Molly in Africa

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Sorry for letting another three weeks pass before updating this blog… it’s hard to find time sometimes. Well, in the past two weeks I was having some problems with my health. Two Mondays ago, Erin and I were at CRO (as usual) and I had a fever and was just physically weak and extremely exhausted. After napping for most of the morning and the beginning of the afternoon in the nurse’s clinic, the nurse and the volunteer doctor said that I should probably go to the lab in town and get tested for malaria. As much as I tried to deny that it was malaria, the truth is I just don’t know how to diagnose myself with that and so I gave in and went with Dr. Tom to the lab. While there, they told me that I did indeed have malaria and they gave me an injection and lots of pills. I had to go in the next day for another shot and the following day I just got more pills. By the end of the week I was feeling back to normal health so I thought all was fine. On Wednesday of this past week, I woke up with a bad migraine headache and felt nauseous. I tried to get out of bed and within fifteen minutes I had chills and was sweating. I had to go back to bed but I was nervous about staying home alone so Erin stayed and was my personal nurse for the day (she did a great job). We went into town in the afternoon and I got tested for malaria again and again was diagnosed with it. This time it was a lesser form. I didn’t have to get any shots, but I was given more pills and had to stay home from work Thursday and Friday to try to rest up and recover. Moral of the story: malaria sucks- please be grateful that our mosquitoes at home are not as malicious.

Even though I feel like I’ve been MIA from CRO for the past two weeks, it does continue on… it’s so hard to try to explain what goes on there or what I do so I’m just going to tell you about one of the boys (Dan) and try to give you a visual here.

Dan. Dan is probably about 11 years old (although he doesn’t know) and has been with CRO since 2002. He refuses to go to school even though CRO has tried to send him twice I think which I believe that can mostly be attributed to the fact that he is addicted to sniffing fuel. He has refused to be resettled with a family or in a house of any kind so he sleeps on the streets each night. He has open wounds on his feet and arms almost every day from where he has been beaten or got into a fight. He’s skinny- to the point that when he was sitting on my lap the other day and I had my hands on his stomach, I could feel the outline of every rib through his shirt. Despite his addiction and his stubbornness, I think he has so much potential. I understand that the staff at CRO are probably really frustrated with him and don’t know what else they can do to help him after so many failed attempts. However, I can’t help but keep trying. One of the things I learned last time is that so many of these children don’t have positive affirming touches in their lives at all. Instead of growing up with hugs or a parent who rubs their back to get them to fall asleep, many of them haven’t grown up with a parent at all. Those that do have parents have often been abused or neglected. Dan gets a lot of rough treatment on the street and so what I have been doing this time is just trying to have really positive physical interactions with him. I greet him with a hug each day and then we usually hold hands or he’ll move my hands so that they are hugging him again or embracing him in some way. Last week, he even let me rub his back or he’d just come and sit on my lap and cuddle with me. I know that this is probably not changing his life and I know that he needs someone who can actually communicate with him to get him to make some of the huge fundamental changes in his life (like staying away from drugs), but I can’t help but feel like it’s good for him to feel some love as well. When he’s sitting on my lap and I have my arms wrapped around him, I can see how much he appreciates it and when he’s the one that is actually wrapping my arms around him, I can see how much he longs for this kind of love.

There’s so much more I should write about- like the children we find on the streets during the street walks, the night survey we went on a few weeks ago, the conversations that I have with some of the older kids which are so interesting and informative, the small group discussions that continue to go well, the fun times I’ve had with friends outside of CRO time or the strengthening of my friendship with Erin. Maybe one of those will make it into the next update.

Thank you to those of you who have emailed- I really do love hearing what’s going on at home.


Post a Comment

<< Home