Monday, March 25, 2013

The Old Mission on the mountain

There are many people who know the history of the Chimala Mission and in much more detail than I do.  The Chimala Bible College was originally started up on the mountain.  I was able to make my first trip up the mountain to see the old remains.  The following pictures are what is left of the original Bible College. 

The picture above was the main building.  Even from these photos, I can just imagine how nice it must have once been.

As I understand things, when the mission moved from the mountain down to Chimala it had a negative effect on the Tanzanians in this area.   The decision has been made to re-establish our presence on the mountain.  This will open up an additional opportunity for us to help with the church there and set up additional mobile clinics in an area which is in need.  

The road up to the mission is really bad.  Mostly ruts and rocks.  It was a really rough ride.  At one time, the truck stalled and it tooks us several tries to get going again.  We, the passengers, had to get out of the truck and place rocks behind the tires to keep the truck from rolling backwards.  Pretty scary and exciting at the same time.

There are many times, times like these, where I wish that we had several 4-wheelers, mules or gaters.  These types of roads are very numerous and at times become unpassable.  With off-road vehicles, we would be able to travel these roads much easier.

On Sunday, we attended the Inyala Church of Christ which is about 1 hour from Chimala.  The building is a pretty big and nicer than many I have attended.  When we started Bible class, only the back 4 benches were occupied.  However, before class was over, every bench was full.   I believe the attendance was close to 100.  We were informed that their average attendance is 80-90 every week and they are in need of more benches!  Wow.

After church is over, everyone greets one another while we sing praises.  I really enjoy this part.

As you can see on the faces of us all, we all enjoy meeting our bothers and sisters in Christ.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Green Mamba.....

I have never been a very good dancer....mostly cause I didn't dance except for a couple of years when line dancing was the rage.  When the "Macaraina" was the rage, I just thought it was silly.  But now, the "Green Mamba".....this is a jolt of adrenaline!!  Let me explain.

When I see the "Green Mamba", my pulse goes up, my adrenaline surges and most people who are around start jumping and screaming.  That is because this is the "Green Mamba"......

This little guy is very poisonous and was on my screen door.  I was in the house and one of the girls was coming to get me for church.  As she reached to open my door, she noticed the snake and started yelling with that intense, high-pitched scream that young girls have.  She yelled for the security guard, but she was yelling in English and he speaks swahili.  So after yelling for the guard 3 times, she changed to yelling for her Dad.  Chad, the guard and another one of the Tanzanians came to help us.  At first the snake wiggled into hiding, cut the guard prevailed by finding him and doing him in!!!
I know he looks really small, but we are all really scared of them!!!

After we all got our selfs pulled together, we got in the car to go to church.  I will admit that the adrenaline rush was still up when we noticed this guy in the road in front of us.  Unfortunately, he looks small in this picture but he was really pretty big.  This is a pic of a camelion.

We did make it to church and I might add that we went to Chosi A which is more commonly known as "the Bat church".  So all in all, it was a great night......snakes, lizards and bats.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Nursing Day Celebration!!

The Nursing Day celebration went very well.  The crowds were big and the enthusiasm was high. 
Once the "Guest of Honor" arrived the parade of nurses marched through town on the highway up to the hospital entrance.  The Guest of Honor was the District Commissioner.

Here comes the parade!

The parade had a small band and lots of dancing (the African type of dancing).

 Chad is sitting up front and center with the important people...

Chad gave a short, nice speech to the nurses thanking them for their service and encouraging them to continue their good work.

The music was very good even tho the instruments were made from wood. 

 It wasn't easy to get good pictures, but this is  the District Commissioner speaking.

And as you know, I love the little here are a couple of shots I thought were too good to miss.

And another shot I thought was too good to miss was the one below. 

Just trying to get some shade on a sunny, hot and humid day.

This particular "GPS" is very costly....but not for you or me.  We can freely choose to follow this plan.  The cost has already been paid by the death Jesus, the son of God.  Please share this "GPS" with everyone you can.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Preparations for the "Nursing Day" celebration

Many things were done in order to have the hospital looking good for the Nursing Day Celebration.  The good thing about "putting on a face-lift" for special occasions is that the face-lift helps boost staff morale and much of the "face-lift" will remain in place after the occasion is over.

I mentioned in an earlier blog about the bridge leading to the hospital.  It was all wood, badly rotted, crooked and has been in need of replacement for quite sometime.  It just was not a "priority" until the "Nursing Day" celebration was to be held here.  So this is a BIG face-lift which will remain and the staff were so excited to have this new bridge!

For 3 days prior to the Nursing Day celebration, nurses from our hospital as well as other hospitals in our district held a "Health Fair".  As we do not have big conference rooms or conference areas for such things, temporary tents were built outside.  As you can see, the decorations were very nice.

