Update no. 3 from Kiwoko

Helen_byers Posted by Helen Byers on Tue, 20 Nov 2012 | 5 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

I’m sure you’re all delighted to hear that I survived my safari trip, didn’t even see a leopard so no chance of getting eaten by one (although there was a hippo grazing outside my tent). It was a wonderful weekend break and I came back to Kiwoko refreshed and ready to get back to work.

Every Tuesday I have been going to the HIV clinic to help out with dispensing of the antiretrovirals to the patients that attend there. The patients come every couple of months, have a physio session together, hear a talk maybe from the hospital chaplain, some health advice for example about diet or compliance, then they have the opportunity to see a doctor or a nutritionist or a counsellor and pick up a refill of their tablets. I am quite conflicted as to how I feel when I am there. On one hand I think its wonderful to see these people who seem very full of life receive good quality care. On the other hand I am saddened by the number of patients there are with this disease to start with, particularly the number of young women.

On another note, I finally cracked. It took me approximately 8 weeks but I cracked. I ate my Dairy Milk chocolate I had brought from home. I had been wielding this Dairy Milk like some sort of trophy, I was superhuman, I was in Africa but had no urge to eat the chocolate. I had already thought about what to do with it once the 12 weeks were up. Should I take it home again to prove some sort of point? Should I give it to someone as a present and rub it in that I had kept it all this time? But then alas I had some more small pest issues in the guest house and just like that the dream was over. I made myself a cup of Ugandan tea, opened my suitcase where I had it hidden, brought out the purple wrapped chocolate and promptly demolished it. So I’m sure you’re not surprised to learn that my willlpower is not as good as I may claim.

Last weekend we had another kids club and I was fortunate enough to be given the starring role as John the Baptist in the story. I didn’t even have to audition. I wasn’t even present at the meeting where I got the part. Funny how that happens. Anyway as part of getting into character I was dressed beautifully in a grass skirt and cow print shirt but for some reason I tied the shirt around my waist and wore the skirt around my shoulders. I know, I’m not sure why either. I was also given a bag full of grasshoppers to act as my locusts to go with my honey. Grasshoppers are in season at the minute and are actually a bit of a delicacy around here. So of course given my yes man approach (basically I’m trying to say yes to as much as possible while I’m here, although I shouldn’t advertise this in case anyone takes advantage…) I had to try one. I had second thoughts when I raised it to my lips and looked at its little eyes but it was fried already so there was no saving it now and down the hatch it went. All I can say is I won’t be eating another one.

Speaking of my yes man attitude, when I was approached and asked if I could share at morning prayers can you guess what my answer was? Naturally it was a yes albeit slightly reluctantly. Morning prayers is the daily worship service for the staff and students of the hospital at the start of each working day. I woke up the morning I was due to share like I have many times in my life wondering how on earth I got roped into my current situation but actually found I was really fortunate to be given the opportunity to speak and was very encouraged by the whole experience!

I talked about loneliness and what a heart breaking feeling it can be. We looked at Jeremiah and his isolation throughout his life and how his commitment and obedience to God sustained him. We also saw how Jesus endured utter loneliness on the cross so we never have to endure that separation from God. Preparing and considering this topic made me feel very blessed and protected as I am in a country 8,462 miles (according to Google maps, surprisingly this route also includes tolls and a ferry and will take me 195 hours) away from home in Northern Ireland, I came by myself not really knowing anyone and yet I am not lonely! What a wonderful recommendation for a community that a stranger can not feel lonely?

As they say here, Praise God. Amen.

Love Helen

Comments

Niall said Wed, 21 Nov 2012 05:47PM
8 weeks is impressive well done!! Proud of you for lasting that long HB, as usal it is lovely to hear of your endeavours and will continue to pray Gods richest blessings on your time in Uganda!!!
Paul Sayers said Thu, 22 Nov 2012 09:36AM
Hi Helen You are doing a great job at Kiwoko. We have a team of 10 going to the hospital Easter 2013. We hope to stay there for 2 weeks. James and Doreen told me you are in Uganda (think you know them)James has been a big supporter to Ignite. So was just reading the CMS News with interest and saw your name come up. Enjoy your last few months there and God Bless Paul.
Jenny Christie said Thu, 22 Nov 2012 09:43AM
Hi Helen - great blog chum (especially the Google maps note!)I am so glad that you are being so blessed in your time there - your attitude obviously helps!! Well done so far and keep 'er lit! Jenny C and the CMSI team NB. Luke 12:32
trevor anderson said Sat, 08 Dec 2012 05:54PM
Hi Alan, Glad to hear you survived the Safari and, presumably, the white water rafting. You may want to stay on just a little longer out there as I've had umpteen extra layers on since we got home last weekend. My wife is delighted as the heating has never been on for so long in our house. Anyway, I hope you enjoy your last few days in Kiwoko and have a safe journey home. Trevor x
Sarah Gamble said Sun, 16 Dec 2012 09:52AM
Hi Helen, We all enjoyed your most recent blog, especially the bit about the fried grasshopper! Hilarious! The chocolate challenge made us laugh too! So glad to hear you're human after all! We are looking forward to seeing you very soon. Have a safe trip home, love and prayers, Ric, Sarah, Peter and Grace xxxx

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