Saturday, March 28, 2009

Why it's been so quiet 'round these parts.

We've been vacationing.

In Cape Town.

And now we want to emmigrate.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I didn't forget.

When Shira arrived, she had an extra piece of luggage just with stuff we'd requested (funny to see what you want after months of no access to it). For instance: good quality dog leashes and collars (we could only find cheap chains that keep breaking). Re-placeable artists tape ('cause we've been wax-resist maniacs around here--pictures to come). Dried fruit. Nuts. Unscented baby soap and bum cream. Magazines!

When she left, the bag was stuffed again, but with fabric this time. She and I have the same taste in souvenirs. We spent a lot of time in the market looking over zitenge. (That's plural of chitenge, by the way.) Also stuffed in there were several cut, folded, and tied packets of fabrics in blues and greens. I'm writing "were" as though something happened to them, which is not the case. There they are in Florida, waiting for addresses to be mailed to by the self-proclaimed postal princess. (Shira claims she's done experiments to see exactly what will get through the postal system unwrapped. She's been successful with blocks of wood, unwrapped cds, a shoe...) I

In the end I sent home more than one to mail out (I hate the thought of some of you not getting a surprise in the mail), but it does make me wonder: which is worse, knowing your odds are 1 in 16 and not getting something in the mail, or knowing your odds are 4 (or 5? or six? can't remember) in 16 and not getting something in the mail.

These are the things that keep me up at night. (Ok, Finn too.)

So, I've just paid a visit to the Random Number Generator. Would the following people please email me your snail mail address at the email listed to the right?

Emily B who said, "Or me :) I would love to play with these fabrics! Nothing against Amy Butler but isn't everyone getting tired of the same prints showing up on everything? Unique is good!"

V and Co. who said, "thank you for the link! i think what you are doing is super awesome! i'm off to check more of your blog (sorry it took me till now to get over here!) -v"

Angie who said, "I want them! PS I love your blog. Pretty please, tell Leslie to put it on the Segullah sampler?"

rusted sun who said, "I miss you guys. I would love to win your beautiful is a part of you and a part of the world. I've finally decided on a theme for the babies' room- Children of the World....I didn't realize I needed one, but I've decided it would be fun to decorate their room. I want to put up all our globes and fabrics from all over the world. we would love to win your fabric."

Friday, March 6, 2009

"Willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light"

He calls us bwana, boss. Scout has been known to call him mamamohammad. And we now also call him brother.

(Congratulations, Mohammad, on your baptism last Saturday.)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Kamuzu Central

Right next door to my usual clinic, The Baylor Children's Center of Excellence, sits Kamuzu Central Hospital. It is one of the 4 largest hospitals in Malawi and acts as the referral center for the Central Region. The past two weeks, I worked as the HIV consultant for the hospital caring for between twenty and thirty children.

I'm often asked what it is like, but I fear that I would not serve anyone well by writing a blog post about the experience--most importantly the patients. I'd like to find a way to tell their stories without trivializing or over-dramatizing them. No doubt it would be easy to fall into quick cliche.

In the mean time, below are pictures a wonderful medical student took of the hospital as we worked together. Working at Kamuzu has been the most rewarding time I've had in Malawi and also the hardest.

The Baylor Children's Center of Excellence

Between the three children's wards of Kamuzu Central Hospital, the central courtyard serves also as a playground.

During malaria season, the hospital doubles its capacity and often 2-3 children share a bed.

This is ward A where the sickest children stay.

They come to the treatment room to get any procedure done. Most of these patients are receiving IV quinine, the treatment for severe malaria.

A teacher hold schools each afternoon in the courtyard for those children who are at the hospital for long periods of time. Usually, they have cancer or TB.

This is what I see every morning coming into the hospital--moms washing clothes

and babies.