Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hot Nights in Malawi

It's Wednesday and the week is flying by without my being able to catch up to it. Sunday it was 104 we suffered as we sat in church and the sun felt like it was beeting down on our heads. It was a though we weren't even under cover. The heat waves crashed down on us again and again. Malawi needs so fans to suck out the hot air in buildings.

Sleeping in it is no picnic either. I have a new form of Air Conditioning. Before going to bed you soak your PJs in water and then put them on soaking wet. Afterwards you climb into bed and and cover yourself with a sheet. Without a sheet it is too cool and you feel a bit damp, but with a sheet the water warms up just enough so you don't notice you are wet and as it evaporates it keeps you perfectly cool. Not something I's do in the winter in Colorado or Washington, but it's great for the hot climates. By morning your PJ's are dry and you can hang them up for the next nights drenching.

Christmas is coming and I must confess I don't even feel like this is the right time of year.
My Clinic work continues. At times I feel like I"m chasing my tail. That is if I have one.
I'm working on a schedule of work. It has only taken 3 weeks to get it typed on a word document and now we are haveing it traslated into the the local language. I thought it was a day project, silly me. There is no such thing as consistancy I'll let you know why when I find that out for myself. I might get a grip on things if there were four of me to station around the clinic to remind people what they are to do.

On the bright side, we had a visit from the ministry of Health and our parent medical
association. They had two comments, one was that the Clinic was very clean and the other was that we had a great selection of Medications. I was thankful I had spent three weeks pushing my cleaning crew to get the place up to par. Blessings, Michelle

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sunny Days

I recently hear from my mother who told me to be more positive. So I won't tell you about driving out to visit the Children of the Nations farm and children's home, it was dusk, but by the time I got to the main headquarters it was so dark I could hardly see it. I knew the farm was further out, but wasn't sure how far out it was. After driving for some time I decided I must have missed it and turned around. I drove to the COTN office and found a guard who was willing to take me out the farm. We started out, for the farm and drove for some time and before I knew it there was a large reflector in front of me. I knew we were in trouble, so I hit the brakes. We slide for quite a distance and then hit the reflector and a large dirt mound in the middle of the road. The reflector was made of tin, so it made a loud crashing sound. Then every thing was quiet for a couple of seconds and then I could hear men yelling and screaming. We have been told not to stop on the road and that people get mugged or robbed at night on the roads so I knew we needed to get out of there real quickly. I wasn't sure if the car would run, but it started up easily and I thru it into reverse. We fled like a couple of robbers from a bank hold up. A few minutes later we were at the COTN farm and they were happy to have me there. They served a traditional Malawian dinner and then the kids sang and enjoyed devotions. It was a blessing to hear the children singing. It really lifted my spirit. The next day I took a good look at the truck and it wasn't damaged. But I recalled a conversation my older brother Bill had had with my mom about my driving at night on the african roads. He had said that I should have a rule for myself not to drive at night on the dark roads. I have decided he was right so the rule is now in place.

Did I tell you about the family that lives next door? They own the house that I live in and have been like having my own family. In fact they invite me to come over often, some days Mrs Mittel sends and indian breakfast over for me and they have had me over for dinner as well. Today I decided to do something nice for them, so I made a big pot of soup and sent half of it over to them for lunch with some freshly baked rolls. I had been cooking for the whole week so decided once it was all done to go and take a nap. About 15 minutes into my nap Mrs Mittel came over and thanked me for the lovely rolls, then she said you know Michelle, Poojah and I are vegetarians and w e do not eat meat. I knew that but somehow it had slipped my mind. Then she said what kind of meat did you use for the the soup? I said Beef. Oh Michelle, we do not eat beef, but we shouldn't waste anything so we will send the soup back to you. She was so gracious, I just felt bad that I hadn't thought of those things.

The winds are blowing this afternoon, which was a fantastic change, in that it has been rather uncomfortably hot. Even the Africans are complaining. I can hear the thunder in the distance so perhaps that means we are in for a cooling down. I'm praying for rain. I went swimming this afternoon which was a lovely refreshment of both body and spirit. The pool is not far from the clinic but it is closed when I have time to use it. I've heard that there are requests for a lane or two to be left open for staff to use during the day. That would really be a blessing if that happened perhaps you can pray for that for me. I need some way to cool down and relax after chasing employees down all day. There seems to be a bit of acceptance about the new administrator and her expectations that work must take place during work hours. However some feel they are simply being paid for being present. HMMM The time clock seems to be causing some inconviences as employees have been sighted down town when in fact they are on the clock. This will be my next challenge. To round up the offenders.

