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Temporary Shelter in a Construction Storm

June 19, 2012

Since I last posted on Thursday (well, Friday morning here, but you’d never know it!) I mentioned I was headed out to an orphanage.  I’m sure that peaked some of your interests and would love to hear all about it.  I’d love to tell you all about it.  It’s sad.  Orphanages are sad.  Orphanages in third world countries top the list of saddest things ever.  That blog post would, therefore, be sad.  I don’t like writing sad posts.  Don’t get me wrong, I hope that I am writing honest posts.  Things are not always hunky dory here in Congo, and I hope that we are not conveying that falsehood.  However, there is a difference between a serious post and a downright depressing one.

So, to sum up the orphanage visit, it was about 40 minutes outside of town.  It started as a hospital and grew into an orphanage, hospital, clinic, and compound, housing around 700 children, if you can imagine.  We only visited the toddlers and babies, so I didn’t get the full tour.  The toddlers were quite content on this day because there were enough toys to go around.  I managed to avoid the classic visit consequences of getting some form of bodily fluid on me, which was lovely.  It was hard to tell the ages on some of them because of past malnutrition, though in comparison to stories of other orphanages, this one is well managed and the children are cared for as best possible considering the lack of staff.

The walk down the hallway where the babies were was sad.  The smell in the building was either ammonia, or unchanged diapers.  Seeing the babies about Amelia’s age was not very easy on me, emotionally.  They were cute and seemed content, but only because they were used to a lack of attention.  The infants, there were only a couple, were even more sad.  They had little cribs with toys hanging down and sucked their thumbs.

See?  Depressing.  Well, it might be more so if I were a better writer.  But here is what it is.  I’m not going for shock value, and I feel that more detail in my relaying of the orphanage would do just that.  More importantly, I now realize and have confirmed that God did not call me here to minister to orphans.  While I felt sad and empathetic to the babies there, I was not overwhelmed with the desire to rescue them, or even continue visiting.  Does that sound cold and heartless?  Perhaps, but it’s honest.  And honesty, in this context, really is the best policy.

So, to you who feel more led to read about the orphanage, please visit Nancy’s blog.  Nancy “hosted” the morning out there and goes two or three times each month.  I appreciate her taking me and getting the opportunity to see it.  I would not want to have missed it.  But, I will continue to seek God’s will for my time on Congo and can check orphanage off my list.

So, moving on to happier things…Matthew had a mild cold during the week (during editing…I realized this is just after happier things.  I laughed out loud, thus it stays as it is.) and by Saturday, Levi and I were beginning symptoms.  It was also temporary moving day.  We have temporarily moved over to Nick and Jocelyn Frey’s house while they are lolly-gagging back home in Canada.  Actually, they’re awaiting the birth of baby number one.  They have a cute, new apartment and an indoor cat named, Serenity.  Serenity uses the toilet.  I’ve witnessed it.  We are also borrowing their very nice, new XTerra.  I drove it between this house and our house to move stuff.  It went well.  Have you driven in a third world country?  How’d it go?  Granted, it’s all in the same neighborhood, but still…there are people, cars, bumps, and one giant puddle that rivals those motocross events.  Later on Saturday afternoon we took advantage of the other amenity offered at their apartment: a pool.  It’s winter, so believe it or not, it was actually too cold for Amelia and I, but it’s a nice option!  And it’s immaculately maintained.

Meanwhile, back at our ranch the work is in full swing.  The porch roof’s underside is replaced (which is nice because it was rotten asbestos).  The cracks in the living room, which recently grew from crack to gap overnight have been addressed.  There are still a few more projects, but I’m not exactly following their progress as to what’s next.

Sunday morning the cold, at least for me, made me feel nearer to death than I prefer.  Perhaps an exaggeration, but you know how colds go.  Levi and I stayed home from church to rest while Matthew and Amelia took Mosengo, who was working at our house, back to Nsango Na Bomoi.  We are really enjoying the services there.  Matthew is even getting good enough at Lingala to at least pick up on the topic of the sermon.  And people asked where we were!  Aww!

And now it’s Tuesday.  Yesterday I spent the day moving more stuff over and in.  Today will probably be more of the same.  Finally, the end of the week is looking very exciting…I’ll post more on that later.

I rarely update on the kids, but they are, of course, part of life here too.  Levi is getting big and very close to his third birthday.  There are some days that are very challenging and some days where I’m pretty sure he is already an adult.  He has mastered the English language and speaks far better than most adults.  Amelia is making a ton of progress.  She has eight teeth and is pushing things around, walking behind them.  She has a few words she is working on, like brother, banana, bottle, hmmmm…they’re all B words.  She also does mama and dada.  Her biggest accomplishment is sleeping through the night.  We thought we’ve been there before only to take giant leaps backwards.  So far, it hasn’t seemed like anything in our lives has been consistent enough for sleep training until now.  So, we began.  I downloaded my favorite sleep book on the Kindle, read it in two days, and one week later she sleeps through the night, twelve to thirteen hours, takes two good naps, and requires nothing but a kiss goodnight and a closed door.  YESSSSSS!  For the first time in nine months we get sleep and a bed to ourselves.  It was our mistake not doing it sooner, but it’s been an easy transition.  And if you’d like the book recommendation, I’m happy to give it.

I know I’m overdue on a Food Series post, but I think my camera is screaming for a picture post.  We’ll see if I can do both this week, shall we?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Tally permalink
    June 19, 2012 0829

    I love reading your updates. Yes, the house has needed work for a while….I was tired of having that ceiling bleached and cleaned, and finally gave up on it. So glad to know it’s being replaced. Too funny about the cat, but have seen that on You-Tube before.

    • June 19, 2012 0829

      Most of the inside rooms are also getting new doors, as of yesterday…and the living room ceiling strips that were rotten were replaced yesterday, too. I think they’re going to fix part of the roof that collapsed on us a few weeks ago. It just broke and came crashing through the rotten ceiling on the porch. Thankfully no one was out there, though the Clancy kids were in the yard. 🙂

  2. June 21, 2012 0829

    What is the name of the sleep book? Sounds interesting for grandkids.

    • June 21, 2012 0829

      Hi Sally! It’s called Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth (I may be butchering that spelling).

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