Sunday, November 21, 2010
Posted by Kriss Gates
We had the opportunity to go to the maternity hospital for our service project. It was great!
We got to the hospital and the man in charge was very busy with a Polio vaccination drive, so he said that we could do whatever we wanted. We started by having the guys clean up the huge front area. The hospital is set back about 100 yards from the road, so our guys spread out and picked up all the garbage.
I walked around with the director and asked if they had any new babies? He took me to a room and showed me the 8 babies delivered that morning and it was only 9:30 am. Soooo darling!
They don't have little warming beds, or warm lights to keep them warm, so for the first couple of hours of life, they bundle the babies in these cute knitted outfits.
The director had told us last month, when we set up the project, they were hoping to paint in December. They told us this week that the funding hadn't come through for the paint, so we tackled washing up some things that were really bad. One of the worst things were that the walls and the doors had fingerprints and dirt and grime on them.
We didn't want to climb around the new mothers and babies, but we figured we could start by scrubbing all the doors and the jams around the doors. It was amazing the difference that it made.
This is the sister of one of the brand new babies. I guess if they don't have a babysitter, they just bring the kids with them to have the baby. They only stay at the hospital for a few hours, and then they go home.
Then, we washed the exterior walls of the front of the building, which is under a roof, and enclosed with a fence. It is the only waiting room for visitors waiting for the babies to be born, and it was very scary dirty.
I was so proud of our Elders! They had so much fun scrubbing the walls, that it was like Tom Sawyer whitewashing the fence. All of the kids in the neighborhood came over and wanted to help.
There were lots of children around, because of the polio immunization drive. I don't know if you have heard, but there has been a bad outbreak of polio in the Congo in the past couple of weeks... over 135 cases. Half of the people have died. All but five were in our city, Pointe Noire. Everyone is getting immunized with drops.
We might paint in December, if we can get some paint donated. Members of our extended family have decided to make receiving blankets for some of the babies to get to wrap up in and take home. Most of the babies leave wrapped in a towel or a pillow case. It's fun to have so many of you involved in serving in Africa.
Once again, we had a great time together, and when we were finished, we felt we had really accomplished something worthwhile.