Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A stroll through the African bush

This morning we took a short cut to the Haven (different from Ian’s “original” shortcut). Thanks to our guide Catherine, we made it to the Haven 10 minutes faster. It may have been quicker to take the short cut but I think I will be sticking to the main road for the rest of the week. This trail led through tall grass (taller than me!) in the middle of nowhere.

This picture doesn't do it justice! This was the nice part of the trail before we actually got into the bush where I was wishing for a machete. I had thoughts like: “What would we do if one of us gets bit by a black mumba or attacked by a cheetah?” going through my mind. So thanks but no thanks to the short cut!
Once we arrived at the Haven, Catherine went to work on her CAPSTONE research while Lace and I played with the toddlers from Haven 2. Charlie recently had to go to the clinic because his eye was swollen shut, we believe it was a sty that had gotten infected. He is doing tons better and today I saw him with a book, so I asked to see what he was reading. Well this is what I found…
A book cover with nothing inside. Nice.

When the Khaki Jackie arrived at the Haven with the rest of the people, our group had to do some readjusting because all of our babies at Haven 3 were at the clinic getting TB tested. Instead, we went to Haven 1 first for feeding group and no one was the “lead”, rather it was just more practice for each clinician. We have been noticing our little Lushomo losing weight lately, and today we noticed he was breathing quickly and seemed to take a lot of effort to drink his bottle. The haven nurse is supposed to check him out later today or tomorrow. Let’s keep Lush (pronounced: Loosh) in our prayers!
Caroline feeding little Lush

We headed over to Haven 3 whenever the babies arrived back from the clinic. When we got the group gathered together we noticed each one of the babies were wearing little shoes from their trip to the clinic, they were presh!

Amanda is sportin' her ruby red slippers and in the far left corner you will see Sid's pink kicks ;)

You could tell the babies were exhausted from their busy morning at the clinic. However, we pushed forward with therapy. We started off with the Beckman exercises, then some group “tummy time”, and ended with feeding. Choolwe waved this morning and rolled over a couple of times (making some progress!). At the end of the morning session we decided to lay down with the kids and have “chill time”. Catherine had Sid propped up on her legs with Bennett sleeping on her chest. I had Sid’s twin, Shelby, propped up on my legs with a bottle and “princess” Amanda on my chest/face/stomach/EVERYWHERE!
Amanda and Shelby

When we returned this afternoon we were flying solo because poor Caroline was not feeling so hot. We started at Haven 3 with the babies outside on the porch for therapy. Then we ended the day at Haven 1 where Tegan crawled-ish today! Technically, it was more of a swimming/crawling motion but it got her to her destination (the pacifier).
Meet Nathan, he is not apart of our feeding/swallowing therapy group but he sleeps in the same room where we usually have the session so we often put him on the floor with us. Well today he was being a SUPERSTAR. He ate a baby cookie/biscuit and rolled over and over and over… He is also a little talker; constantly babbling and smiling!

After we got all of the kiddos oral motor exercises in, we moved to the table for feeding time. I do believe this is Darcie’s favorite time of day…
Except when feeding time is over. She is not a happy camper.

When we were cleaning up the table after feeding therapy and getting the babies all situated for play time. I noticed Shawn crawling underneath the table at a fast pace then his little precious self was clinging to my legs. Catherine says I spoil him…I beg to differ!

Love my little boy

Tomorrow we are set to do individual therapy sessions where we will see one infant at a time for 30 minutes. We will do the same type of activities we do in group feeding/swallowing therapy except make it more individualized for the infant’s needs. I have been looking forward to tomorrow’s schedule all week :) it should be fun!



  1. On the road do yall have to worry about ticks? I bet not there. I think I would take the other road too! Hope Luch feels better and starts gaining weight soon.

  2. I'm so glad that you guys made it through the rough African terrain! haha Individual therapy will be so great for the kids, I bet they will benefit a lot from the one on one time! I love seeing all of the pictures of the babies it gives us a better picture of what you are doing and what the sweet babies look like! How are you feeling about swallowing now? Are you guys all pros?

  3. I'm glad that you will be using the familiar trail from now on!! I would have been so scared!! I hope that Luch feels better. I bet that the individual feeding/swallowing sessions will be awesome!! I love the pics of the kid. The little ones are precious.

  4. The pictures are awesome as usual. I'm glad that everyone has learned or learned their way around Africa. I think it is so good to see the babies happy and full of life.

  5. The kiddos are precious. It sounds like you guys have learned a lot since being over there. Can't wait to hear about all the swallowing techniques you have learned. And I would also recommend not taking the short cut. Snakes = no bueno.

  6. I will definitely keep Lush in my prayers! I love all the pictures. The children are sooo cute! I bet you will miss them all :( Tomorrow sounds exciting!!! I bet it will be amazing to have some one on one time! I agree that you probably shouldn't take the short cut...doesn't sound safe!

  7. I'm glad Lushomo will be seen by a nurse! That's too bad about his weight. I am sure prayers will be answered though. How exciting to start individual therapy. I'm sure they will benefit a lot from the individualized attention! Have fun with that!