Friday, July 30, 2010

Another Week, Another Emergen C Pack..


First, ignore my spelling and grammar. This blog post was rushed!! The beginning of this post of written mostly on Thursday night. The second half recaps a small amount of our week here and future plans this weekend! Enjoy!

South Africa is vibrant, complicated and unpredictable. Things change so quickly. From the weather, to travel plans to social functions, nothing is fully certain. The pace of life here is strange at times but exciting. I had the pleasure of experiencing first hand the rapid flow of emotions here last Saturday night. We had a group outing during the day. After we dropped every one else off around 11:30ish, 5 of us embarked on a strange journey.

Barb, Sabine, Jenn, Dr. Fish, and I set out to a local club for a quick stop. Dr. Fish was saying goodbye to a few friends so the rest of us danced. (If you're wondering, club music is basically the same here as it is back home.) Watching Dr. Fish dance to Kei$ha, Pit Bull, and Madonna was priceless!! Only in the Women's Studies Department do you go clubbing with your professor and then for work a night shift at a public health clinic!!

We showed up at 1:45a and saw our first birth in the clinic at 2:00a. I held the mama's hand through pushing and she delivered a beautiful baby girl. Next two births happened at 4:30a and 4:35a. We were booking it all this point and the lack of sleep/dancing was getting to us. Like I said before, the highs and lows come fast around here. At 7:00a a mother came in having delivered at 23 wks with her baby still attached. I stood by her side through the entire process until she was resting in bed. This was by far the most difficult thing I've ever experienced in my life. I cannot begin to understand what it is like to lose a child. I felt pain, but I know it did not amount to hers. I was appalled by her treatment, her lack of voice during her pain. She finished her miscarriage with little privacy and no medication during the forced removal of the placenta. I was in shock for a few hours. It was so difficult to experience the joy of birth and the tragedy of death all within 5 hrs....

... SO, this week has been difficult to process. I pushed through work on Monday after catching up on sleep, only to find myself sick on Monday night.

Jess and I stayed home together on Tuesday and slept all day.

Wednesday I went back to work at the clinic. I thought death would get easier from a health provider's perspective. I was completely wrong. We experienced another death that afternoon. Wednesday did have its high points. I spent about 30 minutes taking to a new mother. I gave her a patchworks quilt too!!

I started giving out Patchwork quilts on Thursday. I gave out 18 blankets, caps, and booties to new mamas and babies!!

Friday, (TODAY) we got up early and walked to St. George's Cathedral to watch Archbishop Desmond Tutu lead the morning prayers and communion. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMAAAAAAAAAAAAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This man prayed in 3 languages and gave me communion!! WHAT A BREAKFAST!!!! Nothing can top that. I'm sorry.... Afterwards we went to Camps Bay High, walked along Camps Bay Beach, and came back to see Molly Blank's (Testing Hope) new film Where Do I Stand? about Xenophobia (Vaughan.. that correct citation is for you from me and Andi!! We miss you!!) She was amazing, the film was amazing! Another contact for my documentary process!!! SO STOKED!!

So the plans for this weekend include a little shopping, table mountain, surfing, and seeing penguins.

Please keep the team in your thoughts and prayers. Most of us are sick or getting sick. I currently have a fever of undetermined proportions... We don't have a thermometer... Thank you for your constant encouragement through email, the blog, and facebook. It really means a lot to me. Enkosi! Love you all!


  1. Dear Kathleen,
    You have been on my heart and the Lord led me to play the piano. Which i haven't done for awhile, and I played His eye is on the sparrow. It really brought a lot of peace to me knowing you are in His care.
    Grandma Rebecca

  2. You know what is so funny is I read this and as I am reading it thought wow this sounds like my mom and then at the end realized it was! Not that your mom doesn't play the piano but I guess I wasn't expecting her to be posting on the internet!
    i'm guessing the 10 second rule is there for a reason. Just teasing you as your body is probably adjusting to being in a foreign country as well as the stress and work you are putting into your body. I'm glad to hear you resting to try and recoup and get better. Praying for healing hands on your body so you can get back out there.
    It is amazing how we come into the world and how we go out. Either way it is a God thing and for some it is way to early and it's hard to understand the why in all of it sometimes.
    Praying for the moms that have nothing to hold after experiencing the pain of childbirth as well as the broken heart pain they will experience for the rest of their lives.
    God has you in His Hands K and praying for you and the team for wonderful things you are doing for these women. It is a life long connection you are making in their lives.
    Love you
    Aunt Esther