Sunday, March 30, 2008
*Aidan’s trip to the dentist was a relief for him. The dentist said that we could wait until Aidan’s big teeth are in before cutting the skin. In the meantime we can hope that Aidan will fall and bump his mouth and it will break on its own. Considering how often Aidan trips and falls it is a miracle that it hasn’t happened yet.
*Hugo worked a few hours a day for three days last week. This week he’ll start by working for the full morning and see how that goes. The lovely rash is gone so that’s a good sign that he’s well on the way to recovery.
*I went to see Rita on Thursday and she is doing better. She’s just a bit behind Hugo in the healing process. I actually brought Ken and Shirley Keeler to her house so they could see how the locals live here. Ken is on the board of directors of MAF Canada and their daughter and her husband are teaching at HIS right now. Kathryn is Mikah’s teacher. Then we went out for supper with them while Jeanette Togeretz babysat our kids. That was a rare treat.
*On Friday morning my neighbour Janna and I drove on her motorbike to Jayapura. It’s about a 45 minute ride. We had booked tickets to go to Singapore next month and the lady in the MAF office misunderstood us and we ended up having to pay for our tickets at the Garuda Airlines office in Jayapura. We also needed a few names changed as they were misspelled on the reservation. We had to wait for one hour for them to process our tickets and payments… ugghhh… We are both going to Singapore for medical reasons and decided it would be fun to travel together. I am taking Christiaan for his annual hearing test along with new ear molds and some equipment repairs. I am also going to get my eyes checked. The clinic that Christiaan is going to is the flagship clinic of Hearing Solution which is where we went in Bandung. Our medical insurance recommended we go to Singapore as opposed to Jakarta and I have to admit that I am happy about that. The medical system in Singapore has an incredible reputation. Anyways, Janna and I made the drive without anything eventful happening. We did pass a motorcycle accident on the way and we watched some guys pick up one of the victims, a man, by his arms and legs and move him to the side of the road so that traffic could keep going. The man’s helmet had come off during the crash and he had a bleeding head wound and when they carried him his head lolled down. No thought for the possibility of a spinal injury or the like… So passing that while riding a motorbike was a little disconcerting. In Canada we may have stopped to offer some assistance, but here, unless we are directly involved, we don’t stop. Doing that could have some weird effects, such as suddenly we are responsible for hospital bills… We passed the ambulance a couple minutes later down the road.
*Wayne (see previous post) and Clarence Togeretz successfully flew the completed aircraft back to Medan this past week. This was the airplane that Hugo and the guys had installed a new avionics package into. It was about 18 hours of flying!
Monday, March 24, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Aidan was not nearly so gullible. I had already felt his tooth many times and sometimes not so gently. So, in the end I had to hold him up against the wall and then just push his tooth out. His earsplitting cries quickly turned to joyful ones as he grinned at himself in the mirror. And when told that he looked just like a hockey player, his chest puffed out just a little more... The 10,000 rupiahs that the tooth fairy so generously donated helped even more...
I teach preschool at our house every other Wednesday. A few times a woman with a baby has been my helper. Brynnie has observed her as she nurses with great interest. After that, I have seen her "nurse" her plastic doll a few times but the other day I caught her "nursing" this rather large furry beast....
I went to see Rita today. It seems she also has dengue fever. She told me that none of her neighbours has ever had it. So she really didn't know anything about it or what to do if you have it. Thankfully, I'm newly informed and so could tell her what she needs to do. She has also received a malaria treatment just in case the slide that was done was read wrong. Poor girl, she's afraid to sleep because when she fell unconcsious, it was after she had fallen asleep. She felt like she had a bit of a fever and was kind of tired so she wrapped herself in a blanket and fell asleep. This was around 1:30. She continued to sleep until around 6:00 when she started babbling incoherently and then her sister called our neighbour John. By the time he got there she was unconscious. So when she woke up she was very surprised to be in the hospital and very embarassed as well. Please remember her also in your prayers. It is a tough virus to deal with as there are so many unpleasant symptoms.
