In the past month I have worked a few shifts on the ward where suspected Covid patients are admitted and then they are also tested. This week I will help out again 2 days, because at the moment there are six patients admitted, with 1 nurse. Fortunately, it is certainly not constantly busy in this department. At the moment there are 6000 cases in Angola.
Augusta is a woman with type 1 diabetes. When a friend of mine once saw her on the street (with her 7-year-old daughter), very thin, she had a chat with her. She and a friend got the idea to give her a food package (this was a few months ago). So the three of us and Augusta went to her house to hand over this package and had a chat with her. After that, I think we haven't seen her for about two months. And we both said to each other several times, how will she be now? Deed added to the word and passed by again, we found her in a deteriorated condition. And after deliberation decided to take her to the mission hospital for an examination. There, the doctor decided that admission was also necessary, so we first asked the family for permission. She was really on the verge of death ... they found she had malaria and a bladder infection. In her bladder they measured 7 ltrs of urine?! What I see in all of this, is that God clearly has more in store for her life. Several people prayed for her, even before we started visiting her. Because she often sat in a public place begging for food. At this moment she is back at home, I try every week to see her, check her glucose and we are trying to find ways to help her and her family build up a small business. Like selling clothes.
The situation for many people here has deteriorated as many prices have gone up a lot! Also from the basic products, people struggle, we hear from colleagues that there are also many people in the city who have to skip meals...
Now about 3 months ago I started to look after patients who have entered their final stage of life, humanly speaking. This came to my heart, or has always been there, good question ;-) It's not very easy, but I learn by doing. Among other things, I only recently discovered that it is not very convenient to use the word malignant in explanations, because it is quickly linked to witchcraft. I now try to focus also on training the two nurses who help me. With a temporary stop on new patients, because we also have to organize our work properly, step by step...
Unfortunately, we cannot continue all parts of our After-Care program as usual. Because, for example, with sewing lessons and culinary lessons, people run too much risk, because taking distance is difficult. We do give sewing assignments to the woman every week, so that they can make them in their room. We do go to the vila every day, except Wednesday. And then engage in counseling, health classes, and biblical education.
It is really cool to receive among the women we receive for fistula surgery, women who had a obstetric fistula but have now returned pregnant and are waiting until they have 9 months and will undergo a Caesarean section. This year there were 8 women.
One evening in October, some friends stopped by without notice. In total there were four of us, so I still followed the rules haha. This was a reason to have a small party, especially because on this evening the power supply from the city came back, so that after 3 months I had hot water again! I have a good time with these friends :-) I am very grateful for that, we share a lot. For example, last week we had a worship evening, on which we decided to go the next day to the vila to sing and pray there for Augusta and a palliative patient. It is so beautiful to be able to do this together and thereby pass on the blessing we receive from God.
We see things happening that we ourselves would not have thought possible. The change in women when they go back to their village is really special to see. Even if they have to come back again for a follow-up operation. They go with renewed hope, this can be seen in their face and how they speak.
As a closure: I hope to come to the Netherlands at the beginning of the new year to be able to speak to many of you again and hopefully also embrace… If my visa application goes well, I will start working on it in the last week of November.