Friday, October 26, 2012

Assisting a dentist and other adventures!

This has been an unexpected week! 
We were given the opportunity to work with a dentist, extracting and cleaning our kids teeth this week! 
We jumped on the opportunity to help, in whatever capacity it was! 
It turns out that I love being in the action (I kinda sorta knew this already) and loved it! 
It was hard, of course. 
You cant explain to a child with special needs why you are pinning them down, and shoving needles into their mouths! 
Then, the feeling of numb. How do you explain that? 
Well, you don't. You hug and cuddle and distract. You pray for peace and calm. 
Then you hope they don't hate you.  
But ultimately, no matter how much there was screaming or fear, it was for the good. 
Many of the children had teeth that were completely rotted out. The pain must have been awful! We were so grateful to have Dr John volunteer to come and do this service! We managed to check all 105 kids, along with some of the ayahs too! 
We pulled around 150 teeth, if not more. 
I feel pretty confident that, if needed, I would be able to numb and pull teeth! 
It was a great learning experience for me, as Dr John was so willing to answer my many questions! 

Look, we made it into the newspaper!

This was "my chair", where we saw over 60 kids! 

One of our precious boys! 

This little man was SO brave. He had to sit and wait for the Dr, while the other girl screamed bloody murder. He was terrified by the time the Dr got to him, but he surprised us with his strength! I am so proud of him! 

Dr John

Because we were able to get through all 105 kids in 2 days (we didn't expect it to go that quickly!) we got some of the kids from a close-by village to come in. We pulled some teeth, handed out toothbrushes, toothpaste and stickers, and got to enjoy these new faces! 

THESE faces, however, were not so happy to see us! One of the girls before them was quite vocal, and these 3 just sat there and clung to each other. This picture is a perfect example of their terrified, but adorable faces. Don't worry, none of them had any dental work done, they were all healthy! 

Me with one of our interns, Dr Olive, and a girl that was here for only 10 days. 

And some pictures from our week! This is a picture of the temple across the street. There was a festival going for 7 days. Each evening, around 5:30pm, music would start up. It mostly sounded like pipe organ, saxophone and chanting, all mixed, poorly and without beat, together. Oh and it was all done into the loudspeaker. Needless to say, we had a tough time sleeping! 

Typical in India. Piles of sandals. I always wonder how them find their again! 

This kid is so cute! He is such a little man, asleep on the couch with the remote control close by!

The Covenant Church. Our main office. 

She's herding buffalo!

The local butchers. I really REALLY wish I was joking. But Im not. Can you see the chickens on the right, in the wooden thing? And that stump with the knife? You pick the bird, then watch it be made into dinner!

Our version of Mill Lake. 

And there you go, a glimpse into our life here! We are so excited to start Ability Camp up next week again. We have missed our children SO much!! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dental clinic!

We are so excited to be back at work! 
We thought this week would be just like normal, with ability camp. 
But no. 
There is a retired dentist here right now, who travels around the world and does free dental clinics! He is here for 4 days and is doing dental for ALL of our kids! What a blessing! 
Since we were available and willing, Andrew and I have been assisting him! 
Day 1: 
Andrew was in charge of shuttling the kids from the clinic to the main home (Victory Home). I spent the day beside the chair, brushing teeth, handing tools, getting bitten, kissing tears, restraining arms. You know, the norm! 
What an amazing experience. It is tough sometimes, the kids dont understand why we are poking them with a needle (to freeze their mouth) or tugging at teeth (extractions) so they cry. Or scream. Or punch. It makes my heart so sad, but I know its for the best. Some of them have extreme pain from rotting teeth. Its not a pretty job, but I LOVE it! 
It is such a reminder of how much I love the action, the medical side of things (although I would much prefer that I was catching babies!) and how alive and passionate I get about it! 
We did 24 kids in the clinic, then went to one of the baby houses, checked teeth and did 1 extraction there, a busy day! 

Andrew waiting with some of the kids:

They are always so happy when they first get into the chair:

This was a particularly hard one. It took a long time and a lot of us holding the poor girl down (Don't worry, she was completely numb, just scared! Poor thing, breaks the heart) 

Dr John with the banner. India is big on banners!

