Saturday, August 30, 2008

What a Week!!!

I think the title of this post says it all - what a week! I've tried to post once already, but I got interrupted half way through and never finished writing...that's kind of how this week has been!
On Monday we left for Accra to pick up a new missionary. He is here to meet us and to see Kumasi so he could pray about bringing his family to work with us for a while before they go out to start a church. He flew in on Tuesday morning and we spent all day Tuesday picking up governmental paperwork and checking out different places he can get the things he needs for his family to move here. On Wednesday we headed back to Kumasi and tried to get back into a bit of a routine. Thursday was visitation day and Bible study night (did I mention the downpour of rain?). It was quite interesting since our Bible study meets outside! Friday morning John and the new missionary went all over Kumasi looking at possibilities and prices for furniture, appliances, household items, and cars. By the time they got back, it was time for me to go visiting with Gifty. Our main goal was to find Martha. After a bit of walking, we found her at work, but we had to wait until she finished (in the rain). The quickest way to get to her house is not the main road, but over an "Indiana Jones" bridge, as we call them. An "Indiana Jones" bridge is made from whatever the builders can find - metal pieces or plates, wood scraps, plywood, logs, etc. Well, this particular bridge is made mostly of rusty, old metal plates. Stupid me didn't have on my good walking shoes...I wasn't paying close attention as I walked, because I was trying to understanding everything Martha was saying in verrrrrrrry fast Twi...the guy in front of me stepped on the front of the plate just as I was about to step on the shoe and foot caught inbetween the metal plates...and, I sliced two of my toes on my left foot quite nicely. Gifty flipped out; Martha flipped out; the crowd of ten people who managed to squeeze on the bridge around me flipped out. I had some tissue in my bag so shoved that around my toes and had to limp to the closest pharmacy shop. I bought some gauze, plaster tape, and gentian violet (kind of like betadine, but bright purple), then Gifty, Martha, and I tried to fix up my toes so I could get home. We finally got it done, but not before staining everyone's hands and my feet purple. We caught a car...and I got home an hour and a half late. John was very worried about my toes and very sweetly volunteered to go buy chop (African fast food) so I wouldn't have to cook. While he and the other missionary were gone, Ella got the bottle of Gentian violet (used like antibiotic ointment) mixed with powdered antibiotics and starts to drink it. I had just gone to my room for a second when Carey starts screaming. She grabbed the bottle from Ella and threw it, but not before Ella got some down her throat. I came hobbling out - purple is everywhere - the chair, the floor, Carey's clothes and shoes, and Ella's mouth, face, hands, and dress. Since there is no poison control here, and the only hospital open on a Friday night is on the other side of town (and does not have a stomach pump), I grabbed my handy-dandy copy of "Where There is No Doctor" (the best book for a missionary living in a third world country). I looked up "poisoning" - it said to make her vomit by putting my finger down her throat. I tried three times - nothing! I guess I never have to worry about her becoming bulimic! I tried making her drink salt water - nothing! I couldn't find my syrup of ipecac anywhere. By this time, Ella was screaming and crying (probably trying to figure out why Mom is shoving her finger down her throat), Carey was bawling because she didn't want her sister to die, and I was crying, because I couldn't get Ella to vomit or get John on the phone! John and Andrew showed up in the middle of the confusion. He grabbed Ella and starts shoving his finger down her throat and tells me to google Gentian Violet to find out if it is actually poisonous or not. Then Andrew, the new missionary remembered that he had brought some activated charcoal with him. In the end, we found out that although it is not good to drink, it is not toxic, but we made Ella drink a cup of activated charcoal and water anyway.
Now it is Saturday morning, I'm tired, and my foot hurts, but Ella is fine (besides a few disgusting dirty diapers), and I will be fine now that I've vented all my frustrations on my blog :) Hope everyone reading this has a great week with a little less excitement than my own!


  1. Patty,

    What a week indeed! How do you do it? I freak out about stuff here in the states, and you handle things in Africa so great. Please let me know your secret. We are praying for you, John and the girls.

  2. Oh dear! Hope this week goes smoother for you!

  3. Oh Patty! What a story! In hindsight do you read your blog and laugh at all of the choas? Believe as a fellow mother, I know in the midst of it all it is not funny at all but scary. I can't even imagine how scary that would be without the conveniences we have here in the USA. I even have a pediatric emergency room we can go to. Your blog reminds me everytime of how spoiled I am. When I think I have it bad, it is way more than what you guys have available to you on a daily basis. I am glad that Ella is alright. How is your foot healing?

  4. Wow girl! I'm sure glad that after all of that, everyone is ok! You are right..what a week!! Thanks for the info. on Amy. It's so hard to believe really. I will definitely try and get in touch with her.

  5. Patty,
    Sounds like quite a week. You wonder what was going through Ella's mind as everyone was sticking their fingers in her mouth. I am glad you made it through. Hope you foot heals up fast. We are praying for you.
    Love and prayers,