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Sunday, May 29, 2011

*Haus Karim Project*


{It is through happy tears that I write about this super exciting project we’ve been working on for months! We’ve been hung up in paperwork for weeks now and I was getting worried…but THANK GOD we’re movin ahead!}

The infant mortality rate in PNG is 52 per 1000. This means that more than 1 out of every 20 babies here dies before his 1st birthday (2009). These deaths are mainly due to lack of antenatal care and preventable diseases. Compare this to the US where the infant death rate is 6.06 per 1000 (2011).

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{the children of Wopepa- all were born in the bush unattended}

Pregnant mamas and babies, and all things birth are my passion in life. There is NO way I can live here and not do whatever is in my power to help.

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{members of the Helt Bod at the site in Amomonta}

Back in January our brothers and sisters at North Wake Church asked us what project they could raise funds for at their annual missions auction. After checking with our valley relations man, Sam, up in Ukarumpa we decided to partner up with the Yamuka Helt Bod (a volunteer health organization), 5 local villages, and the government hospital system to set up birthing centers (haus karim) that will provide a safe place for mothers to give birth. Our plan is to build 4 haus karim in the villages surrounding Ukarumpa, provide the needed equipment, and train 2 women and 1 man from each village.

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{Cleared site at Akuna}

Sadly just 2 weeks ago, while awaiting the building to begin, another baby died in Akuna while the mother was laboring unattended in the bush. The mother is also having complications. When this happens, the whole village is grief stricken. This time everyone in Akuna has vowed to complete the haus karim before this happens again.

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{Sam at the site in Wopepa}

All five of these villages are SO excited that they have already cleared the sites and gathered their share of the building materials. I cannot wait to update you when building begins!!!

Please be in continued prayer for this ongoing project.

~tiffany

Friday, May 27, 2011

Kids May Newsletter

I'm proud to show you Mae's latest newsletter. She typed this herself. All i did was a little editing. 

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

I want my EmTV

{Matt & Miani on our porch}      

 Up until last week we didn’t have a TV. But, the teachers from the last course left and we got the TV and DVD player that was in their house. We got it mostly to watch DVDs but there is one TV station in PNG. That’s right EmTV! No not MTV. The word em in tok pisin is an emphatic. It is often used in the phrase em nau, meaning something like “you got that right”. Anyway, They have some pretty weird but interesting programming from time to time.
     Last night I had a new cultural experience associated with EmTV. Rugby is a really big thing here and the guys love to watch it when they can. They all have a favorite team. In Australia they have what they call the State of Origin matches. The closest thing that I can equate it to is the all star game in baseball. In the middle of the season they have 3 games over a 6 week period. The two big rugby states in Australia have teams: the Maroons (Queensland) and the Blues (New South Wales).
      This thing is huge even in PNG. Everyone here is pulling for one or the other. Yesterday afternoon some of the workmen asked me who I was going for. Since I had never seen a rugby match and really knew nothing about it I did the only logical thing, I choose the color that was closest to my favorite America football team. MAROONS!!!!!!!! Instant fan. As it turned out I chose the team that had won it for the last 6 years.Its about time I picked a winning team.
     Since I had now declared my allegiance I figured it was my duty to watch the game. Again fate smiled on me and my best friend here, Miani, called and asked if he could come over and watch it at my house. As we sat and watched he explained everything to me. This was actually the first rugby game I had ever seen so it took a lot of explaining. I really enjoyed it. And best of all my team won (let the trash talking begin).
     Just kidding about the trash talking (not too much of that here). But I had to go to town today and I talked to several people about the game. Game two is only like two weeks away. I don’t understand why they are so far apart. 
Maroons for life!!!!!!
matt

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

CHECK IT OUT!!

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I'm featured on one of my favorite blogs!! I'm SO excited to introduce you to Shauna~ she is a wife, mama, business owner and the mastermind behind PoorPitifulPearl clothing- an all around super woman.
{me in my PPP dress in our front yard}

Check out her blog and her Etsy store ! you can shop with her and know that 10% of your money will go to orphans...

check out her post on our family at:
http://poorpitifulpearlclothing.blogspot.com/2011/05/croslands.html

THANK YOU SHAUNA! You are an inspiration...
BLESSINGS. xo tiffany

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It’s A…

SURPRISE!
I am So relieved that the doctor was unable to get a good view to find out if the baby is a boy or girl…this way I get my surprise and it’s not my fault that Matt didn’t get to find out Smile 

