Day out.

Today I was immensely blessed by a day out of the center. Sometimes it gets hard to be here amongst 350 kids, 30 missionaries, 150 mozambican workers, and 40 some visitors all living in community together on 13 acres. It's loud. Pretty much all the time. It doesn't matter what day or time it is. We all need some quiet occasionally and while I am very much a people person, i love to be outside in the stillness with absolute quiet, just breathing in God's beauty. It does wonders to restore your perspective, your brokeness, your focus, your heart. I have a Mozambican visa that only allows me a 30 day stay at a time so I have to technically leave the country every 30 days. Today is my 24th day, but without the ability to drive my self, one has to go when you can. Celia volunteered to drive me to the closest border....Swasiland...and take a side trip to Cascadas (waterfalls litterally in Portuguese), lunch in the quiet, and just simply a beautiful drive with very few people or noise. God is good all the time and He knows just what we need. I needed this today:

On the way down to the Cascadas...a beautiful view of the Mozambican countryside.

Me on a rock at the bottom of the Cascadas (where's the waterfall you ask?...well, it's not the rainy season so it's just a trickle...sorry to disappoint and mislead)

looking out and admiring the handiwork of our Lord.

On the way back to Maputo outside Matola...at the damn. This water supplies all of Maputo. It couldn't be any stiller.

My heart's prayers at the moment:

"The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever-Do not abandon the works of your hands." -Psalm 138:8

"If the LORD delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand." -Psalm 37: 23-24

"Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me, [O LORD.]" -Psalm 31:3

"Blessed is the man who trust in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a treee planted by the water that send out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; it leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drough and never fails to bear fruit." -Jeremiah 17:7-8

"...My grace is sufficeint for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." -2 Corninthians 12:9

"The Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted...to comfort all who mourn...to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. That they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified." -Isaiah 61:1-3


Praises abound!

Alirio this afternoon before nap! Back to his usual antics. This is how he looks 99% of the time! Smiling is his favorite, and laughing, and "talking," and sharing toys with the other tots. He is filled with joy at 15 months.

Praise God! Alirio looks amazingly better this morning. I had to give him an extra treatment in between his 4 hour ones and then he wasn't looking much better at the 8pm and midnight ones...so I just prayed really hard that the prednisone would kick in. When I saw him at 10am this morning, I was so suprised. He was 95% back to his old self, and NO WHEEZING thanks to the prednisone! So I'm trying to stretch out the nebulizers to every 6 hrs to give us a break and eliminate one during the wee hours of the morning! Let's just pray he'll take the medicine again tonight. He's pretty much the only one that doesn't like taking meds...convenient huh? What really amazed myself and Janie, another nurse here, was that all his snot was completely gone...vanished. The prednisone and inhalers have nothing to do with this. Amazing and such a relief!
I thought I would include a few pictures on half of the tots in the youngest room of the babyhouse (by far my favorite not to mention where my glorified closet resides). The rest of the pics should be up on the shutterfly site soon for your viewing pleasure. Can you tell I actually got to play with them today??
I CAN blow kisses...like this...and walk too. At times a bit of a bully and very dominant, but mostly happy baby full of energy and all boy. Meet Francisco!

Lourenco....Francisco's twin brother. They are 17 months. He is much more laid back and loves to play with the other babies. He is too sweet sometimes and not too far behind in the walking department.

Mindah. Apparently didn't get enough at lunch. She's 17 months and learned to blow kisses first...and I'm betting she'll be walking at the end of this week. She's the only girl amongst the toddlers in this room, but she doesn't let that hold her back! about to blow a kiss....he loves to snuggle and probably requires the most attention out of the older tots in this room. He's usually very sweet but knows how to throw a good tantrum at 13 months....it's Antonio.

