It's been about two weeks since I've blogged... or had a moment to rest! (Or so it feels like!!) I am now tutoring full time. The way my schedule was worked out and what's REALLY going on is, as usual, two different stories. Saturday (the 29th) we had our monthly meeting and this time had a devotional and then an HIV awareness/education meeting. We will be taking all of the kids for testing soon so we wanted to make sure they were all up to date and informed. It went very well and the kids learned a lot and seem to be ready for this, which is good
Last week on monday I tutored Protasho and Patrick in the morning then got news that Felix wasn't feeling well so I cancelled afternoon classes with four of the others and took him to the clinic. He was put on injections (for 5 days) and other medications, but thankfully now it seems he is doing much better. He is supposed to go this week for a follow up (if he isn't better, it could be TB and we will have to get him to a hospital for chest XRAYs.)
The rest of the week and the tutoring went well, the kids seem excited and motivated with this extra help and I pray I will be able to assist them and boost them in their education. .It seems so funny to me to read this back and think of how it must sound to others, it doesnt seem like much- but the amount of driving and clinic visits and hours tutoring and talks and plans with Fanny and Maureen, then the lesson plans and purchasing food and bags and shoes and visiting families in between all that... It's insane. At the end of every day I am almost limping from exhaustion- only to go back and do twice as much the next day (because something ALWAYS comes up. Then I come home from a full day tutoring and doing these other things and answer emails and update spreadsheets and file reciepts.... The work is never done. Almost always I am waking up to a text of something more that we need to do, or as I am driving away to come home one of the kids will name another need they have. It's a constant stress headache. This is not to complain but rather explain my exhaustion- the work is litterally 24 hours. It's like I am mothering and teaching 19 children.
Protasho has a twin sister who we do not sponsor because she has stated she is uninterested in getting an education. He came to us telling us that she had sores and her skin looked like it was burned. I got to his house to take her to the clinic and went inside. My heart just filled with pain for them. She looked as though she had leaprosy. She was disformed with raised boils and sores all over her including her face and eyes, and was just laying on the solid ground wrapped in cloth.
She had gone to a nearby clinic when it started, but the only thing the mother could afford was the pain killers, so she had not been treated for the actual disease. She was diagnosed with small pox- which is a term they refer to any kind of "pox" but she has a bad case of it. She has been on injections 4 days now and seems to be doing much better. The boils have turned to mere bumps, but some of them unfortunately are leaving scars.
This morning I took her for her second to last injection, then picked up Kaumba, Richard, Mwansa and James and brought them to Mount Makulu (my church). They had a good time and seemed to get along with everyone, and are already asking to come along next week.
Next week will be just as full, if not more so, as this week. In addition to teaching and clinic trips, We have two more kids to enroll into school and I am making preparations for our Bible Study/ hygiene meeting and also my upcoming trip to Ndola with Maureen at the end of the month.
Next week also marks 5 months in Zambia. Almost half a year- it's hard to believe! This work of raising 19 children is challenging and exhausting and stressful and at times even frustrating, but there is nothing more rewarding than hearing Protasho read a sentance or Christian say the alphabet or seeing Maggie recover from a potentially fatal or disfiguring disease so quickly. I am here for a purpose that is so much bigger than me- and I am so thankful to have been designated by God to be put in this position. I know it's only through His strength and power that anything gets done, but I am telling you this- He is moving mountains in this place, one day at a time.