Hugo is much the same today. Lots of laying on the couch. He is able to put the little ones to bed which is of great assistance to me!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Tonight I got a call that Ibu Ritha had a high fever and was unconscious. Yikes! She'd had a fever on Tuesday already and so I gave her some acetaminophen for it along with the amoxicillan that she was supposed to take for her teeth. Then on Wednesday she had a funny wound on her foot that made her foot sore and she could only walk on her tiptoe. Today she said that her foot felt a bit better and that the fever was down. So she worked a bit and went home. I guess her fever came back and her sister and other relatives wrapped her up in blankets instead of trying to cool her off. So she went unconscious. Our neighbour, whom she also works for, took her to the best hospital (where Marc was born) after bathing her in ice water for a half hour. There they took some blood and put smelling salts under her nose and she woke up. They checked for malaria but said that the test was negative (who knows who is working in the lab on the evening before Good Friday?) and the doctor refused to just give her a quinine shot. So she was sent home and thankfully is awake and wanting to go home to her girls. John, the neighbour (who has lived here for his whole life), feels that she does have malaria and so in the morning we will try and get her some quinine. Hopefully there will be a pharmacy open as it is Good Friday. In the meantime she will take medicine to try to keep the fever down. Please continue to pray for Ritha that she may experience a full recovery and be able to care for her girls.
Oh, and Brynnie's malaria slide was negative. It is possible that when she was really sick a few weeks back that she had a mild case of dengue and that is why she is still not 100% now as it takes a long time to recover...
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I have often seen these cans of drinks in the store and wondered why anyone would by a canned drink with a Rhino on the front. So today when I saw them, as I was buying guava juice for Hugo, I decided to buy a can and see what it was. Well, you remember a few posts ago I explained the translation regarding throwing big water? This drink, which comes in a plethora of flavours, is supposed to, and I quote, "The preparation is a traditional medicine which gives a cooling effect in body heatness, flu, gingivitis, sore throat, constipation. (Sounds a bit like a wonder drug doesn't it?)
For treatment purposes: Adults consume 1/2 - 1 can three times daily
Children consume 1/4 - 1/2 can three times daily
For precaution purposes: Adults consume 1 can daily
Children consume 1/2 can daily
On the front of the can you see the words Larutan Penyegar (in my dictionary, which isn't the best, Larutan means dissolved and penyegar means something that freshens.) Kaki (Leg) Tiga (three) - don't know what in the world that's supposed to mean! On the side of the can it says "Jamu" with a circle around it. Jamu is the Indonesian word for medicinal herbs... I thought it was also the word for mushrooms or mould... but again, my dictionary sucks...
Not sure what I'll do with the can now. Maybe I'll offer it to one of my helpers and see what she says...
Today I took Ritha to the dentist. She had gone to a cheap government subsidized dentist and had wanted to get the cavities between her front teeth, which were very visible, fixed. So they "fixed" them. I had no idea she was going to do this and when I asked her why she didn't talk to me first, she said,"Well, it isn't your problem, it is mine." So I very much appreciate that she didn't come to me with her hand out and expect me to take care of it. It turns out she has gingivitis and periodontitis. So today they cleaned her teeth and showed her how to properly brush them. She was faithfully brushing her teeth about 5 times a day, but not brushing properly. So now she is on antibiotics to get rid of the infection. She told me that this morning before coming to my house she ate some amoxicilan because that's what the local dentists tell you to do before getting a tooth pulled. I explained to her that antiobiotics need to be taken usually three times a day for at least a week not just one pill one time! I explained that doing that was a dangerous thing. But this is so normal here. Often when doctors or dentists prescribe antibiotics, they only prescribe for three days. Not nearly long enough! I think they do this because of the cost. I purchased 30 amoxicilan caplets for Ritha for $2.25 today, but for the average person, that is equivalent to a half or 2/3 days work. This is why I buy them for her. So in a few weeks, the fillings begin....
Today we went again and his platelet levels have dropped to 85 and he is beginning to show some signs of dehydration. So now he has to drink 4 litres today. If his levels drop again tomorrow they will need to put him on an I.V. It's kind of funny because he is actually feeling a little better today and showing a bit more life...
Now Marc has a fever and Brynnie is still cranky. While at the clinic I had them make a malaria slide for Brynnie too. Now we are waiting for those results.
That's the scoop for now!
Monday, March 17, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Today we worshipped in the "new" building and it was a full house! Afterwards we all stood around and chatted and had cake and water. It was really nice! I got to meet the new bride which was also nice. And it was great that we could walk to church just like all our Papuan neighbours do!
Aidan has four loose teeth. The two middle ones on the top and the two middle ones on the bottom. Lets hope they don't all come out at the same time... One of the top ones is the loosest and I keep encouraging him to wiggle it, but he's such a wimp that at the slightest twinge of pain he cries out and stops...
