Monday, April 18, 2011

Process a-go-go

What a day!

Today I was to continue my journey to become a citizen. Process moves very slowly here. Very. However, Chantal came to lend assistance this time as Sande and Isaac did the duty last time.

We went to the nearby Mayor’s office. It’s conveniently located by our 1st home but after 4 prior visit, I still had not been able to see the Mayor. I was given his work and personal email and work and personal mobile but he has never responded to me. Nor has ever been there. Today he was there. Yeah! However, he does not see visitors on Monday as his calendar is full of meetings.

After Chantal encouraging me to use my best kinyarwranda on his assistant, we made some progress. ‘Jimmy’ was called to help us. Jimmy is responsible for all NGOs (non government organizations). We went back to his tiny office separated from the others by a small thing piece of plywood, but it was indeed an office. Jimmy explained some new processes. New Hope Homes needed to request a letter of collaboration from the Mayor through Jimmy. Then Jimmy would help write a letter to the Mayor from me. The process seems like it might take forever, however Chantal told him I wasn't married, and thus the game began. Jimmy offered to help me find a Rwanda husband. I asked how long that could take. He said it could be fast because he is single too. What the heck, ya gotta work the system as you can. I upped my Kinyarwanda skills to a higher level trying to impress my gate keeper. With lots of smiles we seem to have made some progress.

Chantal and I went back to New Hope Homes to write up the proper documentation. When we returned, Jimmy had decided it was time for his lunch break therefore he was not there. He knew Chantal would be gone tomorrow, so he requested that I return in the morning as he had expedited that paperwork on my behalf. We shall see what fun he has in store for me. I think I will bring my body guards Isaac and Sande with me.

Then the day got tough.

We met one of the Aunties and and Mwani at the Doctor as Mwani face was still swollen. It it really big. Last night he had a temperature that concerned us so we knew he needed more medicine. Patience is a virture and that virture is really put to the test here. You learn to smile, be patient and then a bit firm. Patience and smiles are critical. Especially for the moozoongoo ( white person)!

We got the word from the Doctor that they wanted to do more tests so we continued. The request xray turned out to be an ultrasound and they found a mass. His blood work indicated that he has significantly elevated white blood cell count. He recommended go to the hospital and potentially have surgery. Yikes! Finding ones way around the hospital is a bit challenging. We entered with a “transfer” but we didn’t know what that really meant. People kept sending us to different places but not success. Ultimately I stopped a doctor who was going the opposite direction. He was kind enough to turn around and help direct us exactly where to go. He entered with us so the reception area thought we were with him, hence I think we got a bit more attention.

Mwami was trying his best to stay in good spirits, but we could tell he was hurting.

The Doctor was lovely. He was VERY sweet with Mwami who is just 2.5 years old. After a careful look he said NO surgery. The mass/abscess can hopefully be treated with serious antibiotics, some pain killer and something else which I can’t recall. He said if they operated to get it out he could be paralyzed on that side of his face we we should risk it. The abscess is not related to his teeth as best they can tell.

Next began the adventure of trying to get the antibiotics. Neither pharmacy at the hospital carried it so we had to go to town.

We returned home around 4:30 to find the big kids full of concern for Mwani and full of lots of giggles when they learned no surgery would be needed. The atmosphere lightened significantly as the game began including skyping with our friends at Pulse. Lionel gave them a tour of the yard, our school room and his bunk bed. We randomly dialed DJ who answered and was happy to hear from the kids. He was here with me in December to videograph the kids to help us tell their stories.

Evening was a soccer movie for the kids and simultaneously English lessons with the Adults. Boy oh boy, I could use another set of hands.

Tonight Fabiola and Lionel made popcorn. We skipped the jiffy pop we tried in December and made it the good old fashioned way in a pot over a fire. It was perfect!

Lastly, I need to retract my post of yesterday regarding the foot measurer. I awoke with a thought that it could be bag of shoes that we hadn’t dug through. And viola, it they were there. Sande took charge of measure of measuring everyone’s feet so we have accurate measurement for Christmas shoes!

Thanks to all who are following along. I know these posts aren’t nearly as entertaining as they usually are, but hey, I am doing the best I can.

Tina, Kayetesi is REALLY looking forward to seeing you.


Sarah said...

Thanks for the updates Donna! I love hearing how your trip is going, how the citizenship process is goign, and how all the kids are doing. We've dealt with MRSA before (it sounded like that's what Mwami is battling) at our house and it's not fun to see the little ones so uncomfy. I'm glad you were able to get him good care and that surgery was not required. I'll be praying for his continued recovery and wisdom for all of you caring for him. oxoxo

Team Rwanda said...

xo thanks sarah! shall we skype on Tuesday or Thursday?