World Cup

This morning was my last day of feeding therapy. I'm so sad! I'm really hoping next Friday we can do a little bit of language and feeding so I can see my little feeders again! Caroline assigned us each to two babies who we would have a 30 minute session with individually. I met with Dennis, my little love, first. He may be little, but I really think he recognizes me because anytime he sees my face, a big grin comes onto his face! That session was "easy" and really fun with my little man. Next, I had Choolwe. He was my "challenge" baby.

He is a precious baby, but he is completely enamored with Caroline. He wanted nothing to do with me and continuously searched around for Caroline. This involved a lot of head flopping and quite a bit of pathetic crying. I don't mean for pathetic to sound mean, but that's really the only word I have for Choolwe's cry. He has only learned this certain cry since our group has been here... we're pretty sure he started to realize that he got some attention when he cried this way. Now, it just kind of makes us laugh and he sees us laughing and quickly stops. He's funny like that.

This afternoon, Caroline was going to give us the last hour to do some work on our capstone projects so we decided to split the time with Haven 1 and 3. We went to Haven 3 first... and ended up staying there the whole time! We brought our babies out on the porch and since none of them had bottles, we decided to get their stretches in and do some sitting and tummy time with language stim. The aunties always want the babies to have hats on when they go outside, so... Lace and I decided to make Dennis and Matt a little bit gangsta... They were too cute!

Shelby and Sidney were dressed in very similar little outfits so of course we had to get pictures of them! Shelby is such a happy baby, and Sidney is doing so much better!
By the end of therapy, I was laying on the ground with little Dennis on my chest. Caroline deemed it cuddle time and we were more than happy to give a little extra love to our babies! I don't even want to think about leaving them yet. Finally, we had to put them back in their rooms and say bye for the day. Caroline walked over to Eric's house with me. Eric's house is run the Roy and Cathy Merritt, the missionaries here, and is basically an orphanage for kids ages 4 and up. It is right across the street from the Haven and it's beautiful! I needed to find some 4 year old children for my capstone project and one of the ladies there helped gather some up for me. We ended up just playing with some puzzles and reading a few books to let them get used to me. It was a little hectic, but it helped me realize a few tweaks I need to make for my project! Here is sweet little George contemplating his puzzle:
Caroline and I headed back over to Haven 1 to meet up with everyone. When we walked in, the TV was on and about 10 men, including the preacher and Edwin (our luggage savior) and Ian, were huddled around it watching the first game of the World Cup- Mexico vs. South Africa! Lace and I both watched it with them until we had to leave. We are in Africa. The World Cup is in Africa. Legit.

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Paper Planes

This morning, Caroline informed us right before we entered Haven 3 (literally, I had my hand on the door knob) that we would each be leading a feeding session. Way to spring it on us! But it was totally fine. I went first and just "led" the group through all the activities (Beckmann exercises, tummy time, sitting practice, and feeding with language stim mixed all in). I felt really good about it and I realized I've learned a whole lot from Caroline! When we moved to Haven 1, Caroline let Lacey do the group while she checked Alfred out. Alfred has been at the Haven about a week and he is one month old. For the past few days, we've seen him have nasal regurgitation a few times. That's because he has poor velopharyngeal closure and the liquid was going up and out his nose instead of down his esophagus. Caroline quickly discovered that Alfred was in respiratory distress and he was taken to the clinic. It ended up being a very hectic situation for B Weave, Caroline, and the aunties. We found out later this afternoon that they are pretty sure Alfred has aspiration pneumonia. We are all praying he will get better!

This afternoon we stayed home. The first half of the afternoon we were able to rest and work on a few things. Then.... Caroline gave us an excellent little crash course in pediatric dysphagia! So now, we know everything there is to know about it... just kidding! But seriously, Caroline did an excellent job.

