We had a chance to visit a hospital in Lubumbashi a couple of times this week with the Wrights (the couple in charge of finance here in the mission). One of the new members of the church was ill, so they were visiting.
The hospital reminded us of an old orphanage. When you go inside, it is quite old, has no lights (we went at dusk and had to use our small emergency flashlights to see!), and is bare-bones. We climbed some rickety wood stairs to the second floor where “Precious” (the young female church member) was placed in a small room with four beds. She and her family were there (one bed was open, so they were sitting on her bed, and the unused bed). The presence of the four of us missionaries filled the tiny room.
We met Precious’ mother, who had traveled here from outside the country when she heard her daughter was having an operation.
So, this is how it works in the hospital: they give you drugs for the operation, and some just afterward. That’s it. You get a bed, but no water, food, meds, or anything else– all of these things must be provided by your family.
Our newest home-made treat: small tortillas. We now have a pressure cooker, so will buy stuff at the local petit marche, where we buy stuff off the street (like rice, beans, etc., that can be cooked). So we have been able to make great tacos and Mexican food, with beans, home-made salsa, cheese, meat, even some cilantro!
Terri took this picture of a young girl who was left at the side of the road by her family. There was some kind of argument, and she was left there. [EDIT BY TERRI] I had a post all set in my head but of course never had time to get around to it. But here’s the real story for the picture above. I saw this young girl walking toward the main road together. On their return trip, it was obvious that she did not want to go home and her older brother was carrying/dragging her. Well, he got tired of doing that and I suppose gave her the old tried-and-true, “you either do what I say or get out of the car and walk home” to which she said, “Fine!” and plopped herself on the ground. She cried and wailed (and I do mean WAILED) for about 15-20 minutes or so at which time no one returned to fetch her and so she started to play in the sand alongside the road, building things and dumping it all over her. After about another 20 minutes, she saw a baby about 18 months old toddle into the road (not a main road, but a larger than normal village road), so she got up, picked up the baby and carried him/her home on her back. She returned to the road a bit later, I assume having returned the baby home, and headed off to her own home – the hurt finally healed. Now how many of us have EVER ACTUALLY left our child at the side of the road. Ah, Congo – – – it has much to teach us all!