Thursday, October 23, 2008

Challenges and scary stuff

Some weeks start off with a bang and then just keep going. This has been one of those!

On Monday, after devotions, a couple approached the socorristas (health post workers) and I with a sick 1-year-old child. The child had been sick for 6 days already and had been seen both at the health post and the nearest hospital where he was given Tylenol (paracetamol) and worm medicine for “stomach ache”, since that is what the father stated was wrong with him. When I asked the dad what the child’s symptoms were, he said, “He has a stomach ache”. A quick glance at the child told me his problem was more likely a raging pneumonia though. “Does he have a cough too?” I asked the dad. “Oh, yes, he does.” It was a great teaching opportunity, so we did a quick list of his symptoms: fever, rapid respirations, grunting, listlessness, cough.

“What do you think this looks like, guys?” I asked the socorristas.

They thought for a moment, then, “Pneumonia” one of them said tentatively.

“Yep. I think so too. Sometimes you can get thrown off by what someone says, so don’t ever forget use your powers of observation.”

I was glad we could send them on their way with prayer, some good antibiotics, Tylenol syrup and rehydration mix.

Recently, some new drugs (cotrimoxazole (antibiotic), nystatin suspension (antifungal) and albendazole (worm medicine)) have been added to the socorristas’ essential drugs kit which they receive from the health department each month.
They went for an orientation to these new drugs last week, but there was a glitch in the system and the training never happened. They had a quick introduction to them, then were sent back with the meds and told "You have a Canadian nurse there in the bush who can give you very good training on these meds!" Hence, an extra duty was added to my "to do" list and soon, so they could begin to use the new supplies! I had to put a few other jobs on the back burner that day, but it is sure nice to have access to more meds since we deal with such sick people who often don’t have the option of going to bigger hospitals.

As for those items that went on the back burner…well, they sort of stayed there for the remainder of the week because other more urgent needs kept cropping up, like getting photos of the feeding program, a visit to an orphan home, a trip to town to pick up renewed work permits (which weren’t even ready), minor work injuries to treat, and so on. Oh yes, there was another fire on the property this week as well, though I’m glad I didn’t have to go help put it out.

But we’re not ALL about work here. Sometimes we have fun too. I wasn’t sure if these photos of the ongoing weekly darts competition between the guys should go in here under “challenges” or “scary stuff”. Both categories apply, so I’m putting them here at the tail end of the week’s challenges and right before the scarier stuff.

The Dart Challenge


To get your darts to go to a very specific section on the dart board. (You need to do this with greater accuracy than your competitors if you expect to walk away with a shiny trophy for the week.)

Game Rules:

1. You have to stand behind the line (drawn with white chalk so you can't possibly miss it).

2. You have to hit the board, accurately--preferably, whilst standing behind the line. (This part really messes with my accuracy. From a foot way, I'm good. Much further though and my wayward darts aren’t healthy for the walls or anything/anyone else nearby. That's why I’m just a spectator.)

Helpful Hints:

1. Intimidate opponents (well, at least the camera) by making faces.

2. Line up that dart in front of your eye just so before throwing it. This increases accuracy.

3. Lean into your throw (to make this effective you will need to stick a foot out behind you for balance).

4. Hold your mouth just right while your dart sails to its rightful target.

Take that fine trophy home. If you didn’t win the trophy, challenge your opponents to another blistering game next week!

Moving along here (long post). For those of you who don’t like creepy crawlies you will want to skip the next few photos. I will, however, be putting cute-kid photos from our feeding program right at the end of this post, so don’t close your eyes for too long.

Scary Stuff:

I found this guy on my kitchen counter (!) the other night when I went to turn off the light before going to bed. Usually I’ll just smack a spider with my shoe if he’s somewhere he shouldn’t be, but this guy was too big to smack. So I grabbed a large glass mug instead to trap him under. The mouth of this glass has a diameter of 3 1/4 inches if that helps place things in perspective.

(A face only a mother could love :()

Once I was finished taking pictures, I had to figure out what to do with him. For some odd reason, I felt rather sorry for him so decided to let him go—in the direction AWAY from Kim’s tent...on the OTHER side of the house.

In the morning I showed one of the local staff the pictures I took. “Oh,” he said, “those spiders bite like crazy! They can even leave their ‘teeth’ in you. Their bite is like the bite of a snake, very painful and you can even die from it.” Nice. Good to know. (Aaaaagggghhhh! I should have killed it!) Here’s hoping he doesn’t find his way back and if he does, that he’ll remember my kindness to him. Of course, I was only kind because I was ignorant, but he doesn’t know that. :)

Okay, it's safe to open your eyes now for the cute kids!

Hamming it up for the camera...

They love having their photos taken, even if only their hands get in the shot!

Faces, well, all the better!
Fernando the Great Cook
Do they come any cuter than this?
Or this?

"Running water" at Mucombeze Interior Primary School

Preschooler who fell asleep while waiting for lunch. I like the MCEL (cell phone company) sticker on his forehead.
Get me, get me!

Smiling even though his friend is teasingly pulling his sideburns.

That's it!

Tips of the week:

1. Trust your powers of observation.
2. If you observe a large spider, consider killing him.
3. Love people...especially the little ones!



Royden Lepp said...

That appears to be a really large wolf spider. Nobody has ever died from a wolf spider bite, but yes, they're bite would hurt like heck and make you say bad words loudly.

Fun dart photos!

Ruth Trekofski said...

Ummm.... this actually your sister leaving a comment. I'm on Luke's laptop under mom & dad's account catching up on the bloggers! That was a pretty skookum 'spidey'& your camera is real good at close up shots too!!
Luv you,

this too will pass said...

fascinating blog

Anonymous said...

Hello Mrs. Lagore

I am an Education student graduating this year. I hope to go somewhere in Africa for a year to serve God and be mentored by a missionary/missionary family. Is there an email I can reach you at?

Thanks a lot!


ps. Did you know that other than the email signup on the SAM ministries website, there is no 'Contact Us' link? It makes it very hard for people like me who want more information to contact you!!!

L. Lagore said...

Hi Josh,

Sorry about the difficulty in getting ahold of us. We've worked on the "Contact Us" page in the past and assumed it was a go. You can email us at

Bob Guzak said...

Hi Lynn, Love the pictures. I miss the dart games and have fond memories of afternoons and evenings of throwing darts. The bugs get pretty wild don't they. As you might recall, I have never had a snake experience in Africa the many times I have been with you there,but our last trip to Oklahoma had some excitment as Dawn came pounding on the door to wake me that a 3 foot snake was in her back yard and she had trapped it under a pail and wanted me to come and get rid of it. I mananged to kill it with a shovel, but I thought it stange that in North America I would face a snake, but not in Mozambique. We really enjoy you blog. Please keep it up as much as you can and look forward to seeing you when you get here in spring.Say hi to all.
blessings from Bob and Sharon

Russoft said...

good post mom. I often forget to check the blog, but I find it eventually. Midterms are over so I'm not going at quite the insane pace and finally found time to read. That's a big spider! I'd guess a baboon spider (I think I'm getting the name right) and yes, more poisonous than a tarantula by quite a bit. We killed the last one we found after reading up on it just because of that. Oh well, Kim will be fine, hah. Hmmm, I need to come back there and win me that cool looking trophy! Where on earth did you guys find that?