There are many more stories this week, in an effort to keep this possitive i will wait till later. Thanks for tuning in and mostly thanks for your prayers. God is faithful and Truely He is at work in our lives. My Love to all, Michelle

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Welcome New Viewers.

A joyfilled welcome to all my viewers in Iraq. As you know each and every day we take two steps forward and one step back. On sunday I thought I had killed all the cockroaches in my house but on Monday morning I found one large one crawling across my pillow. I tryed to knock him to the floor but he jumped on the curtains and managed to escape my foot. They are clever little creatures.

Sunday night I stopped by to see my friends who's small dog had run away after hearing the neighbors fire crackers. They were feeling pretty bad because it had been several days and the dog had not returned. So I told them I wanted to pray with them. After all, I God cares about even the little sparrow that falls, why wouldn't he care about the dog that was lost. So we prayed and asked the Lord to protcct the little dog. That night they made an anouncement on the radio that the dog was missing and that they would pay a reward to anyone who found him. The next afternoon some men notice an animal in the distant fields. Thinking it might be a monkey or baboon but also knowing there was a reward out for this strange little dog. The africans are afraid of dogs so they found a band of 20 people to round him up. After trying for sometime to catch him. They decided to hurd the dog through the field. accross the road and through the college gate. Apparently it was quite a commotion but Little MollY- the dogs name, was finally home with his family. I was thankful that the Lord had answered my prayer with a yes.

Speaking of chasing, I still continue to chase my cleaning people around the clinic. They were having hearing problems this morning but after talking with the head of personel, there ears were healed and they were willing to do what I was asking them to do. They had gone to the head of personel and asked her if they could do something else, so she not knowing what I had told them to do gave them permission to do what they had requested. When we all talked I let them know that they were not to be running way from what was requested of them.

I had asked them to clean up at our baby ward, and on the way walking up there one of the ladies pulled the mop out of her bucket and dropped it in the middle of the side walk. She didn't stop to pick it up so I asked her if whe was planing on leaving it there. Yes she replied with a look that said" why not" at times I'm shocked at the things they do. This was one of those times. I was seriously wondering what on earth could have been going through her head. I'm wondering if I should find a protein drink for them and see if that helps a bit. That will be my project for today.

I must get back to my chasing as yesterday I found three of my cleaning ladies sitting on the Ward couch chatting. They said they couldn't work all day, so I said Ok I will just pay you for half a day and get others to do the work the rest of the day. Oh no they replied. We need the money for the whole day but could you please let us rest for half a day. Hmmmm

Thankyou for tuning in and have a great day.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday or Friday?

Last week I spent observing the happenings of the Clinic and decided that working on getting the cleaners cleaning, would be a great place to start. Little did I know what a tough job that would be. I must have walked 5 miles today. Moving from person to person, making sure they were doing the job that they were supposed to do. The job for the majority of them was to was the walls. They are white with spots and drips as well as foot makes on the door bottems. I've heard all the excuses i care to hear. Mother i'm dizzy, mother I need my tea break, Mother I need to break for lunch. No I didn't finish ironing the ten things you asked me to do, because I was mopping. Mopping for 6 hours? no mopping for 30 minutes. Surely I will loose wait running from one to another.

One of the doctors said he had never seen so much activity. Another said it sure smelt good around here.

At lunch I went into the lunch room and found all my staff lining the walls, when I asked what they were doing they told me they were having a staff meeting. I asked them why I hadn't been informed of this meeting and told them the meeting was over. An hour later I got a letter from my " hard working staff" which wanted wedding days off and a raise in pay. You can imagine my frustration.

I'm writting this a little backwards but I must tell you my bottom biting next door neighbor dogs came over this morning and somehow tore a hole in the screen, so that when pooh came out to pee in his face, be was able to sink his teeth in Pooh's chin and the right side of his mouth. I screamed bloody murder and then went for my bear spray. Now I was ready for the dog. When he came back again I said come on baby I'm ready for you. Once his head was in the hole of the screen I sprayed him real good in the face and he silently walked away. Hu I got him. Mean while my dog was covered with blood. I got a dish towel and washed him off with detol. Then later this afternoon I took him to the vet. She cut some hair off his chin and gave us some Anti Biotics 25 dollars and rude talking to about how dare I come with my dog when she was on her way out. I was finished. She's the only vet in town, so she can say and do as she pleases. Customer what?

I think my staff has a bit of the same attitude. They know we are the best clinic in town, so they feel like the patients should wait on them. Oh my dear do I have my work cut out for me. Thankyou for your prayers.