The hospital across the street. I laughed because the baby looks like its head it detached. Don't bring your babies there!

Day 2 was pretty much the same, except now we felt more organized, more comfortable with the procedures and order of things. We cranked out 46 kids today! At least 40 tooth extractions in there! I got bitten 3 times. (Gotta get faster at pulling my hand out when I shove the gauze in!) 
I am feeling more confident and anticipating what tools the dentist needs and when (I even learned some of the tool names!) and was even asked if I was the dentist!
 Haha. No. 
But let me tell you, you only have to see a few tooth extractions to make you take a vow to ALWAYS brush and floss and NEVER go to the dentist again. 

I was SO excited to get this little man in my chair! Cedar! Its been 7 days since I have seen him (being sick sucks!) and we were both thrilled to be together, AND his teeth are perfect, one of the best mouths we saw! I cant believe how much I have missed my kids! 

Sometimes you have to call the muscles in. Eric (on the left) isnt too fond of dentist or blood or "forceps" and chooses to look away often. Wise man. I was proud of him for being willing to help, even though he was out of his comfort zone! Go Eric!

Lunch was eaten on a paper mat on the floor. Spicy curries and 2 pounds of rice! It was delicious!

Like I said, they are always happy when they first get in the chair! This guy was still happy after 2 extractions! What a trooper!

Im so proud of how well all the kids did (well, most of the kids) and grateful to be able to help so practically with them! 

Saturday, October 20, 2012


"Love has no meaning if it isn't shared. Love has to be put into action. You have to love without expectation, do something for love itself, not for what you will receive. 
Love in action is what gives us grace. We have been created for greater love and be loved. Love is love -- to love a person without any conditions, without any expectations. Small things, done in great love, bring joy and peace. To love, it is necessary to give. To give, it is necessary to be free from selfishness."

-Mother Theresa 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sick break!

Well, its safe to say that it has been a less-than-ideal week. 
First Andrew got sick. 
Like, every-30-mins-for-8-hours-throwing-up-sick.
Not. fun.
So neither of us slept. At all. 
Then his fever came, poor guy. 
Then the yellow eyes. At this point we called our friend who promptly said "Go to the hospital. Now."
So off we went. We spent 5 hours in emergency, trying to communicate that he needs blood work done and no he isn't still throwing up and yes he needs blood-work and yes we know it might have been street food that made him throw up and no, please don't take pictures of us when you think we aren't looking.
You know, the usual. 
Once we found out that his kidneys are find and its probably not malaria, we went home. 
The next morning, I woke up sick. 
The have-to-stay-flat-on-your-back-or-you'll-throw-up sick. Oh the dizziness, the nausea! That has to be one of the worst feelings! 
Then came the cold, which had been fighting its way out for a few days and finally won. 
Enter in sneezy, sore throat so hoarse I cant talk, sinus pain and all that excitement! 

So that sums up our week! Im still not feeling great, I get dizzy and weak if I stand for too long, and I sound like a man, but we are going to try our hardest to do ability camp in the morning. We had to cancel it twice already this week, sadly. 
We are not fans of being sick, its very frustrating when you could be out there, helping the kids! There is so much to do here, why waste a single minute being sick?! 

Anyway, thank you to those who have been praying. A new festival started across the street, in the temple. It will go for 8 days. Its loud and starts at 6pm and goes late into the night. Andrew and I are currently camped out in the living room, trying to get as far away from the noise as possible! Oh the joys of living in India! 

Thankfully, we have been sleeping fairly well (thanks God!) and we cant wait to see the kids tomorrow! 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ability Camp update!

Ability camp has been going really well!
Jasmine has been pretty stubborn this week, we think she is coming down with something. It was hard to get her to walk, she was coughing and whining a lot. We pushed through and she finally gave in and did well! But after, she was just exhausted! I think I caught my head cold from her!  