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Yesterday was Mikah's 10th birthday. I can't believe it is already 10 years since she was born, 10 days early-to my great relief (water retention...). There she is with her newly layered hair holding up her new drawing kit (bought from Costco 1.5 years ago-remember Heidi?). Mikah had 5 friends over and we all went to the pool for a swim right after school. We had some cupcakes there too. Then we went home and opened gifts and had hot dogs for supper. I have actually found one brand of hot dogs that is okay. I personally won't eat them, but I'll feed them to the kids and they enjoy them. Plus these ones don't give off red dye when you boil them like so many of the others do. Why do they think hot dogs have to be bright red? Anyways, it was a fun party and we all had a good time. Except for Hugo and Brynnie. They are both sick. Hugo started on Thursday and had a malaria slide done but it was negative. But that doesn't mean he doesn't have it. You see, we don't need many parasites in our blood to make us sick but Papuans need a lot. So it's a lot easier to find the parasites in their blood. Today, Saturday, Hugo was still pretty sick. Last night he soaked the sheets with his sweat and his head has been pounding. It's possible it's dengue fever. So I got him some guava juice which has the right combination of vitamins to help get better. There are no drugs to cure dengue, you just need to drink about 3 litres a day and get lots of rest. However, if you get really super sick, you need a blood transfusion, which means getting medivaced out of the country as there is no way you'd want that done here! If he's still bad tomorrow, I may just take him to get another malaria slide done. As malaria can be fatal, it's important to rule it out first. Brynnie isn't as sick. She just has fevers and is more tired. Apparently this virus is making the rounds around here right now.
So that's the scoop on our family!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
There's Brynnie on her fancy new trike. She's already gotten the hang of pedalling it. This afternoon she and Marc were out on their bikes on the cement pad being watched by a crowd of Papuan kids...
This is Hugo's handiwork on the plane from Aceh. Both sides of the cockpit are pictured and that's about all I can tell you...
Oh, and cheddar cheese has gone up from 250,000 rups for 2 kilos to 350,000 rups for two kilos. That's nearly $35 for 2 kilos of cheese... sniff, sniff... What a painful hike... I've asked around at the stores and no one seems to know why. Well, there are only two stores in town that sell the cheese...
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
When your young son opens the bedroom door at 7:00 am and asks,”Hey Dad! What do you want for breakfast?”
Breakfast in bed has no appeal here. If there is even a crumb that falls, ants will find it. The ants here are voracious and even the tiniest crumb attracts a swarm…
Rita started working again today. Brynnie sure was happy to have her friend Rode (Rita’s daughter) to play with again. They are so cute together!
I also bought Brynnie a new tricycle as we now have a place where she can drive one. I bought the simplest one they had and it still comes complete with rearview mirrors, a big horn and a basket at the front. I could have bought the one with the large sun canopy, music and steering stick for grown-ups…
After that I went to visit our guard’s wife. We understood from him that his name was Nuel, but when I went to the general area of his house and asked where I could find Pak Nuel’s house, I got blank stares… Turns out his name is Nios (Nee-aw-s). Anyways, his wife wasn’t there at the time that I had said I would come, she was at a roving clinic having their new daughter immunized. So I came back at 11:20 as agreed and she wasn’t there again, she was down below washing clothes at the public clothes washing place. But she came up and I went in their “house”. Wow, talk about a humble abode! It is a very small wooden building with a dirt floor that they’ve spread straw over. There are two rooms. One is for sleeping and the other is where they cook and hang out. The baby was nicely sleeping on the floor on top of a rubber mat and then some blankets. She’s cute but has no hair. They haven’t given her a name yet as they have to have a party and feed lots of people in order to be able to give the baby a name. (In fact when I asked if they had any names picked out, she said they didn’t!? I have to admit that I made a couple suggestions…) At that time the minister will come and pray for the baby as well. I find it very sad that they feel they need to do this even though it is very obvious that they are so poor. They moved here a number of years ago from Wamena specifically so that Pak Nios could go to the Bible school across the road from us. (so their language is really bad, hard to understand because they mix up some of the letters and add a uuhhh sound to the end of words) He is nearly done his studies there and will hopefully get a church after that. In the meantime he works for us as a guard and takes care of our yard. I think it is hard for him to find the time to work on our yard but when we talk about finding someone else, he says that he can do it. Now I know why! BTW, they have five children and school is not free here and they have to buy uniforms.