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9/12/06 (Tuesday)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 

6:20 AM.  71 degrees. 81% humidity.  I was awakened by a long low wail of pain which came from the hospital next door and was likely from the lady (16 year-old girl) in labor.  At least I thought that would be the source.  This is her third day of labor and she will probably be loaded into a canoe and taken to Borbon 2 to 3 hours down river.  The doctor asked me about giving her Pitocin last night.  That would have been as an IM shot.  I advised against it because its effect would only intensify the situation with no way to intervene with a C-section or transport on the river.  There is so much I would want to do but can’t.  It is hard to sit and just let things happen. 

Child bearing begins young.  I did 3 prenatal checks yesterday, one on a 14 year-old.  We saw ladies in their 20s with histories of 4 to 10 babies already!  Several of the older ladies had 10 to 14 children, all delivered at home with no care except for possibly a midwife who may have attended the birth.  My what a culture shock for me! 

Today we will see more people who are coming in from various villages in the area.  The word is out that we are here.  We will likely see another 40 to 50 ladies for gyn care. 

Lord, the sun is coming up and a new day begins.  Thank You for bringing me here for this ministry.  I want to serve You and have an impact on these people by sharing Your love, mercy and grace and instill Your hope.  Please cradle that lady in labor in Your arms today.  Love her intensely and protect her.  Thank You, Lord!

Father, I also pray for the Dupont Board meeting in Fort Wayne.  I pray for a favorable reception to the prospect of supporting Jane.  I pray also for Phyl.  Keep her safe, especially as she travels.  Protect her Lord.  Amen 

9:00 AM.  Breakfast consisted of fried plantain.  It was not especially good.  My gut started to churn shortly after that and then I had some episodes of good old diarrhea.  I talked with Jane about it.  If it keeps up I’ll start antibiotics.  It could be diet changes and will soon correct itself.  But the antibiotics may be needed.  I really don’t want or need to be sick out here. 

1:15 PM.  Break for lunch.  I had to leave once for more diarrhea.  I then took Flagyl and Levaquin and now feel much better.  We saw 38 people in the clinic.  One pregnant lady came in and had twins.  She has such incomplete prenatal care as they all do.  Raquel needs to figure the due date by hand.  I need to send her a pregnancy calculator.  We scheduled a couple surgeries for next week.

3:30 PM.  Lunch is over and nap is completed.  Things come to a halt for awhile after lunch.  Everyone shuts down for a couple hours.  Not bad to have a scheduled nap every day.  What else is there to do?  We will soon go to see the afternoon patients.  My gut is better but still churns a little.  It is sunny, 86 degrees and 70% humidity.  All I do is sweat. 

5:15 PM.  We saw patients till we ran out of supplies, seeing a total of 54 today.  The word is out that it is pap smear season.  Tomorrow there are many more coming.  Raquel sent a canoe to Borbon to get more supplies so we can work tomorrow. 

7:15 PM.  The evening cooled with a nice breeze and we sat out on the porch enjoying the quiet and cool air.  There are no traffic sounds or air traffic noise.  The only sounds are those of birds and animals and some humans.  This area is quite remote.  Annabelle, the other nurse, helps distribute the river blindness medicine to villages up river.  One village requires a 9 hour walk from the river.  It is hard to believe how the people live so remote and removed from the rest of the world.  They don’t know how to read and don’t understand the events of the world.  All that matters is their own survival from day to day. 

Lord, You created this place and these people.  Your love drives You to reach out to all of these people.  In spite of the conditions, it is a joy to be here and be Your hands and mouth for the people here.  Thank You for this opportunity.  Please bless Jane, Raquel and Annabelle as they minister here regularly.  Please, dear Lord, bless Phyllis and keep her close to You, especially as she travels tomorrow.  Thank You!  Amen. 

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