Sunday, July 11, 2021

Event(ually) July

July in Kalukembe: dry, cold, cloudless skies, eucalyptus flowers, the end of malaria season. The afternoon sunlight is warm and golden. The evening fires and hot cocoa warm us inside. And the kids cuddle under their blankets to listen to stories we share. These picture updates hold more stories than I can remember, but we hope you enjoy the snapshots.

In May, Dr. Lena said good-bye and returned to the States. She is here with our kids and shared dogs. We miss you, Dr. Lena!

In June, we harvested our beans. After a rainy season short on rain, it was a good reminder to be praying for our neighbors and have generous hands as they go through difficult times

Eliel working on portrait drawing of Priscila with machines.

We celebrated Julia's (our live-in helper and friend who is jumping in the foreground) birthday with a picnic cookout and games. Some of the local kids even contributed food to the special event. We are very thankful for  Julia's positive presence in our neighborhood childrens' lives.

On the first weekend of July, we hosted a one-day refresher course for clinicians in our municipality. Topics ranged from eye diseases to fistulas to neonatal resuscitation. Here, Dr. Steve shares from his wealth of experience in eye diseases.

The view from our back veranda at dusk.

Little boy with dactylitis who had been admitted for anemia. Though the predominant need for 400 transfusions last month was for malaria-induced anemia, this boy was a good reminder to look for other causes. It's estimated that over 10,000 children with sickle cell anemia are born each year in Angola. Most research and work in screening and treatment have been done in the capital of Luanda and the oil-rich province of Cabinda. We still do not have access to hydroxyurea (and haven't found any vendors interested in stocking any), but provide penicillin, vaccines (when available) and encourage appropriate bed net use (not in the garden; nor as a skirt; nor as a fishing net). Please pray with us as we look for partners to help us in screening and caring for this very needy population in Kalukembe!

A common sight here, not seen in the States: washing our sterile gloves for reuse. Glove shortages at the hospital translate to dangerous situations: rescucitating patients who arrive gravely ill with unknown illnesses without gloves is unfortunately pretty common.
Naomi continues to create lots of fun home scenes!

Zeke, Eliel and friends playing an "away" game with local children from Kalonyoha. Ages ranged from 6 to 16, though Priscila increased that when she made her super substitution!