Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Weekly Update 18: Loose Ends

This week's update is collection of many events. Jeri contracted malaria. In her absence the children and I went to an African wedding anniversary event. We discovered living worms in our water supply. The boys and I finally tried food prepared on the side of the highway. And I begin my last week of class time in appropriate technology for developing rural Africa. 

The biggest challenge this week has been Jeri's malaria. When we came to Africa we were told you don't prevent malaria you manage it. We daily take our anti-malaria pills and it seems the prevailing thought is not if you get malaria it's when. Jeri in her infinite kindness sacrificed her well being to go first. The World Health Organization estimates just over half a million people died in 2012 year from possible malaria related infection. But don't be afraid folks this ain't Ebola. Malaria is preventable and treatable and the mortality rate drops every year. Jeri took the local remedy, Artemesia tea (which tastes awful), and the pharmaceutical remedy which is a three day antibiotic. Five days later she's fine.  During the recovery she missed the big event of the season, the Mukasa's 25th wedding anniversary. 

A joyous event in any culture but our local YWAM Family, the Mukasas, have been especially blessed and chose their to share their special day with 40 other married couples. In addition to celebrating with our hosts these other couples were the center of attention. They had a processional, matching outfits, and gift exchanges. Food and cake was served to a packed hall of well over 300 people. We were just interested bystanders enjoying all of the festivities understanding none of the proceedings. This much spectacle was above and beyond even by Uganda standards and it reminded me that even in this "poor" nation poverty is a mindset not a lifetime sentence.

What is appropriate technology? Basically it's using what is available and affordable for the location you are in. As much as I wish there a Home Depot here to furnish all my construction needs the reality is I need to be able to do as much as I can and advance the local innovation with materials they can get. That sump pump would be a great resource to have but if we're in a village and they don't have the electricity to run it then it won't be of much use if I have to empty a water tank. We are working on a Rus Hand Pump, which only requires some pvc pipe and a couple of wooden blocks (Google it). When we get it running I'll post a video.

We are coming to the end of our course and nearing the next step of joining Staff and using what we've learned to bring up the community. It is a big step and we are glad we have you to pray us through it. If you have thought about an extra gift to send for the holidays now would be the time, anything sent after November 28 won't get to us until the end of December. Why the pics of Liesel in the header? She got her hair done by the local gal and was cuter than any other photos we had. Blessings.

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