This week I'm trying to wrap my head around the culture I'm being priveledged to walk with for the moment. Since I'm in the center most of the time, I don't get to embrace it as much as I'd like, but when I do my heart breaks. Here's some examples: I am currently taking Portuguese lessons for 4 hours a week with a well educated, literate, pretty fluent in English, Mozambican along with 3 other missionaries. We litterally give her $176 US dollars together each month (including the 45 min bus ride to and from the center). There are a few girls who pay a Mozambican lady to clean their houses-a very small living room, bedroom, and bathroom once a week. It may seem a trivial thing to do, but it helps bless a few women in the community. She makes $3 dollars a week per "house". I walked to the market (a 15 minute walk down the road from the center) where you can buy really fresh fruits, vegetables, chickens (live), and other things. Here food is cheap and I feel like I can at least bless the locals with my patronage. A man was selling oranges for 1 metical each. 25 mets=$1. I bought 10 small tomatoes that were delicious for less than $0.50 total. Most of the vendors have bought their produce from the bulk market before reselling it at the market, so they aren't making very much off it. A chapa (bus) driver works all day driving (which is pretty dangerous in and of itself) from dawn to dusk. He has to pay for a Mozambican driver's license which is apparently a coveted item as it is hard to get and is very expensive. He also has to purchase his vehicle and buy the diesel for it. He brings home $0.50 a day. Sarah blesses her dorm boys with a healthy snack at least once a wk. This week it was banannas and a loaf of bread. We stopped on our way home and bought from an elderly lady who was sitting in the pouring rain well after the sun had set. Each loaf was $0.25 each. At first she thought we just needed 13...she lit up and ran excitedly back to get more loaves when she realized we wanted 43. It's probably more than she makes all week and she just made it in one transaction. She was so thankful! The reed mat on my floor is what the walls and ceiling consist of for most Mozambican houses. I can't really grasp what this means besides the fact that the children in the walls of this center are amazingly spoiled and blessed, lavished in love and amenities, when compared to life outside the walls, despite the fact that they live simply even in the center. This is the world we still have the responsibility to prepare them for, because eventually they will be returning to it...whether through our reintegration program (placing the children back into a home with some sort of family member when appropriate) or after they have graduated and it is time to move on. Just a little insight into the dichotomy I live in right now and why I'm amazed continually by God's goodness and grace here amongst such poverty.


The tortuise and the hare

Updates updates…thanks again for all your prayers! Alirio is getting slightly better and today we are having more of an issue with snot than anything which is causing the majority of his respiratory issues. I had to (had to) make him just scream for 10 minutes while I went at him with a bulb syringe. No wonder he’s having so much of a problem. There is nowhere for the air to be because he’s so clogged up. But at least he’s coughing more of it up and it’s moving out. All my respiratory therapist friends would have loved him….especially since all I have is a bulb syringe which is practically useless! Needless to say, I’ve been suctioning him so much that last night at about 12:30 am he looked up at me, got a really big grin on his face and started creeping the play bulb syringe (lack of fun toys in the med closet….plus he chose it OVER the toy car) up to MY nose….and laughing hysterically. Cute yes! At least someone’s getting the treatments….I think my breathing is great (especially since I practically get the same nebulizer every 4 hrs while I’m trying to hold him still in my lap). Tonight I got desperate and tried torturing him again….we tried two nights ago to give him oral prednisone and he kept throwing it up (4x on Erin 1)because of the taste. I thought I would trick him…ha ha…by taking him out of the baby house, to my house, feeding him strawberry yogurt (which he never gets) and then sneaking the prednisone in it….ha ha ha. First he was suspicious and wouldn’t eat it at all. Then after I played the “look, Erin’s eating it and it’s really yummy, have some” game…he tried it and liked it. Then comes the tricky part. I tried to mix a little of the medicine up in it. He took one bite and made a face then promptly closed his mouth tightly and pushed the spoon away. So Hilary (thanks so much) and I decided he was GOING to eat it and played a game of I’m bigger than the toddler….Well I’m not so proud to say he ate it….or most of it and I’m praying a-it works, b-he doesn’t have an aversion to yogurt for the rest of his life, and c-I can “trick” him into taking it again tomorrow night without ruining another healthy food. Erin’s really tired. Erin needs sleep and a break from being out at the baby house. He has to get better cause this every 4 hr thing is killing me. At least Erin 1 is doing the 0400 dose for me! Anyway, just thought I’d update ya’ll.

