Friday, November 10, 2017

Friends and visits

A couple weeks ago, our cousins, Abby and Elizabeth Cummings, came from Philadelphia to visit us in Kalukembe. . . for the second time! Impressive not just for their bravery in coming but for the fun they brought through their talents and gifts. Thanks, guys!

Sunday school at our local church. The kids were excited to have visitors from another continent. Strangers are often referred to as "Chinese," the largest population of foreigners in Angola. Amusing to be called such.

Abby reading to Eliel and Naomi. One of the many, many times Abby read to the kids. Their English skills  advanced quite rapidly during the visit!

Witnessing joy in our work. Abby and Elizabeth accompanied us most days on rounds. This was a follow-up visit from M., 2nd from right and with her husband, mother and baby. She was in a taxi accident with her baby in June and suffered severe traumatic brain injury, comatose in our hospital ICU for weeks. It took 3 months before she could talk, and she now can walk with the help of a walker. Nelson Andre, at far right, supervised her care during her long recovery on the physical therapy ward. In M's case, i cannot think of a better-named place where she recovered: the "Elavoko" ward means "Hope" in Umbundo

Sharing in education. Elizabeth, who is a nurse practitioner at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, brought 2 baby mannequins to help in several hands-on resuscitation sessions on Maternity.

Never in short supply. A mother on the ward kindly allowed her newborn to be borrowed for further demonstration and practice with the nursing students.

Onsen, Angolan style. We drove with Abby, Elizabeth, nurse Avelina and her girls to Kalepi area, about an hour and a half away, where hot water bubbles up in a marsh. Zeke and Eliel dipped themselves in water that locals also use for irrigation. 

Encouragement balloons. With balloons Abby and Elizabeth furnished, Zeke, Eliel and friends passed through the wards to hand out encouragement to patients. It was also an encouraging visit for us to have Abby and Elizabeth around, sharing in the beauty of Kalukembe and seeing the challenges people face in their lives here.

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