An Interesting (typical?) week

Alisha had a good observation a few days ago that bears repeating. We’re starting to realize something that's different here: when someone asks us how we’re doing, back home we would generally think about the last few weeks of life and convey our thoughts based on that time period. Here, our response is pretty much based on the last 24 hours! This week is a good example of that.
Last Sunday, on the way to church, Graysen threw up on the side of the road. So we returned home without going to church. An hour and a half later, our next-door neighbor returned home from church to find that her house had been broken into - they lost around $3000 worth of stuff and money. Meanwhile, Graysen continued to throw up, and eventually a little blood started appearing in his vomit, so we took him to the doctor late Sunday night. After initially thinking he was much worse than he was (and scaring Alisha half to death), they finally said the blood was just broken blood vessels from throwing up so much (about 20 times at that point). He was given some pedialite to help rehydrate him.
Monday morning, I set off early for Iganga (about a 3 hour drive) with a team of eMi people to preview my week-long project trip coming up on the 24th (a week from yesterday). Back home, after throwing up in the morning, Graysen seemed to improve throughout the day and we were thinking he was better. My trip to Iganga and back went off smoothly, including the bus ride home which is always a little shaky. I was in the very back corner, but had a seat next to the window so that made all the difference (see picture below).
Tuesday morning, Graysen woke up throwing up again, and this time he kept doing so all morning and into the afternoon, regardless of whether we gave him anything to drink or not. Finally early afternoon, Alisha took him into the clinic here that is British-run and they immediately hooked him up to an IV, saying his body was severely dehydrated and starving. By this time he had thrown up nearly 50 times. They also tested him and said he had strep throat, which they figured had weakened his immune system and allowed the stomach virus to take hold. While we were in the hospital, Brodie started complaining of a sore throat too and began a pretty high fever. So they tested him and began treating him for strep too. Finally, at 10 o’clock at night, after receiving two entire glucose drip bags, Graysen’s numbers had finally reduced back down to normal and they allowed him to return home.
Wednesday, as the boys continued to get better as the day went on, a filling in Alisha's mouth came out while she was chewing a piece of gum. She made an appointment to have it fixed on Thursday. But it really is amazing how quickly Graysen recovered once he was rehydrated and got some food. They told us his body had been in a vicious cycle of dehydration and starvation, causing him to vomit, which in turn caused him to be more dehydrated. Fortunately the glucose drip worked very well, thought it took much more to get him back to normal than the doctors thought it would take.
On Thursday, Alisha got her filling replaced. But at work, the touchpad (mouse) on my computer stopped working, so I spent a good chunk of time researching how to fix it. No luck, so I contacted Dell and had a live chat with the rep back in the US who I am still working with by email trying to resolve the problem. Not a huge deal, but just one more thing that takes time to resolve!
On Friday, another quiet day almost turned into a fiasco, twice. First, in the afternoon when the water company showed up at our house to turn off our water because they said we hadn’t paid the bill. So Alisha called me and I raced home on my motorcycle (what I mean is, Mom, I ran to my motorcycle, and then safely and cautiously drove it home) and talked with the two guys. A different water meter reader had come by earlier in the week and at that time I had asked him for our bill. He replied that we wouldn’t have a bill this month since they had installed a new meter. I conveyed this to them and told them that we still didn’t have a copy of our bill, only this notice they were handing us telling us they were shutting off the water. They laughed – I’m not sure why – and assured me that the water would not be shut off this weekend before I was able to pay the bill on Monday. But then, our neighbor came over while Alisha was baking and noticed the strong smell of propane in our house. We hadn't really noticed it was so bad since it has been happening for awhile, and we aren't used to propane cookers so we thought it was normal. But our neighbor said it was extremely strong and not at all typical. So we immediately aired out the house and have stopped using the oven until a repairman can come out, hopefully Monday. Alisha has been complaining of small dizzy spells, which she's now realized have been occuring mostly in the kitchen. Since we've stopped using the oven, the dizzy spells have stopped. Friday night was a year end BBQ for the boys school, and that was really fun. Saturday was finally very low key, with the stress from the week before seeming to be months behind. Saturday night we even got a babysitter and went out!
So as you can see, life is pretty up and down here. I know these are typical life things that happen everywhere to everyone – it’s not entirely new to us either. But the number of things that go wrong or threaten to go wrong seems to be much more concentrated here compared with back home. So a month’s worth of trouble in the states seems to arise in just a few days here. This is a 3rd-world country we’re living in so this shouldn’t be all that surprising to us, but at the same time there is an illusion of normalcy created by the good moments that sets us up for failure each time we try to settle into that feeling of making this ‘home’. It probably sounds a little silly that we haven’t caught on yet, but the illusion is strong, and is being fed by our desire to ‘get settled’. Over time, our ‘normal’ is being redefined, which will eventually allow us to actually be settled in. But for now, it seems like we are in this pattern of calmness, broken by a mini-crisis, then calmness, then mini-crisis, etc., and that makes for a bit of a bumpy ride! Fortunately, God is good no matter the situation, and He shows himself to be just that over and over again to us. For this reason, we continue to hold strong to our main verse for this season of life, Psalm 25:4-5: "Show me the right path to take, oh Lord, point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth, and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I will put my hope in you.”
Pictures: (top) Alisha and I out to dinner at 'Cafe Roma'. Interns Jill and Heather came to watch the boys. Afterwards, we joined out next door neighbors at their house to hang out for awhile without kids for once. (next) Under construction on the outskirts of Kampala, the first overpass in all of Uganda! (next) A scary picture - gas prices here. Our landcruiser is diesel, which until this week has been "cheaper" than regular petrol (gas is called 'petrol' here). The 2590 for diesel represents the price in Ugandan shillings per liter, which works about to be about $6.10/gallon at the current exchange rate! (The dollar continues to decline in value, so much so that in effect we've had a little more than a 4% pay cut since we arrived.) (next) The 7-acre site in Iganga for my first project trip. We will be designing a secondary school there for 500 students - we leave next Saturday morning for 1 week. (next) My view of the bus home to Kampala from my seat in the very back corner - at least I had a window seat! (next) Finally, some of the signs here are interesting to say the least. Unfortunately, this picture is fuzzy because I couldn't get my camera out fast enough before the bus zoomed by, but if you look closely it says: "Expert Dry Cleaners" - right in front of a huge clothes line! Some of the names of businesses here are pretty funny, like the "Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega Wholesale and Retail Center" or "The Monica Lewinsky Tavern"!


Kristen said…
Hi your blog yesterday, but didn't have time to comment. WOW you had quite a week!!! I'm so thankful that everything seems to be okay now. You even got a date, what a nice treat!! I'm so glad Graysen is okay.

I love the "expert dry cleaners" picture. Too funny.
Traci Morrow said…
You guys are being stretched and grown like nobody's business! Thanks for sharing with us what you're up against....

He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world!

:) Praying you fully embrace all that God's doing in you, and living eternally in the NOW. :)

And how is does that work that a fully supported missionary takes a 4% "pay cut"?!?! How LAME Satan is!!


CHIN UP! Just do some Turbo Jam or Hip Hop Abs together and have the kids video it.....then watch the video for fun. :) :)

Emilie said…
Wow!! It just kept going down hill fast, huh. I am glad that everyone is on the mend. A date!! Good for you!! Much needed and deserved. My guess that it wasn't to Outback (where you get glutened off the gf menu) and a funny musical, but I am sure that you enjoyed yourself anyhow. ;)

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