Hey guys here's the next post from my mom on Facebook! Keep praying for Gods hand!
Our Saturday was quite eventful today. Dawn, Rachel, and I went to the market with Agath (2 year nurse missionary from Holland) and Kadiatu (Dr. Simeons wife, Dr. Simeon came to the states for surgery last fall) to buy fabric to have dresses made! We also bought a few food supplies. When we stopped first, we were descended upon by about 8 men trying to exchange our money right at our car windows…fortunately Agath had dealt with them before so she knew who to trust! Guinea Francs here are 7000 to our $1! So I exchanged $150.00 for 1, 050,000 GF!! Crazy Stuff! The Grand march ("indoor" part of the outdoor market) here is hardly describable…such busy, dirty, hot, crowded, smelly, labyrinth maze of narrow, low-ceilinged, uneven dirt-pathed, garbage strewn, 6x6 cubicles of vendors selling everything from fabric, to raw meat and fish, to vegetables and soaps, etc. Momma's lay on the ground nursing their babies, toddlers sit on vending tables crying and smiling, …people constantly trying to push by you and around you and trying to get you to buy things. The outdoor part is an insane rush of honking motorbikes and cars, live animals, women and children carrying baskets of things to sell on their heads, garbage everywhere, 3 foot deep "moats" lining both sides of every road to drain garbage, human waste, and occasionally rain water with narrow bridges every 10 feet or so to allow for crossing to get to the goods for sale. We found our beautiful fabric and fresh pineapple, cucumber, tomatoes, limes, flour (which must be in the freezer for 3 days to kill bugs) and bananas. When thirsty, you buy bags (not bottles) of water from baskets on top of heads and bite a hole in the corner and squeeze it into your mouth! We bought butter at a lebanese market that is somewhat more akin to our supermarket but much, much smaller and still dark and dirty. Then we found a special, brand-new bakery (actually clean) which sold the most amazing bread! We splurged there! We then went to Kadiatu's niece to have her take measurements for our dresses/skirts. Her staff of three sit on the "porch" of her tiny handmade brick home/shop pumping foot powered sewing machines, while the chickens and roosters peck about! Then…Dr. Simeons family arranged a traditional "thank-you" session for us (and all of you in the US) who welcomed Dr. Simeon and saved his life. His parents are not well and could not make the trip so they sent representatives in their place (literal spokespersons as their personal representatives) from three different cities, hours away. They brought gifts of pineapple, traditional colo nuts (not coconuts, colo nuts) wrapped in some kind of leaves…it was all very cultural and traditional. I bawled just about the whole time, it was quite overwhelming; their gratitude and praise for God's provision through our helping him…Also each of us received a gift of traditional african clothing, each presented by one of us to each other (I presented to Marc, Rachel presented to Dawn, Caden to Krae, etc.). Very ceremonial, very emotional. They wanted us to pass on their gratitude to EVERYONE in The Dalles who was a part of this miracle that saved their friend, their colleague, and in actuality the ability of this clinic to care for 1000's of sick children and adults. Quite a day. What else can I say. I'm too tired to check my grammar much on this large post so forgive me! Also, the little boy with the burns, Marc and Jeff took him to the OR this am. He did well. The burns were not total thickness except for a small part on his ear, which is a praise. They feel he will heal well. Thanks for your prayers. Tomorrow we attend our first church service in the local village. I'm sure another great day tomorrow! Love to you all!