What a week. I spent 3 days down and out with a stomach bug which meant Gerdine had to pick up the slack. She started not feeling so well, but didn’t really get sick —just super tired from keeping us all going while I was sleeping.
Then poor Oscar spent the weekend vomiting up everything we gave him. The poor guy had a fever, was tired out and wasn’t quite sure what was happening! He was still asking to jump on the cushions and run around, not quite understanding that he was sick and needed to rest. Throwing up all over his bedding 3 times in the middle of the night made both him and us super tired the next day.
All the while we’re working to arrange a medical evacuation flight for a poor 2-year-old girl. Her parents came on Wednesday to have her checked out. A sore had burst open under her armpit and I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It was like a ziplock bag that had been opened up into the girl’s chest. I’d quite like it if I could forget the smell.
We were really happy that the parents were totally on board with getting her to the hospital as soon as possible, and that was Monday’s supply flight.
The helicopter was in the neighbourhood and taking missionaries back to Goroka. We could get mum, dad and baby on and to Madang for only $800; the flight would take a detour on its route to Goroka to drop them off. We asked the family to pay K200 (about 1/4 of the $200) while we all paid a quarter as well. The token payment is within the means of families in an emergency and is supposed to prevent everyone and their pig requesting lifts to town.
They left and we’d been praying. Praying that the details with the flight would work out, praying that the family would arrive on time and pay the fee and praying for good weather. We were so glad when everything worked out perfectly and the family were dropped off at the hospital.
Additionally, we’ve been (until yesterday) cleaning up and changing dressings on a 2-year-old boy who fell into a fire and burned his hand. On first seeing it we all panicked, because it looked charcoaled. We learned a bit of culture. A bush remedy is to mix the sap of the kapiak tree with charcoal and apply it to the burn. Once we washed all that off we saw that the burn was serious, but didn’t require a trip to the hospital, but wow were we worried being presented with a charcoaled arm!
Sickness, exhaustion and medical emergencies. Phew. At least the helicopter brought us cheese and apples. A diet of crackers and beans was getting a bit stale. We ate our last few sqaures of chocolate in preparation for new chocolate bars being delivered. Whoops, it didn’t come 🙂 Philip and Natalie got 17kg of frozen berries instead and we’re now chocolate free for a month. The cheese came though, we can make pizza!
Being sick knocked me off my stride and getting started with language learning again has been tough. Then Oscar’s being sick and these medical cases have knocked me off my stride once more. It’s time for a holiday! 4 more weeks until we head to Goroka for a break, can’t wait!
We’ve taken a few more days on top of our sick days to catch our breath again. Philip and I even set aside a morning for 2 games of Age of Empires, the score is 1 to me and 1 to Philip. A rematch is pending.
I’m happy to report though as I sit down to plan out what area of the language to go after next I feel my curiosity and energy returning. How do they make the patterns on the side of their houses? Can I have a conversation about how the weather has been this last week now tha I know the word for cloud? How would you give something to someone and how would you lend it: are there different words? Could I get enough vocabulary that I could start and play a game of volleyball? Do they have marriage cerimonies and how does that work? I’d also like to play another round of ‘Steve describes an animal from the baby book and you point at the one he’s talking about’. It’s like a gold mine for finding new adjectives.