After dinner, Mrs. Ellie Hamby invited us to come back to her house to watch the first episode of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. It is a show that was on HBO about a woman in Botswana. Before we left to walk over, a few of us were sitting in the living room and were playing some music on our laptops. As we were walking out, I just felt the urge to put on Paper Planes by MIA. As soon as I did, everyone started dancing! So we walked towards the Hamby house with my laptop propped on my shoulder like a boom box. It was awesome. When we showed up, we saw that we have been doing movie night all wrong. Mrs. Hamby has a big screen with the show projected onto it, and a table full of popcorn, ice cream, and cokes! What a great night!

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The Circle of Life

It's times like this that I wish I wrote more eloquently.This morning when we arrived at the Haven we got the news that one of the babies, Kelly, passed away last night. Kelly and her twin, Kelsey, were really tiny. A few days ago we all really noticed that Kelly's breathing was really labored and she was really fussy. Yesterday both girls went to the hospital for the second time in a few days and Kelly just didn't make it. Dr. Weaver talked with us before we even came to Africa that it was a possibility we might be there during the death of one of the babies, but we were all praying it wouldn't happen. It was tough, but we went on a did our morning therapy sessions. I think we all gave a little extra love to the other babies this morning. The babies were extra smiley and quickly cheered us up. Especially when we saw Bennett, who was dressed in a pink bear suit! We never know what crazy outfits these babies will be in.After lunch, we all loaded up in Red Fred (Khaki Jackie was in Lusaka picking up Carrie Tullos) and it was an experience. He was not all he's cracked up to be! He sure looks cool, but it took a few tries putting it in first gear just to get out of our driveway. Luckily we made it to the Haven safely! We had to wait for the family to get back from Kalomo for the burial, so we ended up having about an hour to just love on the babies. No therapy, just love. It was much needed! When everyone arrived, we walked out behind the Haven for the burial. The preacher from the church here on the mission spoke and said a few prayers (all in Tongan). While the men took turns shoveling the dirt back onto the grave, the women sang hymns. It was so hard and we all cried, even though we know Kelly is in Jesus' arms now. We are all praying that this is the only burial we have to have this summer. We love all of these babies so much.

When we made it back home, the Tulli had returned from Lusaka with Mrs. Carrie. We all greeted Ian with a "happy birthday!" because today is his 13th birthday! He was so excited. For his "party" we drove out to Jordan's Rock and roasted hot dogs and ate homemade guacamole! It was a lot of fun. This little rock is literally in the middle of the bush. We watched the sun go down and right at sunset, we surprised Ian. We had brought our speakers and played "Circle of Life" while Dr. Tullos held Ian up like Simba. It was hilarioussss and Ian couldn't stop laughing. Then we had cake and roasted marshmallows as the sun continued to set. It was beautiful! Perfect ending to a long day. We mourned death and celebrated life. It really is the circle of life.
On Jordan's Rock! Love you babe!

Simba... or Ian!

Gorgeous sunset to end the day... look closely- you can see the first star of the night!

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"No Matter What"

Well... the internet has been out ALL weekend long! Well, not all weekend, but definitely off anytime I really needed it. Which was very unfortunate since I had to miss 2 Skype dates with my Dad! Bummer. So... I need to fill you in on everything that's been going on!

Friday was my last day of language therapy... for that week anyway. It was getting a little crazy and I could tell even the kids needed a little weekend break. We did do the little language "safari" with Haven 3 and they loved it. That's what the pictures from the previous post are from. Friday night we decided to continue the tradition of movie night and we watched Hope Floats... great movie, but we all decided we wished hope would have floated more than the last 5 minutes of the movie!