Dinah has a rough week, she seems to have come down with something as well, and was very sluggish and whiny (which isn't like her). She did walk really well for Andrew, but needed a lot of time to rest in between (and plenty of cuddles!) 

We are seeing so much improvment in Cedar already! He is sitting up straight for longer, he is bearing weight (although he doesnt like too) and not whining as much! He is not a fan of the walker, but we will keep using it, I think its a great tool for him! 
In this picture, Andrews face says "See! I told you that you could do it!"

 I love this little girl, Heidi. She just cracks me up! I thought I would add these pictures, for your enjoyment (and mine too!) 

Angel and Heidi are like 2 old women, chattering away, sitting on the porch and watching life go by. They had both just woken up, hence the crazy hair! I love them! 

Our 4 kids got dropped of really late one day, so I coloured with the other kids.

And they LOVE when I let them watch Dora with Lily:

This girl constantly amazes me with her energy, joy and determination! She loves to learn (we taught her some sign language this week and she uses it!) and is so proud of herself. We are SO proud of her too!
 On another note: I spend an hour yesterday combing out lice in her hair. 
You guys. 
It was crazy. I have NEVER seen so many live in. my. life. 
How does she not go crazy!? I had combed her hair last week (got a bunch out) and then lost the comb. Yesterday I combed out hundred of lice. Hundreds. And she so sweetly sat there, not complaining as I squealed and shuddered! 

Oh Cedar, what a little handsome man. 

And Jasmines choices for sleeping continually amaze me! 

Lily, Andrew and I were playing "runaway", which involved Lily "running" away and me chasing her. She loves those kind of games. She fell over so many times, just from laughing so hard! What a cutie! 

And look at this little guy! When you sit him on the stairs, he sits up so tall and doesnt slump down! What an amazing discovery! He happily sat there, listening to us chase Lily for 20 minutes! 

We are really pleased with how well things are going so far. We are feeling more confident in our abilities to help them. Its funny how we think we are here to teach them, but they teach us SO much.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Another day in our life!

I thought I would share some pictures of our day! 
We had Ability Camp, which went really well! The kids are so much fun and know us know, allowing us to push them harder!
 Cedar is standing up for longer now (when we first started, he wouldn't hold his weight at all!) and can stand up tall so well! He is sitting for longer as well! We finally got the walker this evening, so we will start with the walker on weds! 

Lily is so eager to walk, dance and even run! Today we ran around, chasing one of the nurses! Lily was laughing so hard that she kept falling down! We went all around the house (twice) and up and down the stairs 4 times! Lily needs support but bears most of her weight! I couldn't believe it when she started walking up those stairs!!

Jasmine is so steady walking! Occasionally she will walk with just one hand holding her, but as soon as I try to let go, she falls to the ground. I know she is capable of walking alone, but she is very afraid. Shes a happy girl though, she loves her cuddles!  
Jasmine has the amazing ability to fall asleep in the oddest places! 
What a funny girl! 

We spent some of our day entertaining this little one too. She had the day off school and was insistent of spending time with us! Lily and her get along great, chasing each other around the room (adorable!) 
She is fake crying in this photo. Shes a bit of a drama queen. She goes from tear to laugher in 0.2 seconds! 

A pretty accurate picture of our day! Andrew working with Cedar, Dinah rolling around on the floor (waiting for her turn to walk) and Lily in the back, getting into the cupboards! Oh and the other random kids coming in and out of our "office", no matter how many times we shut the door! 

We found out that Cedar likes bananas! He has been refusing to eat ANYTHING while with us, which is not cool! But he wolfed down 2 bananas today! Such a relief to find something! 

The girls, patiently waiting for Andrew to feed them bananas! Its a good thing we bought a bunch! 

She is a fascinating girl! 

A typical lunch. Except this time I found a spoon to feed the kids with! Yay! 

She is such a sweet little girl! 

I love this little one. Her wild hair, how hard you have to work for that smile, her serious faces when shes "talking" to you. Precious. 

It was a great day! We are learning about how to best push our 4 to achieve more daily! They are such a joy (as are the others at this home!) and we are blessed to spend so much time with them!