As for all the other cute tots. Francisco started walking at the end of last week and thinks he’s big stuff since he’s the only one in his room. Mindah’s creeping up on him though and has taken 5 steps consecutively. She keeps trying over and over cause they are all really competitive with each other. Also both surprised me and learned how to blow kisses in the last 2 days. I’m afraid I’m Americanizing them. I always have the same routine. Come in, hug them, say olah to each one, give them kisses, ect. When they are going down for their nap (2x a day) and at bedtime I say goodbye in English and Portuguese as well as good night in Portuguese and then kiss/hug each and then blow kisses to each of them lots as I’m leaving. They think it’s hysterical. Well 2 days ago, Mindah blew one back and so now all the others are taking to it one by one! Precious! Also they are learning "uh-oh" fast and think it’s fun to say. They are amazingly brilliant and quick to catch on despite the fact that they are five 13-17 month olds and only one is walking and they only say a handful of words. I think that’s why I love the under 3’s so much. Now if I could only get my two five month olds to work on head control, rolling over, and pushing themselves up when they are on their tummies…..what can I say…we’re a little behind over here, but we’re making it. This to say to any mom that’s comparing their child to the books…they turn out just fine if it takes them till they’re two to walk, ect!! Pictures soon….when I catch a break and actually get some quality play time with them!


Prayer update

Little Alirio is doing slightly better tonight. It’s been over 24 hrs of continuous nebulizers….at least I’ve managed to stretch him (and I do mean stretch) to every 4 hrs for most of today. Oh how I pray that my director can find and get some inhaled steroids in the city tomorrow so I can add that to his treatment….I am glad to say though that he has been playing more this evening, even laughing and smiling again! And at 0130 this morning after the 1st nebulizer didn’t work and I had to give him another one back to back….he felt better half way through and started thinking it was play time. It was too cute. I already had run out of “play” toys for him in my “medicine closet” (also known as my office and is really a baby clinic…just don’t tell anyone else in Mozambique)…so I resorted to a pencil (yes it had a very dull point and I was supervising) a bulb syringe and an empty normal saline canister…..we do with what we can, also I has been up since 0700 and hadn’t stopped. Well, he decided it was time to make music and started banging the pencil on everything, yelling, and babbling as loudly as he could. As if the nebulizer machine didn’t make enough noise…I thought we were going to wake all the babies up. But he was having so much fun. When I put him back in the crib, put the warm blanket around him, and placed the mosquito net back over his crib he just sat there looking at me like…what? Where are you going? And pulled himself up and started “talking” to me. I think by tomorrow the tias are going to hate us for waking him up every 4 hrs through the night! Oh well.

As a side note. A bunch of the missionaries as well as their babies have been getting sick this last week. We have had a few even go to the clinic and hospital. One is at home at the moment (on her visit to see her sick mom) in a hospital and being transported to a higher acuity hospital. Her mother had just recovered from the same rare, nongenetic, noncontageous, very serious disease that can take months or years to recover from. The very next day after her mother’s release, she started exhibiting the same symptoms and the disease continues to rapidly progress. Our assistant directors had to fly back to the US on an emergent flight as well for a very critical parent. Please pray that the sickness stops and that everyone will be healed and we can get back to serving the Lord. This weekend we are hosting a big leadership conference for all the leaders in Mozambique on our base. We could use all the help we could get as we don’t know numbers but expect great things! Thanks to everyone that is praying as well as all the encouraging emails and calls I have received this week. I love you guys and miss everyone very much! Ok, have to get some things done before Alirio’s next treatment…then off to bed. I’m beyond exhausted!


