Saturday, September 29, 2012

Stitches out!

Lydia's doctor had an emergency surgery to perform Thursday night, so our appointment was changed to last night. Lydia and I went by ourselves; Kaylee stayed home with Anne and Addi.

I prepped her throughout the day, so she knew what to expect.  She was talking all about it earlier, but got shy once I turned on the camera. :)

(And no, it wasn't a good time for Addi to play in the dirt!)

When it was our turn, the doctor looked at the stitches, then sent us down the street to the pharmacy to pick up a disposable scalpel blade.  It cost us 1 Boliviano (about 14 cents).  We then returned to his office.

I should mention that his office is downtown and is just that: an office.  It does have a small examination bed in it, but other than that it is all desk and bookshelves.

He had me lay Lydia down on the bed, then called in the receptionist.  She held his smartphone for light (!) and I held her hands while he removed 6 of the 7 stitches.  He left the one closest to her eye and said it will come out on its own within a few days.

Lydia did fantastic through it all!  She didn't wiggle at all and kept her eyes open, looking straight ahead the whole time.  The only thing she said was, "I don't like the knife." :)

This is how it looks today:

Pretty good!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Update on Lydia

It's been a week since Lydia's accident and she's doing great!

I took this photo the morning after; having a bad eye definitely didn't steal her joy!

The swelling was so bad she couldn't see anything out of it the first day, but it has progressively gone down and is almost completely gone now.  We took her to the doctor on Monday for a follow-up and he said it looks great.  We then took her out for a treat:

I'm taking her back to the doctor tonight, hopefully to get the stitches out.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jungle Fishing Adventure!

Over the weekend, I went on a men's retreat with 7 other guys from church.  We went to the Chapare region for 3 days of camping, fishing, and fellowship.  You can read about it on my personal blog, here: The Thinker Tinker.

Lydia and the Emergency Room

Today started out like a normal day. I had class in the morning, an appointment after class and then returned home. Nathan and the girls spent the morning working in the yard, cleaning things up and prepping for a mission get together we're having here tomorrow night. 

Caution: It gets bloody.

Then around 11:45 I heard a huge crash. I immediately ran, knowing that a large glass corner shelf (that belongs with the house) had fallen, praying that no one was hurt. All I could see was Lydia's hand extending out and hear her crying. I picked up the shelf and immediately started screaming for Nathan. Her face was covered in blood and I couldn't even see one eye. Not knowing the extent of the injury or the amount of broken glass I chose to stay with her until Nathan came with a towel. We immediately called friends to see if they were available to take us to the ER. They were unavailable so Nathan called a taxi. I'm not sure how long we waited but it felt like forever.

We are both so thankful for our taxi driver. He was young but serious and obviously understood our stress. He drove quickly (no speed limits around here) but safely in and out of traffic and got us to our destination (on the opposite side of town) in good time. She was admitted to the ER (which is also currently under construction with workers passing through continually) and they started cleaning her up. At that point only Nathan was with her since only one of us could be. After a bit of time I switched places with him and he sat with the other two girls. We are also so thankful for our coworker, Dwight, who met us at the hospital and who was able to help watch the other two girls while Nathan did paperwork.

Lydia and I were then escorted to another part of the hospital. We ended up in one of the female workers' changing rooms where they had me put Lydia in scrubs. I asked one of the nurses what was going to happen and she said the doctor would come talk to me. They also said they would bring me scrubs and I would be able to stay with Lydia. But then was told the doctor only wanted Lydia and she was taken from me. At this point I didn't know whether she was having surgery or stitches. I really had no clue what was happening and I can promise it wasn't from a lack of understanding! They just weren't communicating nor answering questions!

After sitting patiently for a while in this "changing room" I finally asked a passing nurse if she knew anything. She told me Lydia was "in process" and I could see her in recovery when she was done. Thankfully that did happen. I was given scrubs, waited a bit more and then finally saw the doctor. He told me that she was doing fine. She was okay and that she would be out in a few moments. I asked a few questions and then a bit later saw Lydia. Thankfully we weren't separated again. We hung out in the recovery "room" for quite some time (another Bolivian style room that felt a bit more like a corner storage area).  Then they moved us to a second women's changing room where we waited and waited and waited some more.

