A day in the life of CongoJulie.. final!

Posted: October 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

8:00-9:25- The Nurse, Miriam, who is taking care of 2 of our twins and now B, came upstairs with me just to do a “checkup” on the girls to make sure their feet were healing well.  But it turned out to be soooo much more than that! She found MORE jiggers and eggs in all of the children and thus began the most drawn out, exhausting hour and a half of my life.

            Now, I witnessed a birth in Ethiopia and I had to hold my friend’s hands down so she wouldn’t push away the nurses who were trying to help. Throughout the time these children were having their feet operated on, I got flashbacks to the birth a few weeks before in Ethiopia and I could not decide which was more difficult. These kids were not given any pain medication and screamed as I, with help from our friends, had to hold their little hands and feet down so they wouldn’t kick the nurse or receive any unintended cuts their feet from the blade that she was using. I did my best to keep them calm, and sang to them as the beads of sweat dripped down their foreheads as they used all of their energy to try to kick us away. It was rough, and I can’t imagine what our neighbors were thinking.  If anyone had come into our room after it was finished, based on the blood splatters on the wall they probably would have assumed a crime  had taken place! All I can say is that

I hope no one had planned on going to bed early that night.

One by one, as the kids finished their “in-hotel” surgery we placed them on the bed for them to rest and/or fall asleep, but there was absolutely none of that. I prepared myself for a lot of crying and complaining (as I would have done if I had just had my feet sliced and prodded) but instead, all I heard was laughter and giggles from the girls who had just been reunited with their friend/sister, Smiley H.

They had a lot of catching up to do and they just talked, laughed, and sang songs for HOURS.

They wanted to get up, but since all they could do was sit with their feet propped up, I popped in a movie and they just loved it! I videoed this reunion of course 😉




Sept 28, 2012

The next morning everyone awoke from the first full night of sleep all of us have gotten since I arrived.

Everyone was in such a good mood, and were laughing all the way down the stairs, waking up all of our neighbors with a much more JOYFUL form of screaming then the ones heard by all last night!


Since then…

Since that dreaded day, every day has become easier and easier.  The prayers and encouragement from everyone has been incredible and I cannot thank you enough. Having Smiley H around has helped the entire dynamic of the group as she has been able to understand me when I try to communicate and has taken it upon herself to translate to the younger kids for me. She has such a calming presence and knows how to get everyone in a good mood



Even more than that, I now realize how much having the jiggers in their feet affect these kids. They are in so much pain and upsets them so much that they take it out on others and misbehave as a way of coping. The day after jiggers come out has ALWAYS been the best day we’ve all had and everyone is all smiles. The cuts in their feet are nothing compared with the pain they had from the bugs buried in their feet. So now, whenever there’s a brawl breaking out, a stubborn eater, or temper tantrum on the rise, I remind myself that it’s the bugs in their feet and I do my best to make the pain a little more bearable.


Being that my original flight was for last Tuesday and I am still here, it’s safe to say that I did in fact decide stay. My dad had to leave, but I remained here to make sure my kiddos did not have to go back to their orphanage prematurely. Fortunately all 5 of my little guys have been bug free for about 5 days now and everything is looking up! Hopefully I can keep the screams of laughter to a minimum at night so that people stop complaining about us and we don’t get kicked out to the curb and have to live homelessly for my last few days!


Thanks for following our journey!! We couldn’t have been able to help these kids without all of the support from all of YOU!!






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