This week has flown by! This was our 1 week break between guests. Last Friday a 6 person short term team (including the ORR president and VP) left and tonight a girl is arriving who will be staying with us and observing our work here for the next 2 weeks.
Of course the work of serving the orphans does not stop and this has been quite the week...
Gifty continues to keep me busy. She is still in the hospital (I feel like I keep saying that, ah!) and now on a 3rd round of antibiotics to treat this stubborn respiratory infection. I was allowed to carry her from the hospital to the feeding clinic on Wednesday and she now weighs a whopping 5.6kg (up from 5.2 a month ago). Her adoptive mom from the States is arriving next week! We are still working on getting her a passport and medical VISA, but God willing Gifty will be returning home with her and meeting the rest of the family in a few weeks. The doctors at a hospital nearby are also awaiting her arrival.
I have been visiting some local clinics to try and find the best care for a couple of our orphanages. I don't understand why, but the Liberian medical answer to everything is an injection. No matter what the diagnosis an injection is prescribed for it. Usually it is not just one but the child has to return for 5 days of injections. And they are not always clear about what exactly the injection is. In the last week 5 different children from 2 orphanages have had to go to the local clinic and they all have received injections. Part of me wants to fight the system and the other part acknowledges that this is the normal way they do things here. I just don't know what to do!
We have had a malaria outbreak at one orphanage. 5 children have tested positive for it in the last week. When I was talking with the caregiver I discovered that they have not been using mosquito nets for the last 2 weeks due to some renovations they were doing. These are the hardest working orphanage directors that I have met here. They are actively trying to make their home a better place. In the last month they have built a new latrine, showers, well and nursery/garden. It breaks my heart that the kids are sick because of a simple thing that was overlooked as they were trying so hard to make things better for them. Oh, yes- the nets are back up now!
We got a new car! We also got our jeep fixed, but in true Liberian fashion, it broke again a day later. And the truck is back at the garage to get the brakes fixed for the 3rd time. So, we have 1 out of 3 vehicles running right now, but we have one running! It is great to get around in a car that is not a taxi!
Thursday's are food delivery days. We delivered food to 3 orphanages this Thursday. It is always so good to see the faces of the children and care givers when they see us. The last few weeks we have brought oranges in addition to the normal, rice, beans, oil and milk. The kids are devouring them like candy! One orphanage director literally jumped up and down and hugged us as we arrived with her food this week. She told us we were an answer to her prayer. She had decided to go and beg a neighbor for some oil so she could cook a meal for her children but since we brought her a whole tin of oil now she would not have to beg for some!
In addition to the busy days this week the nights have been interesting as well. Our "friendly" next door nightclub has hired a new security company who scrape their cutlasses, bang on the metal doors and occasionally yell out to try and deter criminals from breaking in. It has also worked to deter us from getting any sleep!
I am definitely ready for the weekend.