Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Time!! and a random assortment of other adventures...

Hello everyone! Sadly it has been forever since I've updated my blog. But I'm catching up now! So your in for quite a lot of pictures. I've written the stories below the appropriate pictures. Enjoy! No, I haven't changed...;-p still my goofy self. hehe Me and my friend Shannon were putting up Christmas lights in her room and we happened to have some left over sticky tack. This was the result... :-p
Havin' fun. Who says you have to grow up ;)
Around Christmas time, we usually have some fun family events. This Christmas we've done Christmas tree decorating. making decorations from cookies and paper chains and popcorn chains etc.
We also made gingerbread houses and decorated them! this was ours. :)
This was our team. :) [Sharon, Gini, Shannon, Me] We were in a self-imposed competition with another team of our friends. At one point, we each got a big glob of icing and went over to our rivals nonchalantly, and THEN...We iced them! hehee it was fun. We had a good time. We all felt like kids again! I said, "this is the most awesome gingerbread house i've ever made in my whole life!" Gini was like, "Its prolly because were all in our twenties Leah..." lol
Yum! candy! sugar! We said, "So how long we gotta leave em before we eat em?" Gini was like, "I'm thinking, decorate, take a picture, and dig in!" hahah don't worry we didn't eat our masterpiece. We just did plenty of taste testing in the process of making it. :D
Somehow I got icing on my face. And then it just happened to be in the shape of a heart! What are the chances!
Aww I love them ;)
The various artistically sweet structures on display
Yay for Christmas Fun!! :)

Dental Adventures!
So this first adventure was something else! One Incredible Crazy day!
But it started out so normal....

...One day this was the place we were supposed to do a dental clinic. It was way up in the mountains.
We got there and there were probably 300 people there! We found out there was a cancer screening, and weren't even sure if we were expected. Comfort ended up speaking to all of them on dental hygiene and Jesus.
They still wanted us to set up and we all decided we might as well set up outside on the porch. After all it was a beautiful day and inside was packed with people!
I set up sterilization in the back of the landrover! Coolest set up ever! Now that's extreme.
Josh came out as a helper
yep, portable sterilization. That's right :-p
This was the most adorable baby! and again, I love how Africans hold their babies on their backs. So handy! (or hands free) ;)
This was our porch. And look at the beautiful sunny day. We had no idea what was brewing...
Suddenly the skys started to darken and it started raining and then hailing!
This is Gini showin a piece of hail. But we thought ah we'll just work through it.
This is quite comical in light of how things progressed...
It started pouring rain and hailing harder.
We were getting pelted and wet so we had to stop. we thought we'd just wait it out. Note our translator standing in the window sill :-p
it continued to rain and hail
then the rain started draining off the building and making a big pool at the edge of the concrete. and it looked like it was snowing outsided as you can see by the grass.
within minutes the water had flooded our little porch completely and our shoes were gettin soaked.
We had to try to move everything off the ground and Everything was muddy!
Then we all retreated to the top of chairs, making an obstacle course of walking across them grabbing stuff and bringing it inside. it only helped a little, not really at all in the end. we were soaked through. :D
Look at that river! it came all the way up to the building wall!
We couldn't believe it and it was so crazy that it was actually exciting!
So remember Gini's hail from earlier? Well this hail has already melted some. It got to the full size of ping pong balls!
Finally we got everything moved inside and tried to clean it off as best we could.
I set up my sterilization on some chairs ;-p
This is what outside looked like. Who knew this could happen in Africa!
Then the electricity went off! haha
But I still had stuff i needed to sterilize. Dryness was unfamiliar by this time...
Cold and wet and Still havin fun!
The building was full of people! and it was dark. We decided it was silly to try to work in the dark and wasn't very safe anyway.
So we left and got some warm drinks of hot chocolate and coffee at a quaint little coffee shop.
Me, Sandra, and Sieh
So as we were at the coffee shop the owner comes up and asks us if we take care of teeth. She then proceeds to ask if we can pull one of her employee's teeth, because the woman had been in pain for weeks. So Dag (our head dentist) looked at Kura (another dentist who was there for a couple months) and they both said, Sure! lol! So we got the local anasthetic and some forceps from the back of the land rover and Dag pulled her tooth in the back room of the coffee shop! :) What a day!
Me and sandra standing in front of Dag while he pulls the ladies tooth.
And that was the end of one of our greatest dental adventures ever!