The next day we canceled our breakfast with Leonard and got to sleep in! It was so needed... but when I woke up, I had a nasty cold! Since the internet was out, we spent the morning either sleeping or reading. After lunch, we headed into Kalomo for some shopping in the market. Kaylee, Lacey, and I figured we were good on our market purchases and really just wanted to get a snack at the little fast food place and then buy cokes and snacks from the little convenient store. When we walked back there, we found out that both of those places were closed! Big bummer. So we went on a wild goose chase looking for Cokes and ended up going in a few shady stores before finding what we wanted! We were so glad when we finally had our cokes and waters in hand. The road from Kalomo to Namwianga is a pretty decent little drive. A couple miles if you're walking... which most people do. Everytime we drive it, the Zambians try to flag us down to catch a ride. With all 12 of us in there, Khaki Jackie is already packed. The Zambian motto is "there's always room for 1 more!"... however, we are not Zambians and normally we decide there really isn't any room. That may sound terrible, but it's normally groups of people asking for rides, and there is really just no way. On Saturday as we were coming back to Namwianga, we passed a guy who held out his hand trying to wave us down. When we passed, he immediately started running thinking we were going to stop for him. Someone noticed his walking stick and pointed out that the man was blind. We all decided that this time, there was definitely room for 1 more! We stopped and Catherine, who was sitting on the end, helped the guy into the van and he rode with us back to the college. Turns out he was in Dr. Tullos' speech class and his name is Francis. He had walked to Kalomo that morning to buy a big bucket to keep clean water in. That is a LONG walk to just buy a bucket. Especially if you are blind! We were so happy we were able to give him a ride back. Our generosity even made Dr. Weaver cry. She said she was so proud of us, but all we could think was how could we NOT have stopped??

We spent the rest of the day reading, but by after dinner, I felt pretty miserable. I ended up taking some niquil and conking out by 7! If you know me at all, you know how ridiculous that is. The next morning, I still felt pretty bad. We went to church and then outside to have children's Bible class. We had leftovers for lunch and then we had from 1 til 5:30 to do whatever! I think half of us read and the other half slept. I read the entire 1st book of the Percy Jackson series. It was great! So much better than the movie- surprise surprise. For dinner we had "toasted cheese" or grilled cheese sandwiches with chips! One of the favorites around here, for sure. Bad news of the day was that Sarah had strep throat, Lacey has a stomach flu, I still had a bad cold, and Caroline's grandfather passed away. Since we had all that going on, that half of our group stayed home from church and were asleep by the time everyone else got home!

This morning Sarah and I were both feeling better, but Lacey spent the whole night with a bucket. Poor thing! She is getting better all the time, but we're still not sure if she'll be able to come to the Haven tomorrow. After breakfast, we headed to the Haven. The first half of this week I'll be with Caroline doing the feeding groups! I was so excited to be back! I had missed those babies! All of our babies were doing great! Hamilton is getting to be a little fatty cheeks. We're still working with him, but prayers are working! Miller went to the nurse this morning, and Hamilton, Lushomo, and Alfred fell asleep so it was just Wesley and the girls left this morning. Caroline decided to pull out a book to read to them while they practiced sitting up. The book is called "No Matter What" about a baby fox and his mamma. The baby asks the mom "what if I was.... would you still love me?" and the mamma always replies with "I'll always love you, no matter what." Well at one point the baby asks, "What if you are far away? Does your love go, too, or does it stay?" And the mamma's reply was so sweet that we just couldn't help it... Jaime and I both teared up! Really? Really. We're saps.

The morning flew by and pretty soon it was time for lunch. We had enchiladas, rice, and......SALSA! Kaylee was more than happy. If you don't know Kaylee, well, salsa is basically her favorite food and she has been dreaming of it everyday since we had it last- which was at OTB in the Atlanta airport! This afternoon we spent almost our entire time at Haven 3 with at least one of us changing a diaper. Those kids were exploding. Dennis downed his bottle so fast this afternoon, though! He was a little champ. In Haven 1, we sat all of our babies in the little cradle roll table to try out feeding them rice cereal (which is just a powder formula mixed with water so it's kind of baby food consistency). Some of them were great with it! Others... well, they got it all over themselves and all over us! Caroline did warn us at the very beginning that feeding therapy was messy. And she was so right! But I really am having fun with it so it's okay!Miller, Lushomo, and Hamilton with Ian about to start feeding therapy with rice cereal!

Tonight we're doing Zumba and reading... both our favorite past times here in Zambia!

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Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.

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I'm a graduate student working to become a Speech-Language Pathologist. I'm in love with my best friend, Jordan. I love cheese. I love elephants. I love reading.

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