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!