Monday, December 3, 2007

Mary's Song

This is the first Sunday in Advent, and somehow I forgot to pack my purple candles. However, I lit a small white one at dawn and quietly sang, "This is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be gla-ad," just as our friend Mary in Scituate does every morning of her life. My Bible opened to Colossians 3:16, and I read, "Sing with grace in your heart to the Lord." As I blew out the candle, a nearby Pentecostal church erupted into hours of song -- from "Amazing Grace" to "We Shall Overcome," from "What a Friend" to "Shall We Gather at the River?" I remembered that Sister Helena Marie, CHS, had intuitively played the latter in the midst of the rubble in NYC, just days following 9-11... Songs of hope for every season.

This is also Nadia's first full day at Maseno, so she and I joined Dr. Hardison for early rounds instead of walking to church at St. Philip's. We then observed Silus, a young medical officer working in the outpatient department, as he examined and admitted two very sick infants with suspected malaria. Such fine IV needle insertions on such tiny dehydrated people!

Nadia and I later wandered through the street kiosks in search of flip-flops ($1.05 or so per pair) and treated ourselves to a couple of Cokes (20 KSh = about 30 cents each). We returned to help Ruth and Jessica exercise their quadriceps for awhile. Since it was another beautiful 85-degrees day, we took our patients outside via wheelchair to "work." Ruth is now using a walker, but Jessica still seems reluctant and occasionally delusional, perhaps related to encephalopathy. She has two young children at home, however, so I am encouraging her to get stronger for their sakes. This afternoon I showed her pictures of my own cherished children -- and grandchildren!

Meanwhile, Dr. Hardison performed a miracle cure on another confused patient, this one a female in the outpatient department who presented with palpitations and hyperventilation. She had been brought in directly from a church service, perhaps the same one I had heard this morning, and was apparently "seized by the spirit," as Gary suggested. A quick diagnosis and "the old paper bag routine" resulted in a successful outcome and a prompt discharge, TG.

Nadia and I met Mary, Liz and Zach -- just back from his Mt. Kenya climb -- at the Hardisons for a pleasant evening and delicious dinner. Mary told us more about the CCC ladies' crafts program and the duka (shop) they hope to open in January. The women have decided to name it "Karibu Tumaini" or "Welcome Hope" Crafts. We also learned a little about micro-finance in Kenya, including "table banks" and "merry-go-rounds."

Home by 8:30 PM, I fell asleep early, my own heart "humming softly in the darkness."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Diane, I am overwhelmed by your descriptions and the life you are so much a part of there. I hope you keep a record of all your wonderfully evocative and pictorial descriptions, they draw me into life there in a way that simple reporting cannot. I have just started at N Billerica and am already eyeing a missions visit from YOU concerning your experiences and the needs of that particular community. Perhaps during Lent. I am reviewing my own wastefulness of resources and time this Advent as part of my personal preparation for Christmas. hearing of the needs and concerns as well as such limited resources where you are, brings my spiritual desert into focus.
Much love to you. Gay