Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fences, Feet, Freddie and Fun!

Here is Freddie, the baby boy of Fils, one of our interpreters, and his mom and dad. We went to their church meetings today to see Freddie blessed. Aren't they a cute family?

Above is a little guy at our club foot clinic having his cast removed by our own Dede and Elder B's leatherman tool. Worked great, and much faster than their serrated-edged knife or soaking the babies' legs in a bucket of water to soften the plaster. Dede would make an outstanding doctor -- he is very gentle and patient and loves children.

This may be a little hard to see, but here is Kisungu, our 3-week old baby who first came to the clinic 3 weeks ago with two club feet. After 3 castings, she has straight feet and no longer needs the casts! Her mom had her feet wrapped in the white tape so Dede removed it for the picture. Mom is very pleased with the results, and so are we. Our project at this clinic has been approved and we (LDS Humanitarian Services) will provide $15,000 worth of plaster bands and cotton for casting so many more babies such as Kisungu will have straight feet.

The Hatches and Binghams took a trip out to our little orphanage to build a fence. Here is little Nathan, the baby from an earlier blog. Such a cutie, but pretty solemn that day.

This young man at the orphanage had broken his femur (pretty serious break). The woman who runs the orphanage is a nurse, and she casted his leg and torso herself. Do you see that rod under his heel? That is a piece of tree branch she wrapped into the cast to stabilize his foot from turning while it heals. (So resourceful!) He will have the cast on for 3 months.

Here are some folding chairs (obviously). Now in the U.S., when we put away folding chairs, we first fold them up, then lean them in stacks upright against a wall, right? Or fold them up and stack them in a chair rack. But the Congolese are used to those plastic chairs that stack on top of each other. Hence, the folding chairs are stacked the same way!! Who cares if they fold up?

Back to the orphanage, we couples pitched in and bought the materials to have this fence built, and Elder B and Elder Hatch took us out there and set it up with rebar and wire. Now the kids can play ball without the ball rolling down the steep hillside into a very busy road!

The finished product with the children posing for us. We also took some cookies for them which were generously donated by our two guys who run our little store downstairs. Ali and Prem are the best!

Sister Hatch showing the children that she, too, can jump rope! Dig that totally African dress -- she had it made here.

Well, that's all for this week from the DR Congo!

We love you and hope you have a wonderful week ahead of you.