Sunday, June 08, 2008

Students, Grading and Chocolate Kisses

The team of nursing students from Prairie College (PCAAT) has been here for a week and what a full week it has been! For the first week, they’ve split into 2 teams: one focused on activities in the mission school, and one focused in the mission’s immediate community and the nearby Pina School.

Taking in some of the realities here can be a challenge, and this little boy with extensive 2nd degree burns was one of those this past week. We first saw him on Friday and Suzanne (one of the instructors), 2 of the students, and the socorristas tackled changing his dressings. On Saturday he was due for dressing changes again and I couldn’t help but take this picture of the clinic table half way through the procedure complete with nearly all of the prescribed essentials one needs in order to treat burns: Flamazine cream, sterile dressings, tensors, Flintstone vitamins, children’s Tylenol and Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses (for the patients, of course)!

And the perk of the day for this young man was a new pair of flashy shorts and a bright red Billabong T-shirt. (Eduardo, after his dressings were done, with his mom and little brother).

The grading that was done this past week had nothing at all to do with the students, by the way. After waiting for many, many months, our name finally rose to the top of the list to rent this grader to have our roads and the training center site contoured! The grader spent 3 days here crawling up and down our entry road transforming an otherwise bumpy ride into a relatively smooth one. The rearranging of soil transformed it from its relatively compact composition into heaps of fine, fluffy dirt (akin to icing sugar) which billows great clouds of dust every time a car drives over it, regardless of how slow it’s going. A bit of rain would be nice about now to pack it back in place, but hey, who’s complaining? Compared to the swamp these roads were this past December and the pain it was to get stuck in them, nicely contoured dust tracks are most certainly welcome!

As the grader worked to level the training centre site, it had to cut down about 75 cm along the top boundary which happened to have a termite mound nearby (the little hill behind Dwight and my dad). As it turned out, the mound’s base was much more extensive than we’d thought, rather like an iceberg, and the skimming off of the top layers of dirt revealed many tunnels and holes that these busy little guys had been mining, as we figured, for many years!

What’s amazing is that these termites are very small compared to their huge underground city (the little white “thing” in the below photo is a termite). What productivity! Hope they don’t mind us moving in on their territory.

Unloading clay roof tiles for our house, two tiles at a time. Progress on our house is on the back burner for awhile as we wait for wood for the trusses (there always seems to be something to slow things down).

I guess we should take our encouragement from the termites. Progress doesn't always race forward. Sometimes it only happens one small step at a time.


ruth said...

I'm sure Royden wishes he could have been there to see those termites!!

Russoft said...

wow, lots has happened. You guys seem to be pretty busy little bees down there.