What a week this has been so far! Monday morning we started cleaning the hospital. It had not been touched in months so we knew a major job was ahead of us. We were able to hire ten workers to help us and overall they were great. We were able to bust that place out in two and a half days. When we finally started putting the beds into the ward the tears started. I cannot wait for that place to be filled with women. They have already started coming. If you build it, they will come, and they have. Two women from previous trips are already here. About six more and their children are waiting as well. They are staying in the huts. The huts are the cement dwellings behind the hospital where the women can stay pre or post operatively, especially if they need further follow up but they live too far to return every day. So the initial cleaning is done. 42 beds have been moved in with their mosquito net frames. All the windows have been cleaned. Hundreds upon hundreds of spiders killed. Every wall bleached. All floors mopped. All fans dusted. Laundry done, for the most part. The operating room looks great. More spiders killed. Now we are waiting on the container to arrive so we can have the supplies we need to begin.
I am still learning so much on a daily basis. Did you know that when you make popcorn on the stovetop you should make sure your pot has a lid so the popcorn doesn’t end up all over your kitchen? This is a fact. Did you know that home made yogurt is perhaps the only type of yogurt I will eat now? Absolutely amazing stuff! Did you know that Sarah actually translates into hausa to be Saratu but they drop the ‘h’ and this disappoints me a little. I have been proud of the ‘h’ on my name so I may be the only Saratu spelling her name Sarahtu. Did you know that in hausa the word for sing and the word for wash sound very similar so when the cute little girls from church came over to sing for me I thought they were telling me to go wash, not sing.
Maybe I’ll start having a section on here called: Things That Made Sarah Jump This Week. On Tuesday I had just returned to my home when I put my key in my door to lock it from the inside. As soon as I started turning the key a little head with big eyes shot out from the top of the lock where there was a small gap. I don’t know what type of animal, big game I think, these eyes belonged to but I do know that I yelled loud enough for Ashley to hear me and I kept jumping around my place thinking it was crawling all over me. I have gotten better though. I don’t live in fear anymore of a snake jumping out at me whenever I open a cupboard or door. I think this is a big improvement in a week.
An update on the current snake situation: just about everyone here knows of my fear of these rancid animals. Some still like to report on the daily snake sightings though. Two were found in my neighbors hut outside their home which they use for storage. I never saw them but I know they were quickly killed then burned. Oh, and get this. There is an area on the compound that we frequently walk down which one of the boys here called snake city yesterday. I think I will walk another way from now on.
From all this cleaning my back has gone crazy. Please pray for the pain to go away. We have a long journey ahead of us and I can’t be hurting. Please continue to pray too for our hausa lessons as well. We had our first one Tuesday and another tonight. Please pray that it will all sink in quickly for both Ashley and I. We have a great teacher, but languages have never been a strong area for me. I have learned that when people see you are trying they want to help you out and get excited for you when they know you learned another word or greeting. I look forward to the day when I can talk to the women without a translator! Thank you all for your prayers!