August 26, 2005


August 23rd

I have to hurry writing these few words as my computer is out of power and lights are going to be turned off any minute now. I had a long day but I managed to sneak out a lunch, go to the main market with a sister, buy some fabric and bring it back to the sister’s seamstress for a Pagne. I hope to get it sometime tomorrow or I might have to leave without it!

I went to visit a hospital, and though I had to pay close attention to what the lab tech was saying and take notes, I couldn’t help sneaking glances at the frightened and despondent parents who brought in their listless child. The mother was attempting to fan her child and rock him but his body was flopping in her hand (imagine a rag doll), his eyes bugged out and letting out tiny hiccups that were attempts at crying.
I also went to visit the Central Bureau in charge of administrative issues for the Health Zones. As yesterday’s, there were no windows or doors, the building was completely dilapidated. It’s really demoralizing when the Doctor Chief of Zone says that he hasn’t been sending his last reports because his typewriter has been out of service for the past three months. We told him a hand-written report would be fine but how do you encourage someone’s who’s job is considerable, to work in such conditions? It’s embarrassing.
Tonight, I have the beginning of a migraine and I hope that the night will bring me hope and enthusiasm for tomorrow and the day after that, and the day after that. My biggest fear is that we are doing absolutely nothing that is helping this country and this is looming larger and larger in my subconscious (I get terrible nightmares while on the field).


Steve in Wisconsin said...

Regarding your comment: "My biggest fear is that we are doing absolutely nothing that is helping this country and this is looming larger and larger in my subconscious."
Don't get discouraged - I used to have the same feelings as a deputy sheriff. Think of what you're doing as similar to assembling a jigsaw puzzle - one piece at a time until the whole vision is completed. One gets eager to see the finished picture but there's no shortcut in the process - unfortunately. I have great respect for you folks in the field!

lulu on the bridge said...

I've been reading you with much interest for quite a while now, but never left you a comment. But after reading what you just wrote, what steve quoted above, I have to say that although progress and positive changes are extremely slow to notice I'm convinced we're helping this country as much as it can be helped (it also has to help itself).
Take care during your trips around Congo!

Victoria said...

Maman, Daddy et moi-meme voulons te laisser des mots d'encouragement. Garde ton enthousiasme et ton energie! On pense tres fort a toi-- and expect a phone call soon.

Ammo said...

Yes, don't lose hope! You're doing a great job!!

Beaver said...

Sweetheart... one life at a time, one hope at a time. Focus on the details, not the whole picture. If you made a difference for one person, it's already something.

If you lose hope, all is lost. Hang in there !

My heart goes out to you. I hope to see you soon, somehow... Promise not to audit your program :)

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