Prayer request for Alirio!

Hola…so prayer request here.  One of my tots, Alirio, is 15 months and is a super smiley toddler who is laughing ALL the time.  He is precious and so fun to play with.  You’ll see a picture soon.  Anyway, today the Tias (caregivers in the babyhouse) came to me and charaded/spoke to me in Portuguese…ha ha…that he had been coughing a lot at night all night and that his nose was running a lot.  So I walked over and checked him out…no fever, occasional cough, runny nose (can I say that practically all the babies have this….33 in one house will do that)…playing, laughing just like normal, eating well, sounded great, no congestion or anything in his chest…so made a note of it in our very unofficial calendar of baby events (think nurses notes on the fly) and went about my day thinking I would check in on him at my 1pm rounds when I give meds again.  By the time I got back the other nurse Erin had been called and was in there giving him a nebulizer treatment of albuterol because he was lethargic, wheezing like crazy audibly, and retracting really hard…no playing, no laughing, hardly moving.  AAAHHH!!!  So we gave it to him and near the end he was fighting us and moving all around, talking to us again, but within 10 minutes he started up again….so we tried a 2nd round.  He responded again to the treatment and then it was naptime…I laid him on his belly (those vandy mds would be proud…you couldn’t even see the mild retractions) and went to go eat my late lunch…I’ll be back in 1.5 hrs to check and the tias were to call if any problems.  When I woke him up from his nap he was just working to breathe a little but no wheezing.  I decided to take him to our clinic md (run by Mozambicans) and see what she thought….well she ordered a bunch of stuff and then 3 of us nurses from the western world got together and decided to ignore all and do what we would do at home….so by that time he was wheezing again and I gave him another treatment and watched him go from leaning against me, struggling to playing and trying to climb out of my lap and grabbing at everything.  Current game plan…started on oral steroids and will do nebulizers every 3-4 hrs throughout the night…if he gets worse or not better by the AM we will go to the hospital.  Please pray for Alirio.  He is so sweet and a really healthy baby (usually).  I hate to see him like this.  Also pray that tonight goes well and he doesn’t get worse as we are 45 min from the hospital and only have a small oxygen tank and nebulizers on base here.  I’ll keep you updated.  Sorry if this was too much medical for some of you….all my nursing gals would want to know! 


photo album online

I have published a photo album to the web…I’m going to try adding pictures there when I get a chance and as the internet allows. Since I’ll only be posting a few pictures here on the blog every now and then, this will allow you to see more. So check there whenever to view all my pictures. http://emptyhandedbutalive.shutterfly.com Right now, all I have up is a few pictures of minha casa (my house…or really minha quarto…my room, but it’s not as fun!)


2 more things and a connection

I found 2 more things that I'm super thankful for:

  1. Sunday night worship @ Jimmy & Linda's. The assistant directors hold it in thier living room every weekend for any of the missionaries that want to come. Linda plays the keyboard and Jimmy, the guitar. We just have a really amazing time of worship. You all know how much I love music and it's especially special cause it's all in English so I know all the words. Last night we had 2 hrs of just worship. There's never a sermon or scripture, just worship. It was really amazing and rejuvenating. And I am thankful for the time!
  2. This juice: Ceres. I found it the last time I was here and then suprisingly in Nashville one day when I was really missing Mozambique. It's PURE fruit juice straight from South Africa. No sugars or anything else. I have never tasted anything quite like it. They have all kinds and all fruit and it's absolutely wonderful. I'm sure whole foods or the like might have something comparable...but that's not ever really in my budget. So, you should march right down to your closest Publix and look for it in the juice isle (I found it in the Brentwood Old Hickory Blvd Publix)....and if they do not have it....find the nearest manager and demand they stock it. Cause if you didn't know.....if you ask for it and the item is obtainable Publix has to carry it on their shelves for something like 2 or 3 months...and if it does well they will keep stocking it. But you can always just request it again when they stop :) I miss Publix. Shoprite here should change it's name or something. Perhaps I still haven't adjusted to Mozambican grocery stores....and I should be thankful I have a grocery store. Anyway, shop for it, drink it, and be happy and healthy. Then we will have an amazing connection...drinking the same juice halfway around the world. Fun huh??