The experience of receiving medical care at a PNG hospital is very interesting. Two weeks ago my doctor in Madang (an Aussie who’s lived here 30 years) sent me to a free standing lab to have blood work done. The lab was in an alley in town and looked like a shack made of sheet metal. Inside was thankfully not as bad.
Then he said I needed to go to the hospital and get an appointment for an ultrasound in the afternoon. The hospital is creepy. Complete with leprosy and TB wings. It’s dirty and H-O-T. I got to walk straight through the labour room where 12-15 women were all in various stages of giving birth. Thank God, they did have fans.
We made our way to the antenatal area where 50 or so pregnant women sat sweating and waiting in a stifling room with closed windows. Because I had a letter from a doctor i was taken to the front of the line to talk behind a curtain with a nurse (I think) she asked how far along blah, blah, blah. She gets out her wheel and says “ok, you are 10 weeks now.” I politely explain that I just left the doctor and was measured at 18 weeks. She argues and says “well, i have to measure you again.” I protest slightly, “no, no, I have a very good doctor whom hours ago, determined that I am 18 weeks along…” long story short- I had to lie down on a dirty cot with a pillow covered in a plastic shopping bag and show her my belly so she could say “ok you measure 18 weeks.”
Anyway, I was told that there is only 1 ultrasound machine in Madang province and that it would be brought to the hospital in two weeks time for medical research. I was told to come back in two weeks at 1:00…
Yesterday was the “appointment”. Mae and I got there right on time (the other 4 ran errands with their Papa). I went to the desk with my paperwork and was told that there were a lot of pregnant women there and I had to come back in 1/2 hour…we walked around, sweat buckets (this time NO fans) and watched people. At 1:30 we sat down and waited with all the other big bellies. Around 2:00 they tell me the doctor is coming and I will be first.
The doctor was brilliant and did the best he could with an ancient machine. He showed me all the parts- placenta, heart, spine, head, nose,etc. all on a screen the size of a postcard. He measured the skull and said he reckons I’m due September 30, but can’t tell me the sex due to the baby’s wiggliness and position. His helper writes a report for my doctor and I’m off to another appointment.
I’m a happy mama with a healthy baby and a BIG surprise ahead of me!

xoxo 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

God is awesome!!!! It is amazing how much better I am today than yesterday. I really didn’t do anything differently. It is thanks entirely to your prayers, you guys are great. Tiffany had an ultrasound yesterday and everything looked good.  I want her to tell you the whole story later though. Its a good one.

 

matt

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Mango Strikes Back

     Last Monday we went to cut a mango tree that was shading a particularly troublesome part of the road. Just making the decision to cut the tree was an interesting story but that is for another time.

     We tied the tree off to the truck and I pulled the tree while one of the workmen cut it. The rope broke and the tree went toward the power line. One branch of the tree caught the service line and broke it. I forgot to mention that it started pouring rain while we were cutting the tree.

     We all sat in the truck until the rain slacked off. When the rain finally slowed we got out of the truck to survey the damage. The service line was broken and the tree was blocking the road. It was still raining a little but we started cutting the tree.

     There are ants here called korakon who make their nests in the leaves of trees. They are large red ants and when they are disturbed they get angry quickly and they bite. This tree was full of their nests and so cutting the tree was quite a painful experience. I had taken off my shirt because it was soaking wet and sticking to me (bad idea).

     People can have allergic reactions to mangos and the trees (a lot like poison ivy). I had never had any real reactions that I had attributed to mangos so I didn’t really think about it. I was all in the fallen tree cutting and pulling and dragging it away. All the while these ants were biting me. I was swatting them and inadvertently rubbing the mango sap all over my body.

     I guess you can figure out the rest of the story. The next morning when I woke up I was itching everywhere my shorts were not. It has been 7 days now and it has not really gotten any better yet. I have tried everything to get some relief from the itching without much success. The lower part of my right leg is swollen and I have poison ivy like bumps pretty much every where. Please pray that it will go away quickly. Half the people on the mountain have told me what I need to do to get rid of it but nothing has worked. Wow, now I have a little glimpse into what Tiff was feeling when we were in the village, what an awesome trooper she was to tough that out for that long. My woman is the MAN!!!!!!

 

matt

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A hand plus one

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That’s right its Isaac’s sixth birthday. Happy Birthday Isaac. We love you Ikey. It was a great party complete with cake, ice cream, and a piƱata.  Here are some pictures of this special event. We wish you all could have been here to share it with us.
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-matt

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Look Who’s 2!

 

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Our baby turned 2 today…

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She’s such a big girl now (in a deceptively small package)…

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We celebrated with our friends and neighbors here at POC.

We had pink cupcakes, cookies, Tang and fresh watermelon…

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She even blew out her own candles!

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{decorations by Mae}

Happy Birthday Sweet Baby! You bring us so much JOY!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

What do You Think??

Take a minute just for fun and vote in our poll! Do you think we should find out if we are having a boy or girl? I am in the minority here wanting to be suprised...the sonogram is scheduled for next Tuesday, so you have one week to voice your opinion! Just click on your choice in the side bar...Now, get to votin'!

                                                             {the belly at 17 weeks}

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

He’s only mostly dead!!!

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     It looks like Scooter is worse off than I feared. He took a serous turn for the worse today. The keyboard is back on the fritz. So, I borrowed a desktop keyboard from the office. It kinda kills the whole laptop thing. My boss who is a bit of a computer nerd (sorry if I offended) seems to think that the sound card is cooked. Now the keyboard too. Oh the horror of it all. scooter was a great friend. He was always willing to stay up late with me when I was working on something. And now look at him falling apart, piece by peace, all the while his brain working just as good as ever, aware of everything that is happening to him. I can barely stand the thought of it…

Monday, May 2, 2011

I’m not dead yet

We had a nasty scare the other day. Evie poured a glass of milk into the computer. I guess it looked thirsty. Luck for us one of the students is an IT guy headed for Ukarumpa. He completely dismantled the poor machine. Old Scooter (the laptop) was on the operating table for nearly 24 hours but the doctor brought him through with only one noticeable complication. Scooter has lost the use of his voice (the speakers are dead). This really stinks because all of our music is on here and we can’t hear it! I can’t even get anything out of the head phones. Unfortunately, the doctor has left to go to Ukarumpa. If anyone has any solutions we would greatly appreciate the advice. I don’t know if we can go too long with out music. There are a lot of things I can swallow but no music is a bitter pill. I am very grateful that Scooter is back with us, I hope that he can make a full recovery!!!

 

matt