Friday, June 11, 2010

The Art of Making a Milkshake

Mark and I were at the airport last night to drop off two teams and to greet some friends who were arriving. We decided to wait at the corner cafe down at the arrivals area. As we walked in, I saw this beautiful light-up sign with a picture of 3 tall glasses and the word "MILKSHAKES" in giant writing.

Now, I have to tell you two things. First, my husband absolutely loves milkshakes and would prefer this over any other dessert. Second, Mark is on a (somewhat futile) quest to find a good milkshake in Uganda. Just recently, Jude an Aussie in Jinja has improved hers and Mark says it is the best in Uganda.

So all that said, when I saw the milkshake sign I decided I was going to get my man a milkshake; just maybe we may find one that meets his approval. So I waltzed up to the counter and asked for a chocolate milkshake. The man looked at me nervously and said, "We don't have milkshakes."

"You don't have milkshakes?" I asked incredulously.

At that, he leaned on to counter and looked directly at me. "Madam, it is easy to make a sign," pointing to the big, bright sign that had caught my eye. "It is much harder to make a milkshake."

Ha ha! So I guess that is why we don't easily get milkshakes here. At least, he was honest.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Super Glue and Stitches

Two years ago, Titus followed up his birthday by breaking his arm two weeks later (See Blog post).  This year the “event” came 8 days following his 8th birthday…

The missionaries were hosting  visiting team for dinner at House 1B, the other side of our duplex.  Everyone was gathering, kids were playing and people were preparing for dinner.  Caralina took a casserole in a glass baking dish from our house to the other side where we were eating.  At the moment she stepped out the door, Titus turned and ran from his friend as they were playing on the veranda.  (Oh!  This is painful to write…)  He ran smack into Caralina … and the glass casserole dish, which was at face level for him, shattered on impact.

Caralina escaped with a small cut on her toe when the glass crashed to the ground.  Blood was dripping and Titus was holding his face and crying, “I’m bleeding, I’m bleeding!”  By divine appointment, our visiting team has three nurses and a pediatrician among them and they all sprang into action.  First order was to stop the bleeding, then to assess the severity of the cuts and determine which ones needed stitches.  Dr. Anna, the pediatrician, noted that one jagged cut needed to be stitched that night and it needed to be done well as it is visible on his face.  When our primary doctor in Jinja wasn’t available, we realized that we needed to go to the “western” emergency room in Kampala.  Everyone was so helpful as dinner was getting cold.  Some cleaned up the glass, some sifted through it to find the missing lens from Titus’ glasses, some cleaned up the blood on the veranda, some cleaned and bandaged Titus, some made PB&J sandwiches for us while Amy packed our things.  We headed out of GSF at 7:50 p.m. arriving at “The Surgery” center in Kampala around 9:40 p.m.

We asked for a plastic surgeon since the wounds were on his face, but no one was available.  They began with the simpler wounds by using Super Glue – not the medical variety used in America (Dermabond), but the kind you buy at the checkout counter of the convenience store!  We have been told that it’s basically the same thing, but this was our first experience with it.  We nearly panicked when they used it on a cut on his eyelid and it glued his eye shut.  I was seriously fearful that he would lose his sight in that eye, but he only lost a few eyelashes instead.  Another doctor was called in (his phone wasn’t working, so they called his wife who called him at a party and he showed up a little while later).  He had much experience with stitches, so he was able to do the work well.

Titus has a high tolerance for pain, but low tolerance for needles, so the local anesthetic wasn’t going to work and he severely fought the IV line to give him the sleeping medicine.  Once they got it in, he immediately zoned out.  Four wounds we bonded with the super glue – eyelid, bridge of his nose, and two on the forehead, including one that went deep to the skull.  His left ear has 6 stitches and his right cheek/chin has 7 stitches where the jagged cut occurred.

The procedures ended at 11:30 p.m. and then we had to wait an hour until the effects of the sleeping meds wore off.  Titus was a bit nauseous, but not too bad.  We made phone calls to find a reasonably priced hotel nearby – not an easy task in Kampala, but we found one.  They were very friendly and helpful when we showed up at 1:15 a.m. with our poor little boy and his stitched up face.  Got to sleep around 2 a.m.  – all 3 of us in a king size bed together.  We were just grateful that all was well and we could just crash.

So many people helped and prayed.  We have a gracious God!  The injuries could have been far worse – especially if Titus didn’t wear glasses.  Those glasses probably saved his eyes, and God saved them again later from the super glue.  Praise the Lord for His wonderful works!