Things I'm thankful for:

Today I'm thankful for quite a few very simple things.....

  • The mosquito net that keeps the mosquitos from biting me while I'm defenseless and sleeping

  • The rug because it allows all the sand to fall between the reeds and keeps it off my floor where I step and out of my bed. You can only sweep so many times a day. Now I need one for outside my front door to keep it from being tracked in.

  • The hot water bottle that the director, Ros, gave me as a house warming gift cause it keeps me warm when I sleep at night

  • The electric water boiler because my kitchen is shared by 9 people and i have to walk to it in the cold through the sand to get there...it's nice to just heat up water in my room for tea, coffee, or hot chocolate (or the water for my hot water bottle)...and it's tons faster than boiling the water (no running hot water in our kitchen).

  • A washing machine...while very small and shared by 9 people, it would take me even longer to do all the mounds of laundry I accumulate by being with grubby handed babies all day if I had to wash by hand.

  • Amazing sunsets I can watch from my bedroom window and from the baby house window when I'm in there making meds for the morning

  • Hotwater showers in my very own room (when the gas isn't out as it is this wkend) cause it's too cold right now for cold ones and who wants to walk through the sand after you've gotten all clean?

  • The internet so I can stay conncected with all of you

  • Finding American drugs in the pharmacy/clinic on occasion....cause practically everything over here is European drugs and i have to look them up to figure out what it is and how to use it....plus i can read the label when it's in English which is oh so helpful when I'm in a hurry....especially since everyone that works in the clinic only speaks portuguese.

  • The small fridge that Anna Lee thought to buy a few yrs ago for the baby house medical director so that when we have sick babies that have to bunk over night with us we can have all the supplies at hand in our room for them (meds, bottles, ect)....but when not in use doubles as my personal drink fridge since 9 people share 2 fridges in our small kitchen.

  • My chair I bought on the beach, handmade by local Mozambicans for a mere $35 American dollars so I can sit and read or think or relax without having to deal with my mosquito net on my bed

  • Jannie for taking my Tuesday am meds shift this wk just because she can....I hate mornings and 7:30 is coming really early for me...plus i'm on all this wkend at the baby house and it gets to be really long hrs

  • That the babies go to sleep at 7pm everyday....which means that as much as I love them what's left of my evenings everyday are free cause they are asleep (all the other missionaries get to hang out or bring special treats, or watch movies with, ect because their dorms are older and have a much later bedtime)...unless there's one that's sick or an emergency.

  • Celia for making me feel so welcome and inviting me over lots for really yummy meals, tea, conversations, and chocolate in the evenings

  • All the tots in the babyhouse that think it's fun to take medicine which makes my job even easier cause this wkend (Fri-Sun) I will have given out over 150 meds with over half of which I had to cut, crush, mix, ect before administering. Everyone go out right now and hug a pharmacist (ok you can finish reading the blog first). We can't get peds meds here and nothing comes in oral forms so we get yucky tablets that we cut into the right dosage, crush, and mix with a little sugar water to make the medicine go down just like Mary Poppins....and it works. Sometimes when i call the child's name (cause i still haven't learned all 40 names) and then pray the kids not just wanting to take meds but actually is the right child...the kids all point to the right one, jump up and down, and chant the other kids name till they take the med....oh how easily they are amused. I have never seen so many kids liking to take disgusting tasting multivitamins....yuck!

  • Portuguese lessons....for the very obvious reason!

