My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Days aren't always what you think...

This morning, I took a long time in getting out of bed. I woke up at 6:30 (which is an hour later than my normal wake up call--so I get to call it "sleeping in") and just lounged in my bed, checking email, reading a book, you know...the normal relaxing type things. My thought was a take-it-easy day. This was definitely a busy week and I needed a day of just hanging o
Then, I got a phone call at 8:00 am. One of our staff members, Millicent, had been heavily bleeding throughout the night and was now feeling weak and they (some of our teachers that she lives with) were going to take her to the hospital in a nearby village. Well, I asked them what they wanted me to do and they just said that they would see what happened at the hospital at Kodiabe and then they'd get back to me. They called shortly afterwards and said that there weren't any doctors at the hospital there, so they wouldn't admit Millicent. So, I was out the door and Nosa and I made our way to go and pick them up from the hospital there to rush them to another nearby hospital in Dodowa.

We met them coming on the road and we turned around quickly to begin our journey to Dodowa, but we had to stop by their house for a short time as she had bled through all of her clothes and needed to change (apparently, it was the 4th time she'd bled through everything that day). It was really bad!

I tried to drive carefully, but quickly, and we finally made it to the Dodowa hospital. When we got there, wouldn't you guess it?? There wasn't a doctor in, so they wouldn't admit her. But, they had to go and get her paperwork before they could "refer" her to a hospital in Tema or Accra. Rediculous. We were there for over an hour before we finally left with a referral in hand. It was a back and forth game...first saying, no we can't help you. Then, next, they'd say something about giving her medicine for the pain and to stop the flow of blood. Oh, it was so frustrating! How can a hospital run without a doctor? There were probably 50 people in the waiting room...and this was the EMERGENCY ROOM! Just crazy!

On a random side note, while we were waiting for more information for Millicent, I looked into one of the rooms there and there was this white lady in there. It's not often that I see other white people in the area, so I couldn't help but stare a bit. She was INCREDIBLY thin, like starving thin! Her husband was with her and they looked to be Mennonite (which is actually quite common here in West Africa), but I was surprised at how thin she was and kept wondering why she was here in Africa when she was in that kind of condition. She seriously looked like pictures that I have seen of women with severe eating disorders. Scary!

Off that tangent, we finally left the hospital with nothing more than what we had come with...such a frustrating experience. So, I took Millicent home and she said that she was planning on going to her hometown as they knew about this situation (apparently, this isn't the first time this has happened--something about family planning and it messing up her body). But, she slept this afternoon and took some pain medication and the bleeding slowed down and she decided not to leave. I felt so bad for her. I know that she wasn't feeling well and just didn't know what to do about the whole situation.

When we got home today, I decided to make some pizza--upon the request of Lucy (who, incidentally happened to take a weekend this weekend). So, I whipped up some pizza dough and pizza sauce (which is easy to make, but definitely takes more time than just opening up a can like you can do in the States!) and used Velveeta (I know, who makes pizza with Velveeta, but when that's all you have, then that's all you have--and people here don't eat cheese, so it doesn't even really matter to them one way or another!). I tossed it in our bread oven and in 20 minutes...it was done! It didn't taste too bad either! Most of the kids loved it, though DK still has a hard time eating cheese and the new Mary couldn't stomach it at all either!

I also made some bread while I was making the pizza. It turned out beautifully and I'm looking forward to some fresh bread tomorrow morning for breakfast!

For dinner tonight, I tried something new. Nosa made this Nigerian soup called Owu soup and it was pretty yummy. You eat with with boiled plantain. I really enjoyed it! I was nervous to try it, but it was delish.

Afterwards, I went with Mary, Mary, and Dora and went and walked the field. After awhile, Nosa got the kids singing and dancing on the basketball court. So, Mary, Dora, Mary and I went to join them. We sang and danced and sang some more. Then, Uncle Atta (our security guard) went out and started singing and dancing again and we started all over again. After awhile, Edwin came out and joined us too (which meant after about a loop and a half, I had to carry him), but he loved clapping and dancing on my back as we made our way around and around the basketball court. It was awesome and a great way to end the day.

So, I'd planned on spending a relaxing day just hanging out at home and instead it was a bit of a go, go, go day. But, what started out as a frustrating morning, ending with a joyful end! There are pieces of my life here that I wish I could just capture for people and take it home and show them it...there are times when it is so absolutely beautiful and breathtaking to be a part of this culture. And there are other times when it is absolutely frustrating! But, tonight, was just one of those moments where I wish all my friends and family had been there to witness and join in and be a part of it. It was awesome.

So, to end tonight, all I can say is "PRAISE THE LORD" because even with all the troubles that surround us...He is still Lord!

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