Nathan, Dwight and the other two girls were waiting this whole time with less information than I had. Sadly I forgot my cell phone so I couldn't text to let him know what I knew or to know what they were doing. I was then told to wait a bit longer as we couldn't leave until things were paid for. The second time the nurse came around to let me know we were still waiting on money I asked if we could join Nathan and thankfully she let me.

The doctor's recommendations included a pain/anti-inflammatory prescription, nothing but Coca Cola or Fanta until 5:00pm (!), and an easy schedule for the next couple of days. We'll be seeing him again on Monday.

We are so thankful that Lydia is walking away with 7 stitches and a swollen black eye. She really could have been hurt so badly, lost an eye, puncture to the skull, etc. We thank God for His protection of her! And we are also so thankful for the many prayers that were being said while this was happening. (We really do appreciate Facebook!) 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Survival Mode

Getting out of Survival Mode and back into routine
 Twice since coming to Bolivia we have found ourselves in "Survival Mode." Many of you may have your own understanding of what that means when life gets crazy and you're barely hanging on. Today I would like to share with you what that looks like for us.

When we first arrived in country we were overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with a new language and a different culture, but it went much deeper than that. Every time we stepped out our door we didn't know how to conduct ourselves. We didn't know how to buy the food and supplies we needed. We didn't know what to expect for price and had the pressure of "don't spend too much. You're gringos, they'll try to scalp you!" We didn't know how to cook with the food we did obtain, especially at this altitude of 9,000ft (I'm pretty sure Nathan was worried we would be eating soup packets for the rest of our lives). We didn't know where to buy anything. And quite honestly, neither Nathan, nor I had ever lived in a city of 800,000, compacting the insecurities and anxieties we had. We were required to use public transportation, giving directions with minimal knowledge of the language and how to give directions (I handed my cell phone to a taxi driver once so Nathan could give him the directions!). Let's just say, life was hard. We were surviving, barely making it from one day to the next.

This feeling of survival mode definitely hit again the day that our land lady showed up and told us rather strongly that we needed to move out of her apartment. Once again we were in new territory. How do you look for a house in this country? What should we expect? What kind of contract do we sign? Nathan spent many days walking the streets looking for signs on the exterior of homes and asking at the tiendas for homes for rent (that's the way it's done here). He also jumped online and checked the newspaper every morning. He was stretched, incredibly stretched, as he made phone call after phone call. (Do you realize how hard it can be to make phone calls in your own language? Try doing it when there are not only Spanish speakers at the other end of the line, but also Quechua speakers trying to speak Spanish!) I found myself, sadly, in a fit of anxiety. I felt as if our lives as we know them here had been pulled out from under us and every day we were struggling to get food on the table, shop, think through all of the necessities for our children and accomplish the task of finding a house. I realize now that a great part of that survival mode for me this time was succumbing to my anxiety instead of trusting our great God for the provider He is and always has been for us. But this mode of survival is still a reality of this lifestyle and something we must be prepared for as drastic changes hit us in the future. I can imagine the survival mode we'll go through as we move into the tribe will be much larger.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Birthday UVPC!

Yes, that's right: is celebrating one year of "life!"

 As you support us in prayer, correspondence, and finances, we believe that we have a responsibility to keep you informed of just what exactly you are supporting! We thank God for this incredible technology that allows us to keep you up to date with our craziness, share photos, and give you insight into this amazing, complicated country.

 Over the past year:
-UVPC has been visited 1725 times by 816 computers in 58 countries!
-People in the United States contributed 1107 of those visits, from 40 states
-Montanans visited the site 599 times
-Our busiest day was Feb 1, with 50 visits
-348 people also looked at our photos

At the same time, we also launched a YouTube channel that currently has 38 videos that have been watched a total of 5320 times. The majority of those views are from Bolivians that watch videos we've taken of local events.

Thank you for visiting!  We hope that UVPC is an encouragement to you as you see what God is doing in, to, and through us.