I promise I'll take pictures soon....especially of all the cute little tots. I just never find a moment currently...but at least you have a few (of my room)! Praise God for getting to sleep in this morning, this coming Monday and on Tuesday. YES!!!


Not quite home yet

Today I just wanted to share a few snapshots of moments that I've experienced this week. It's the reason I'm here:
  • several children under the age of twelve coming foward and kneeling before the Lord at the front of church during worship Sunday singing with all their hearts, arms outstretched, some with faces to the ground as they soak in His glory completely unaware of how it looks or what people think
  • being greeted by all the tots in the baby house everytime I walk in the doors with lots of screams, smiles, giggles, baby babble, portuguese I can't understand, but mostly outstretched hands, waves, and hugs
  • the youngest baby room of 8 learning that their favorite word of the week is hola and uh oh this week......so now they all say it to me and wave whenever I come in their room (5 months-17 months). probably cause it's what I say all the time. But they think it's a fun game and that I should respond ALL the time. Today I was really trying to get work done in my "office" that happens to be the closet in their room...the twins are on either side of the door and can swing it back and forth to each other. They kept saying hola over and over getting louder in unison till I stopped and answered back. So I decided I would shut the door and they would forget I was in there. Not so fast. One of the twins started saying uh oh and screaming really loudly till he could get the door back open then started back up with the holas. A few minutes later my counterpart Erin 1 walked in the door and had to take a phone call. She decided she couldn't hear over all the baby babble so she shut the door completely. Well after about a minute of hearing the door knob jiggle, Francisco figured out he wasn't going to be able to open it and he started screaming and crying and the rest joined in. Finally I opened the door bak up and immediately all their tears dried up and they started right back in with "Hola!" and waving. They are a mess but I love them! Did I mention if I don't come right in and give them a hug when they are in their cribs they start saying hola and wiggling their fingers at me to get me to come over and when I do they wrap their tiny fingers around me and start hugging and smiling. It's incredibly precious. And to think most of these tots came in to us within the last 6 months malnourished, very sick, and near death at times!
  • A new intake of a 6 year old girl that has been left at home alone all day while her caretaker 16 yr old brother is away at school. She was being sexually abused during those times she was alone. She immediately adapted to being placed in our center. In just an hour she was all smiles, playing with the other kids in her house, laughing, and immediately taking to mana Tracey as her new mom, provider, and protector.
  • starting building plans on a new nursery for 8 more babies under 6 months since we are over capacity in our current casa dos bebes (baby house)! It will hopefully be up and running in just a few short months (oh and yes, they will fall under my care as well)

I've been reading a devotion provided by one of my good friends (thanks Andrea) and last night's chapter really encouraged me for the moments when things here get hard (as they easily can when you work and LIVE with over 300 children fulltime). They were scriptures all referring to walking with our Lord and His ways. I am here because His paths have directed me here. They may not always be the ones I would choose or the smoothest, but they are His and I am trusting and resting in my faith that He will provide and protect. Here were some that really spoke to me:

"Your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth."- Psalm 26:3

"The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them." -Hosea 14:9

"Let us walk in the light of the Lord" -Isaiah 2:5

"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voic behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it." -Isaiah 30:21

"Love the LORD your God...walk in all his ways...hold fast to him."-Deuteronomy 11:22

"The Lord will establish you...if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in his ways." -Deuteronomy 28:9

