For those who have known me a long time, you are probably well aware I am a bit of a chicken, and not very brave (AT ALL). I am one of those people who are "scared of their own shadow" and when I was a kid my younger brothers loved to terrorize me by jumping out from behind things. I can't watch any show that is tense at all. Heroes caused me to have nightmares for weeks! Even Alias was too intense. I can't watch any of the crime shows that are on TV. Yeah, I'm pitiful! (And I know this about myself, but did that stop me from watching Blood Diamond about a year ago, when Mike was out of town and I was alone in our huge house in Congo?? NO! Yeah, dumb move!). You are probably wondering what in the world I am doing in Congo, right!?
Anyway, all this to say I also hate sketchy driving situations. I imagine all the worst case scenarios and have to close my eyes a lot. So, driving to the orphanage is a bit of a challenge to me because of two sections on the road. One is where we have to drive through this extremely crowded section of the city and I am always imaging us running over someone or sliding into a house or a market. The second is about a 30 minute part of the drive along an escarpment...you know, one lane, blind curves, plunging mountainsides...yeah, you get the picture. So, I can handle it if I have certain things in order...two big things for me are a mature driver and someone who is used to the drive and can, well, talk me down :). Also, keep in mind, no one else has these issues, this is all scaredy cat me!
So the night before we go up there I'm told we need to make one quick detour (involving very muddy road). Okay, I can handle that, we have a good driver. The next morning, I find out one of my friends (the talk me down friend) can't go because she is sick. All of a sudden, I am the wise, sage, experienced passenger. Great. Then the driver comes. I go to the door to say hi. I see a 15 year old. Really! I start freaking out (inside, I am yelling, "there is NO way I am letting a teenager drive us up there, I am NOT going, no WAY, this is TOO much to ask of me, God, I do not have that much faith, I am NOT going!). Of course, what I do is grab my husband, and say, "how old is that kid???? and you really think I should go with him". I hear, yes holly, it will be fine, he is a good driver, he is not a teenager.
The thing is, I really felt like I should go. I knew it was important to do the training with the mamas. I could NOT chicken out. I tried to remember what I learned in the good old back packing days in college when I did a lot of things outside of my comfort zone....courage is not the absence of fear, but action in spite of it. Or something like that. There have been plenty of times in my life when I've been freaked out, or too discouraged to go on, but God gives me strength, faith and courage. So, I decided to go, that my faith needed to be built up.
Okay, I'm fine, it was all fine, the kid was a great driver, and I'm SO glad I went. The training went really really well. The mamas were so eager and happy to learn! Again, I was SO glad I went. I found out that they didn't know how to mix the formula this whole time! I also found out that because they have had so little formula, once the kids hit 6 months old they get powdered cows milk with porridge three times a day. Actually what it is, is porridge with powdered milk thrown in fed through a bottle three times a day. No wonder some of them look as malnourished as they do!! It's amazing that so many look so good! And, honestly, I feel sort of mad at myself. Here I've been bringing up all the formula and just assumed they knew how to mix it. I had been wondering why they still had so much every time I went. I made the wrong assumption that someone else was bringing some. I had no idea that for the last 2 months that I have been coming, they haven't been mixing it right and the older ones haven't been getting it! But, I have to remind myself that I can't do anything about the past, but that I did go up, I did do the training, and the mamas really got it! So, that means TODAY those babies are getting formula fed to them the right way. And that means TODAY, the older babies and toddlers who desperately need the extra calories and nutrients are also getting fed formula.
Thank God, I didn't chicken out. My faith was built.
I'll post a picture when I can, I didn't really take any. It was quite muddy so we got there late.
Thanks for praying for me!