrew delivered short messages on scripture and prayed with the patients. They were all very well received and we pray that it may be a blessing. I could not go as I had to get the girls from school in that time, and also because it is not good to take young children into the hospital because of some of the diseases present there. I spoke to one of the members from the Doulos afterwards and she said that on her time in the Doulos she has been to a number of hospitals but that this was one of the worst (in standard) that she had seen .
Anyway, that’s all from me tonight. Good night