Friday 26 July 2013

Oh what a night! - By Bethan

Oh what a night!  And unfortunately I don't mean late September back in '63.

Just before midnight last night I took Jonah's temperature, which had been up and down in the last three days getting us through a whole bottle of calpol.  It was more than 38 degrees.  I stripped him off and went back to him twenty minutes later to find it had gone up to 39.  Beginning to panic and with only one more dose of nurofen left at my disposal before I overdosed him, I prayed that God would bring down Jonah's temperature.  I brought him into bed with us and lay his hot little body in between me and Gareth, taking his temperature every five minutes as he fitfully slept.  39.4 ... 39.6 ... 39.8 ... 40!  I packed my handbag and Gareth stuffed all the money he had in it in case I had to take Jonah somewhere for medical help.  I gave Jonah the last dose of nurofen he could have in this 24 hour block and prayed some more.  Now 1 am I began patting him with a wet flannel and fanning him with a paper.  His temperature fluttered between 38 and 39.8 for the rest of the night but I didn't take him anywhere because driving in the night and waiting in waiting rooms full of mosquitoes may have added more problems than we had.  I brought up the name of our Ugandan doctor on my mobile phone and waited for the daylight, mopping Jonah the whole time whilst grabbing an hour's nap at 3 am.
At the crack of dawn (heralded by Samuel shouting "it's light time again!") I phoned our doctor, who used to work in another town during the week but by the grace of God now works full time in Kasese town and was ready to see Jonah at 8.30 this morning with his calm bedside manner and intelligent medical advice, chatting about Wimbledon heroes past and present!  He took some blood from Jonah's 'foot-thumb' (big toe!) and tested it for infections.  No malaria but a probable virus.  Doctor George gave us a full 45 minute consultation helping us understand exactly what he was looking for in Jonah, what we should do if this that or the other happened, and told us to phone him tomorrow night for a follow-up.  Jonah has some anti-biotics in case he has  a bacterial infection but it is probably a virus that will clear up in a couple of days of its own accord.  With all our local friends and some from the UK praying for Jonah he only had one dose of calpol today and his temperature has stayed around a steady 38; cool by comparison.  Please keep praying for him and praise God for the return of such a good doctor in town, Dr George.  We feel so much more confident now in any other medical emergencies that may arise.

Monday 8 July 2013

My School. By Samuel.

I started school in February.  Can you believe that just at the point when mum and dad were wondering how are they going to manage all their work plus look after Jonah and me, a day-care and nursery opened up on our doorstep!  I'm not exaggerating either: it's a stone's throw from our front gate!  School starts at 8am so daddy gets me breakfast then at 7.55 mummy emerges, somehow fully dressed, she puts my red tartan uniform and sun-cream on me and takes me to school.
When I get to school I always hug my teachers - I'm so happy to see them!  I have a teacher called Happiness!  At least I thought she was called that.  It turns out her name is Agginess (Agnes).  Then my friends all start shouting "Sam-well!  Sam-well!" and I jump up and down and spin, laughing!
Then the teachers say "go to class!" and we all sit down at small tables and look at the blackboard.  We have been learning letters and numbers and we do colouring too.  I call it "shedding" because mummy says I have a dodgy Ugandan accent and what I really mean is "shading"!
When we're not in class I like driving the pink car with yellow wheels around the school.  The school is really a house so the building is small.  We have 32 children and I'm the only white one but that doesn't bother me.  There are twin Indian boys too.  The only difference between me and my friends is that I use a spoon and a table when I eat.  The other children eat with their hands whilst sitting on the floor but because they make such a mess the teachers take their clothes off and they eat in their pants so their uniforms don't get dirty!  We usually eat matooke (boiled plantain) and beans but on Fridays we have meat pilau!  After lunch, at 1pm, mummy or daddy comes to pick me up.  The other children stay until 5pm!  What a long day!
Yesterday we had sports day.  I ran really fast when the teacher said "you run fast!" and she said I was the winner!  But then they made me sit down and rest in the shed (shade!) because they said I was a funny red colour and they were concerned about me!  Later, daddy told them that white people change colour when they get hot; they were so surprised!
Last week was Joram's birthday and he had a party at school.  I stayed into the afternoon so I could join in the party.  The teacher told mummy to pick me up at 2.30pm but when she came with Jonah we were just sitting around in a circle on plastic chairs waiting.  The teachers kept telling us to sit and wait, and I knew there was cake because I saw mummy's friends at Jambo! making it!  So I sat for a while.  But after half an hour or so (on top of the 1 1/2 hours I had waited before mum even arrived!) I got bored.  The teachers were putting up balloons and banners and putting lace tablecloths on the 'head table'.  I started playing 'tag' with some friends on the opposite side of the circle until suddenly six of us children were wrestling in the middle of the circle!  Mummy gave me a 'look' but she said she understood that of course three year olds can't be expected to sit down for three hours (it was now 3.30) with nothing to do so she wasn't too harsh on me.  She was also trying to stop Jonah from being overwhelmed by my school friends!
Eventually, one of the teachers stood up and said "welcome to all you children and adults.  We are going to celebrate the birthdays of Christian and Joram.  Our agenda will begin with a prayer and then we will introduce their friends on the top table, then we will eat the cake and drink sodas, then after a thanksgiving prayer the party will be over and we will go home."
Lunch ended at 1pm for us children.  In the end the party began at 3.50 and ended at 4pm.  It's a good job, since the children waited almost three hours for a ten minute cake fest, that Jambo's cakes are so delicious!