(Written last week) A lot has happened the past couple of days. I’ve been getting settled in, reconnecting with the kids and staff, and hanging out with Ashley, Kendall, and Elsie. Ashley is here for one month to take care of Chevy, a mamba baby that ended up staying here at Canaan for a couple of weeks while he gets better. She leaves Saturday and I told her she should change her flight to stay another couple of weeks. Kendall has been here since August working at the school teaching the first grade class. Both have been great fun to hang out with.
Yesterday Elise and I went down to the clinic so she could train me for the Mamba program. There was a lot to go over but Elise did a great job explaining everything especially with the refresher course in the metric system. It has definitely been a while since I had to do anything with kilos, centimeters, milliliters and milligrams. Which on a side note, if anybody coming down wants to bring an electric scale for babies and adults that reads the weight in kilos that would be much appreciated. Being a kilo or centimeter off can determine if the baby or toddler can be admitted in the program or not; being exact is key.
(Written this week) Tuesday was my second week doing Mamba. It definitely went a little smoother than the first. I was more comfortable with the scales, books, and the routine that goes into checking and evaluation the kids. I’ve been communicating to the parents in my broken Creole and Sarah and Joanne have been a big help explaining things when I get stuck. Sarah and her family live down the road at Pierre Payan, about a 10 minute drive. She’s been coming every week to help out with Mamba day. Joanne is one of the nurses at the clinic. She’s a sweet lady and is coming to the English/Creole class at night. I’m glad she’s there to help out with cases that require more medical attention.
It’s hard not to be affected emotionally by all the kids that come in for Mamba. Everywhere you turn there are kids that are hungry, sick, and without clothes. I can’t imagine what it must feel like as a parent to want to be able to feed your child and to not be able to. It’s hard to think back to being in the US and how wasteful we are as a country. I’m ashamed to admit I never thought twice about throwing food out. The saying there’s a starving kid in the world was only a saying at the time; now it’s a reality.
The second thing happened the following week, again on a Mamba day. We saw kids all morning as they came in for their weekly check up. One of the last patients of the day was referred to us from the clinic. He was 7 years old but looked like he was 4 or 5. We weighed him so he could start the Mamba and sent him to the hospital for a TB test. He weighed 35 pounds. There are many more stories like these everywhere you turn. I am so thankful that there is a Mamba program at Canaan. I am thankful that we have generous supporters from back home that can buy the Mamba and other supplies for the program. I am thankful for a place like Canaan where kids can grow up in an environment of knowing Jesus Christ.