Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Baylor's One Year Pictures (a little late)

A good while ago we took Baylor's one year old pictures and I realized I never posted any, so here they are.  Well, here are a few of them.  Just a few months later and she already seems a lot bigger than she looks in these pictures.  Nonetheless, she's pretty cute.  

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cups and Clothespins

Baylor's favorite hobby these days seems to be putting things in my cup.  Usually it's just her hands, but often cheerios or puffs.  Yesterday it was clothespins.  You turn away for one second...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gene and Maximus

Our dog, Gus, has never been particularly happy at our house.  While we got him as a puppy, we didn't really have a house to live in, so with being in Dar to have Baylor and trying to finish our house, we didn't end up up having him live with us until he was 8 or 10 months old.  He'd been living with his sister, Eames, at Carson and Holly's house and constantly tried to get back there.  He's a master of escape.  Well, over the last couple months he'd been disappearing more and more, usually found with Eames at the McNeal's, until one day, he never returned.  He wasn't with Eames; he wasn't anywhere.  Perhaps he's found a lovely lady dog to settle down with.

To be honest, Brett and I weren't so upset at this development.  Like I said, he wasn't ever happy with us, so he was a bit troublesome and not at all a good guard dog.  But dogs are needed here, so we went on a search for a pup.

The dog of our friends in Mwanza recently had puppies and their dog is great, so we decided to take one from them.  Then we decided maybe it would be better if we took two from them.  That way our doggie would have a playmate.  So last week Brett went to Mwanza and returned with two very adorable puppies, who we named Gene (after Auburn's football coach -- which one of picked that do you think?) and Max (short for Maximus).  They seem to be great dogs and to enjoy being a part of our family.  They especially love Baylor, who now loves them too, though at first would run away whenever they came near her.

I tried to get a good picture of Baylor and the puppies but one-year-olds and puppies are not particularly cooperative with sitting still.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Truck

Some 9 months ago we ordered a new truck from Japan to be delivered here to Tanzania.  Our old truck, while it usually got us around, got us around a bit too often to Mwanza for repairs.  There's no mechanic in Geita and when you drive a 13 year old truck on crazy dirt roads all the time, things are bound to happen.  Our muffler, for example, was held on by twine.  Having to go to Mwanza every time something needs to be repaired is both time consuming and expensive.  We were worried the truck would only need repairs increasingly often the longer we live here and thought it probably wouldn't make it through our tenure.  Hence the new truck.

There's a company that allows us as missionaries to order certain vehicles at a much lower rate straight from the factory in Japan.  Living where we do, a pretty hefty four wheel drive is a necessity, albeit expensive, so we're quite thankful to this company.  When we ordered the truck in July, they said it would take three to four months to reach Tanzania.  We were told once in Tanzania, it should take an additional three to four weeks to go through customs.  The truck arrived in Tanzania as scheduled but it it did not take an additional three to four weeks to go through customs.  It took an additional three to four months.  The government charges port fees while the things you own are in customs.  Every day something's there, you're charged more money.  So why, really, what is the motivation to ever speed the process along?

Even so, after much waiting and calling to talk to people about the situation, we finally got the call our truck was ready.  We flew to dar a few weeks ago to pick it up.  And it actually was ready only 4 days after we were told it would be, with a couple of parts stolen and a whopping $6,300 in port fees added.  But we have our truck.  Finally.  And we're grateful.  We feel like our time will be freed up more to do what we came here to do.  And we can fit some 11 people in there, so that free taxi service I spoke of a while ago can really be cranked up a notch.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Two weeks ago, our family went to Dar to pick up our new truck (though that will be another post).  The day after we arrived, Baylor woke up with a fever that stayed with her throughout the day.  It stubbornly refused to respond to Tylenol.  Around 10:00 that night Baylor’s fever shot up and she had a seizure.  We called our nurse friend, Heather, who advised us on other ways to get the fever down and to go to the hospital if she had another seizure.  Her fever did start to go down, however, around 1:00am she had another more violent seizure and we rushed her to the hospital.  Fortunately, we were in Dar, and there was a hospital with a reliable doctor open at that time.  Also fortunately it was the middle of the night so there was no traffic, and a drive that normally takes an hour only took 10 minutes.  
The doctor on call took blood work and gave her some medicine to bring down her fever.  The blood work came back normal.  He assumed it was an infection though, and two hours after we arrived, he gave us antibiotics and ibuprofin and we were on our way home.  Baylor’s fever, though still fairly high, never spiked again and she had no more seizures.  The next day, though obviously still sick, she seemed a little better.  Late in the afternoon, though, she started breaking out in a rash.  By that night, it had spread all over her body.  I’ve never seen a rash this bad.  We called Heather again and she advised us to discontinue both the antibiotics and the ibuprofin, as she’d never had either before, and to go to the doctor the next day. 
So we went to the pediatrician the next morning and they did blood work again and this time it indicated a virus and possibly an infection as well.  The doctor prescribed a different antibiotic and said while Baylor’s allergic reaction was probably due to the first antibiotic it was impossible to be sure so it was necessary to discontinue the ibuprofin as well and then reintroduce them later separately.  She said it was even possible the rash was caused by the virus itself. 
By the fourth day, Baylor’s fever had mostly gone and she seemed to be much more her normal self.  The rash was gone after about 5 days.  We’re not sure what was really going on with her little body, but we’re so thankful she’s better now.