Our group scattered a bit today . . . Kevin and Mark left first thing this morning – they had a full day planned, checking out a drainage problem at another site, looking at a potential new project, and – the highlight – going back to Danja to see the construction (almost done!) on the Fistula Clinic that Kevin’s team (including Mark) designed a few years ago. They drove out, but flew back, arriving just in time for supper.
The rest of the guys spent the day doing a whole lot of drafting. Kylan was rearranging rooms and trying to make them fit. Ian and I headed out to do a few more measurements – and to count beds (do you know how hard it is to count to 10 in English while responding to Hausa greetings?!?). Curtis was back out looking for some more info too. Tomorrow, the big push will be to get enough done for the final presentation sometime Saturday afternoon or evening. Please pray for endurance and continued inspiration. Pray also that nothing will be missed in our information gathering – it’s so much easier to get it now than when we’re back home on the other side of the world.
I also had another chance to wander the wards. Kevin had the camera, and the other one wasn’t working, so today I focussed more on sharing some of my pictures. I started with the maternity ward again – the ladies there knew me already, and I even got to hold a couple babies. I ended up being there as the evangelist came in, and she invited me to come sing with them (yes, in Hausa – but thankfully Hausa is a very phonetic language, so as long as I have a songbook, I can sing along). I walked through a couple of the regular wards too – and went back down to the smaller rooms I had visited yesterday. I ended up visiting both in the morning and in the afternoon after quiet hours. I WISH I knew more Hausa – so many of the women told me long stories, and I wish I could understand.
The mom of twins in the other ward tried hard to tell me something . . . and after saying “Ban Gane Ba” (I don’t understand in Hausa – I use that one lots!) I got ready to leave, but she called me back. She had someone with her pull out some plumpy nut . . . kind of an enriched peanut butter that I recognized from readings about malnutrition treatment. I used my limited Hausa to say “very good” . . . but she stuck some on her finger and stuck it in her baby’s mouth – she wanted me to feed him. I was glad I had hand sanitizer along (I didn’t want to stick my dirty finger in the baby’s mouth!) and then yes, I got to feed a baby.
Down in the same ward, but in a different room, I found one little girl whose eyes absolutely lit up every time I walked by, whether or not I had the chance to stop in. She’s probably about Kaisa’s age, and has what looks to be a broken leg – at any rate, her leg is splinted up. This afternoon, I pulled out my photos, and she taught me the Hausa words for “ball” and “bike” . . . and I think “play”. She’s a sweetheart.
Then back to the guesthouse to help with supper. In honour of Chinese New Year we had Chinese Food. In Niger. And Ian even said grace for us partially in Cantonese. How’s that for a cultural experience!
Team meeting tonight – and we got to hear Mike (the Regional Director) and Ed (the pilot)’s stories of how they came to Niger. Wow. And the challenges they face as they balance their call here and their responsibilities to their families. And the great need for ministry here, and how Galmi is so pivotal to SIM’s ministry in Niger. Amazing stuff.
Now the guys are all back to work, and I’m going to either work on a powerpoint presentation – if there’s a computer for me – or shelve a few more books . . .