They had several different area for people to come to learn.  Above they are weighing patients and then calculating their BMI.

There was an area to teach about our OB care and infant care.  Family planning, first aid and nutrition were also taught.

This nurse is teaching about HIV and performing HIV testing.  My surprise was to see who her students were.  See below....  Many people here believe it is better NOT to know if you are HIV +.  It is hard to get them to consent to testing, so education is very important.

God blessed us with good weather and many people to educate.  Other preparations for this day included putting out new linens in the wards.  From previous donations, we had enough white fitted sheets to change all the beds and enough white flat sheets & white blankets for many of the beds.  We also replaced 40 of the worst mattresses.  I am still working to raise the funds to pay for these mattresses.

I pray that God will bless all the work here in Chimala.  I am so thankful to Him for opening the door for me to come here to work with these people.  I also thank you for helping me with the funds needed for this work.  May God bless you all and open your hearts so that I may continue to have the ability to stay here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Well Baby Clinic at Matebete

The Chimala Hospital has a department which serves the community with family planning, pre-natal care and infant care.  They also perform mobile clinics 2-3 times per month where they perform education to new mothers and give vaccines to infants.  Weights are also performed on children up to age 5.

Rena and I worked together performing weights.  There were many children to be weighed.  As we began completing the weights, Rena and one of the other staff began sorting through the records for those who needed vaccines and administering them. 

Notice the purple and blue cloth being worn by the ladies.  This is a Masai village.
The day was a very good day.  We did have a couple of small "hick-ups" tho.   We all know that young children are sometimes afraid of strangers.  Well many of these children are not only afraid of  strangers, but also may not have seen a "white" person.  So some of the little ones began to cry when Rena or I were close to them.  However, we did make friends with most of them.

It is so cute to watch their faces as they touch us.  Many times a child will rub their hand back and forth on my skin and then look at their hand to see if the "white" comes off.  Precious!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Chimala Hospital news

The past several days have been very full and busy.  Tanzania will be celebrating "Florence Nightingale Day" and I believe their 60th anniversary of nursing together this year on March 19th.  Chimala Hospital will be the location for the Regional Celebration.  We will be expecting many, many guests to our hospital.  As I informed you a couple of weeks ago, the mattresses in the hospital are in bad shape and I have decided to try to raise funds to purchase new ones.  Well, I decided to go a step further.  I have had two wonderful people tell me they were sending me a donation for mattresses, but I decided to trust that God will provide.  I have already purchased 40 new mattresses for the hospital!  I am praying for donations to help cover the cost.

Renee, Chad, Anna and I spent last week sorting through the donations of sheets we have received from our brothers and sisters in America.  We and the staff are working together to get the old, horrible mattresses out and the new in, as well as putting out new linens.  It was tiring and hard work, but so enjoyable.  The staff and the patients were so excited to receive the new mattresses and bedding!  The doctors even stopped by and commented on how nice the wards were looking.

Anna has been working hard painting some of the key exterior areas of the hospital.  This has been very challenging for her since we cannot just shut down the hallways.  A few of the areas she has painted have had to be "re-done" due to finger prints.  Oh, well, nothing on earth is perfect.

Chimala Mission also has their own workshop and crew.  They are attempting to get a new bridge built between the hospital and the church before the celebration.  The activities for the celebration will be held in front of the church in order to prevent so much disruption at the hospital.  The old bridge was only wide enough for people to walk single-file and it was very crooked and the wood was old and rotting.  I wanted to show you a picture of it, however, I was too late....the bridge came down just before I arrived to take a photo of it.  I will show you the new one when it is finished.

Not only has the week been really busy, but we have also had some difficult days as far  as patients are concerned.  We have been caring for a 2 year old little boy who was accidentally burning with hot water.  His burns were very severe and covered about 50% of his body.  As you can imagine the outcome was not expected to be good, however, he survived for 14 days and we were hopeful.  Sadly we lost him last Thursday. 

On Saturday, one of the staff here at Chimala brought in her 4 month old little girl.  She had been sick for 3 or 4 days prior to coming to the hospital.  Unfortunately, she died within 5 hours of being admitted to the hospital.  I hate losing patients....always have.  The reality of life here is just a bit harsher than in the states.  I pray daily, often many times a day, for God to help help us have the wisdom, strength and resources needed to care for the physical needs of these patients.  I pray that through praying with the patients, caring for them and hurting with them, they will know Jesus loves them.

I have been working hard on a teaching tool on "the care of the burn patient" these last three days.  I am hoping that we can begin some more aggressive treatments for the burn victims and hopefully have some improved results.  May God help us as we strive to improve the treatments and the education in order to provide better physical health to those we serve.  And may He help us to show them His love through our care so we may then reach out to teach them the gospel.