"I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble." -Proverbs 4:11-12

"The LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless." -Psalm 84:11


  • for me settling in here and transitioning into a healthy schedule of rest, God time, and time to study Portuguese along with the rest of my responsibilities.
  • language acquisition (I'm taking 4 hours a week from a private tutor with three other new girls, plus one of the other Brazilian missionaries whose fluent in English as her third language offered to help me one-on-one if we can find a weekly timeslot)
  • for health and strength (most all the kids and missionaries are getting sick since the temperature swings almost 40 degrees daily)
  • for the new Mozambican nurse that is starting on Monday (and speaks not a word of English) to be knowledgeable, teachable, dedicated, and patient as I will be training her. Ha Ha.
  • for all the 40 children under my care and wisdom for me as I care for them. I'm acting as pediatric nurse practicioner, pharmacist, physical therapist, case worker, nurse, mom, nutritionalist, and medical director.
  • Praise! Everyone has been amazing to me here. So patient, encouraging, and loving. They have opened their homes to me, cooked for me, loved on me, and just in general invited me into their lives. For this I am thankful and grateful!
  • Tino died 1 week ago. He quietly took his last breath at the dinner table. He jumped lovingly into our makers hands without pain or the seizures he had been having throughout the past months. He was a 4 year old quite a few of you heard about earlier in the year who had a lot of chronic conditions before he got very very sick and was realeased back from the hospital with a feeding tube in a vegetative state back to us at the center to love on. He can now see perfectly, run without limps, is strong and healthy, has no pains, can stand tall and is dancing with Our Father!


I'm here and jumping in!

Well, I'm safe and sound here in Maputo and trying to get all settled in. All the other missionaries have been so great. Really warm and welcoming. Two of the girls made me dinner the first night and it was just a good chance to get to know them better. Tues night myself and 2 of the other newer missionaries (one just arrived last week) and I went over to the director's homes to have dinner and chat! Yesterday I started getting my feet wet in the baby house as well as going out into the city with 2 of the girls to get some of the things I would need for my place. So now I have a comforter, sheets, bath towels, a lamp, a nice wicker chair to sit in, and lots of other stock things you always have to get when you first moved into a place...plus FOOD! Today I dove into the baby house pretty much all day and then tried to rearrange things the way I like them so my room feels homey. One day, I'll find a nice rug for the floor and get around to painting one of the walls with an accent colors and find some decent material to make curtains from.....but for now at least it's starting to feel like more of it's mine.

There's tons to do cause we just lost our Mozambican nurse and we're looking for another COMPETENT one that can help me in the baby house. There's a lot of changes myself and the director (Ros-a nurse from Australia) want to make in there as far as medical care and how everything's run/kept up with ect. Even as simple as immunization schedules and keeping on top of 40 kids. We're trying to get it done before we get another nurse hired so that we won't be too confusing for her. And I can't understand the children or the tias (aunt in portuguese..the caregivers for the babies) and to make matters worse the other nurse (mana Erin 1) went to Portugal for 2 months before coming here and is really good so now everyone's getting us confused and keeps thinking I speak portuguese...ha ha (did i mention we are practically the same hieght, same build, same hair color, and similar features?? besides the fact that we are both Erin W). Mana Erin 2 does not speak portuguese(that's what the kids call us actually, except it's un and dos instead of 1 and 2. We're trying to work out private tutoring lessons here on the base for myself and 3 of the other newer missionaries to help jump start us.

The internet's been down the last few days so don't feel bad if I haven't responded quickly enough...it'll prob. be the norm anyway. I'm way behind on season finales so no one tell me about htem. I'll probably get around to that too. But it seems like there's never enough time. Time moves really fast here and I can't believe it's already thursday night as I'm writing this. Wish I had something amazing to say, but really...I'm just glad my luggage came the next day and NOTHING was taken from it. Also that I have yet to be bitten by any strange bug..and only 1 or two mosquitos (pesky critters). I know this is right where I am meant to be and can't wait for everything He has planned to unfold. I know that many challenges and hurdles are going to arise. I already have much to learn. But, I'm excited and can't wait to share the amazing things happening her. As for me, right now I gotta go check on a rash, another kid we think might have come down with dysentery(which is what ended up making all those babies sick for 2 months earlier part of the year)and start him on antibiotics if he does, give another round of meds, and cook/eat dinner all in less than an hour before church starts. Argh! Ok gotta run. Prayers for quick language acquisition please!!!!