We also went to many other locations which I have some photos of below:
I love getting baby duty ;)
another mountain clinic
We get distracted on the way sometimes cause the views just must be captured!
This is the kind of houses the Zulus make around here :)
One day after work we went to take a walk by a beach. Beautiful! It's always fun going places after work cause we look like a family of smurfs, all of us in our matching blue scrubs! It must be quite a comical thing to see.
Left: Deb (photographer), Sieh, Kura, Gini, Sandra, Me, Comfort, Lady who set up the clinic, Dag So something I've loved from the moment we got here, is that you will see cows and bulls just walking the streets. Its great. :)
Clinic to the homeless in Downtown Durban!
One of our clinics was in downtown durban to the homeless. This little girl got her tooth pulled and was really scared so I held her for a really long time and became friends with her. She tagged along with me the rest of the day. I later found out that her mother had just died not long ago.
This homeless clinic was held in a church! and one day they had a little worship service.
everyone really got into it. It was fun!
The patients would go up and take turns leading songs. Or share the mic. This church is where they all came for a meal every day.
I held her for probably an hour. It was sweet. I think she just missed being held by a woman.
There were some other little kids that came too! This little one and I colored for a while.
Yes I actually do work :) not just play with cute kids (though I like that part a lot!)
This woman's name was "Precious." And she was just that. She was this little patite pregnant woman. She was kinda scared but ended up being really brave. Holding hands and reasuring people is another thing I get to do sometimes.
This was our set up in the church for the homeless.
These two women gave out bread every day at the church.
Some of the team for this particular clinic.
One more quick story about this homeless clinic: We had security (a married couple who were both in the marines. we'll call them Bob and Sue) come with us, because it was just a rough area. In the middle of the day Bob was standing out at the entrance by the street and all of a sudden he got light headed and passed out and supposedly bumped his head. When he woke up he wasn't quite coherant. I ended up being an ambulence driver that day. Dag asked me if I could drive Bob and Sue to the hospital so everyone else could continue working. So I grabbed my bag and the keys and off we went. First we tried a government hospital but they wouldn't see us immediately so we went to a private one across town! Who know's what will happen when yer with Mercy Ships! Craziness! Quite a lot of excitement. He stayed over night but is now fine.
Random pictures from other clinics:
sterilizing at another clinic.
Comfort teaches dental hygiene to the patients as they wait and also gives a message about Jesus.
Patients waiting to be seen.
Team photos! :)

Linde Tvet, a highschooler from one of the families on board, had a birthday sleepover party, where we all had fun being girls and dressing up. I was one of the responsible adults. It was a good time. :)
kisses for the birthday girl!
left to right: Danae, Alana, Bess, Linde, Hannah, Rachel, Me
Charlie's Angels anyone? (Linde, Me, Rachel)
Getting makeovers! (Me, Danae, Christina)

One Saturday they had a project to help paint the parsonage for a little church across the street. They have a new pastor coming and needed help fixing up the house it was fun. :) At another time, we also helped to paint a preschool (called a "Creche" here) and put letters and shapes and other things on the walls to make it fun for the kids.
I wasn't tall enough, so I made do with my resources! hehe
Ok so these pictures are out of order, but one Saturday we went ziplining! So fun. This picture was taken at the end of the day when we were leaving and Me and Angie decided to roll down a hill on the way to the cars :-p hehe oh to be kids!
I found a comfy spot on a vine while I waited for everyone else to finish the line. I'm very at home when i'm climbing around :-p
At one of the landings there was a really pretty waterfall. It is bigger than what you can see here.
Jesse, Me and Angie in the back of the truck on the way to the tree lines.
All suited up and ready to fly!
Our group picture at the end of the lines.
(from left to right: Tim, Me, clare, Rachel, Angie, Miriam, Gini (back), Steph, Jesse)
yay for friends :)
we had to slide, stop at the tree so we didn't hit it, pose and then swing on. haha
I'm comin in for a landing!
in the truck on the way to the beginning of the trail. I was so excited to get to ride in the back of a truck again! It's been too long!
So most of my time here in South Africa, I've worked in the Galley because there wasn't a whole lot of work for me on the dental team since things run so differently here. I've really enjoyed the change of pace. And I love the people I work with. Good people, Good food. Can it get any better!?
We were making... uh, something with flour! haha and kinda had some fun. :)
Left: Linde, Jesse, Me, Marilyn
Marilyn, James, Bendic, Linde, Me, Jesse (Jesse is the head chef)
The galley is where I'm currently working. I'm enjoying it. As things constantly change here (which i like), I've been asked to go back to the ship in the first week of January, to work in Reception again, and help with the training of new team members. Life is definately an adventure! and I'm so glad God's taken me on this one!

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!!! And a wonderful New Year!!

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