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Today we went to the wedding of a young man from our church. As the building that we will be meeting in is way too small, they had rented a larger open type church building. The service promptly began at 10:00 and was a long, hot, rather joyless, rigid affair. (I felt very sorry for all the ladies dressed in their traditional Indonesian clothing which is pretty much like wearing plastic… and the groom who was wearing a full suit and gloves...) We sang accompanied by a keyboard set to the pipe organ setting and way too loud for the amount of people there. Our pastor preached in his usual long-winded repetitious manner and two hours later the, hopefully, happy couple was married. They promptly left the building, for reasons unknown, and the rest of us went to the back and signed the guest book, inserted our envelopes with money into the box provided and got our complimentary fans and little boxes containing a sliver of cake, cup of water, some kind of chips made from a nut (kind of bitter tasting) and two candies and went and sat down again all while the wedding singer belted out some romantic tune. The reception was supposed to start at 12:30, in the same building, but we really didn’t know how it was all going to go. So I asked around and found out that they were waiting for the bridal couple to return and then they would go sit on those fancy chairs on the stage and then some people would speak and then, after about an hour, everyone would eat. That sounded a bit much for the kids who already did great sitting there in the heat for 2 hours, so we headed home. I couldn’t help but wonder why everything had to feel like a ritual instead of a joyful opportunity to celebrate one of God’s great gifts to us – the institution of marriage. Well, next week Saturday, Bible study is scheduled to be at the newlywed’s house. Then we’ll actually be able to meet the new bride and see what she really looks like. They all wear so much make-up and fake eyelashes etc… at these affairs that they all look the same and so different than they do in “real life”.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
buang air = to urinate
buang air besar (big)= number 2
Today Mikah bought a new watch. It is Pasnew brand, which I'm sure you, like me, have never before heard of. On the bottom of the little metal cylindrical container that it came in was a type of sales pitch:
"PASNEW" comes from a mysterious legend in china, like a powerful, brave incomparable and ever-victorious BULL. "PASNEW" means "BULL"
The self-surpasing pace of PASNEW watch never falls behind for the past 10 years.
PASNEW watch is always taking the lead in its audacious technology, exceptional - ingenuity design, unconventional and wise ideas, and novel and extraordinary appearance.
PASNEW watch combines function with fashion. Its excellent quality is reaching perfect. Years are cycling and PASNEW watch defines heroes!
Sounds like a lot of bull to me....
It's actually a cute, sporty, pink digital watch... that cost about $12...
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
The concrete pad at the back of our house is finally finished. So the kids were out there yesterday on roller blades and playing hockey. Very quickly a crowd of kids gathered to watch.
I think the soccer league that plays across the road is heading into the playoffs - there’s a lot more and louder cheering now.
Yesterday I took Ice to the dentist. Things got rather busy so I wasn’t able to take her before. But that turned out to be a good thing as there is an expat dentist here and he is now allowed to work on whomever he wants. Before that was not the case. So yesterday I took Ice and Christiaan to see him at his house. At the moment he can only work out of his house. So the two of them sat down in the cool reclining lawn chairs he uses for when he goes out into villages. This dentist is teaching Papuans how to be dentists. It’s a pretty neat program. So it was Papuans who worked on Ice. She needed more than just the one tooth that caused the abscess pulled. She had some old roots from other teeth that she had pulled out herself that also needed to be removed. (Papuans have an insanely high pain tolerance.) So yesterday they just pulled out everything necessary on the one side of her mouth. Next month we’ll do the other side and then the following month we’ll work on getting her some fake teeth. Unfortunately she has chewed beetle nut which stain teeth a dark red/brown. Like really bad coffee stains only really, really hard to get off. We all strongly encouraged her not to chew it any more as it can give you gum issues which will make your teeth simply fall out. It will be hard for her as so many people do it and it is such a social thing like smoking together or drinking coffee together.
The other day we discovered that we can’t run the kettle, the hot water heater for our shower and the dryer at the same time… bummer...
Sunday, March 02, 2008
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Well, today we had kerja bakti at our new place of worship. Kerja means work and I don't know what bakti means exactly but when you put the two words together it means we all as church got together and helped clean up. This building is being loaned to us for two years by the ZGK. It is the old school house that the missionary kids attended while living in the dorm beside (in background of second last photo). So the men sanded the finished benches and then stained them. The backs of our legs are very thankful for the sanding that was done... Myself and some of the single girls cleaned up a garden area behind/beside the building. There was a lot of broken tile and concrete and weeds there so we cleaned it all up by throwing everything down the hill beside... You can see on the last photo where we were working. In behind you can see a partially finished something; well that something is going to be the washroom for the church. Hope it's done in the next three weeks... There were a lot of us working and not that much work to be done so as you can see by the second photo, there was some shooting of the breeze occuring as well. The kids ran around and played some basketball and soccer and climbed trees.