Monday, November 17, 2008

A Day at Benson Hospital

A self portrait with Gifty.

This was taken on the day I ended up waiting 3 hours for the Social Worker from the Liberian government to come. It was the third day that week I had waited there for her. She did finally come and I can not complain too much about undisturbed Gifty time.

I do not know this boys name, but I do know that he is humiliated by the amount of baby powder his ma has covered him in. I do not know why Liberian mothers feel the need to do this to their children. Of course his ma told me he was sad because he is sick and scared of the white woman. I think we all know better.

Oh Boy Omito!

This might very well be the cutest boy in Liberia. When I first met Omito he was very sick and sharing a room with Gifty. I could never understand what his mother told me he had, but I would guess he was severely malnourished. His entire body was swollen and the skin was peeling off his legs. He was lethargic and never smiled. After a week or so, as he was feeling better he came out of his shell. He would greet me with a high five and his contagious laugh every time. Even when he had been moved to another ward at the hospital he would find me to say hello with his silent head bob and eyebrow lift.

One day a hospital worker found me and told me about some triplets that has been born the day before. These 3 were a surprise to their mother, Mary who did not know she was pregnant with triplets! They are so tiny, I would guess 2-3 pounds each. In America they would definitely be in the NICU. They seemed to be doing OK, but in addition to their 4 year old sister they are going to be keeping Mary very busy! After a week of me visiting and asking for their names she finally told me (are you ready for this?) Rose, Roselyn, and Rosetta.

Eman is a 10 year old boy who was in the hospital with burns on his hand and back after falling into a cooking fire. He would always find me with his big smile and loved visiting Gifty. He reminds me a lot of my friend's son, Ethan. You might say Eman is a Liberian Ethan. :-)

This is the stair case that I have to climb every time I come to the hospital. Many might think, "so what?' But for those who know me and my fear of open grates you may understand how big a victory it is for me to now be able to climb these stairs and not get that nervous feeling in my stomach anymore.

Next I will tackle my fear of down escalators, but that will probably not be happening in Africa.


kiefmoon said...

That's crazy:
I looked at Eman and he immediately reminded me of Ethan...
Then I read your comment!

kiefmoon said...

...oh, and thanks for the Gifty update. She's been on my mind lately, and I've been praying for her.
I'm glad to hear she's doing well.