Monday, January 23, 2012

Putting Myself Out There...

Something has happened to me...

Something that I swore would never happen to me...

It really is unthinkable in my mind, but here I sit, staring at the realization. 

I have become a homebody...

I shudder even typing the word.

I know I am an introvert and I am okay with that. I need time and space to myself to get recharged and refreshed...that is just the way I tick. 

That has been one of the biggest challenges for me in becoming a mother - especially a mother to toddler who now talks literally all.the.time.  There are very few moments in my day where I breathe twice without hearing, "mom, Mom, MOM, MOMMY, MOMMY, MOMMY, thaijeilareiogioheontiyweoijs!"  The string of babble that usually escapes Little t's lips makes me laugh out loud. If I am honest, the constant Mommy thing doesn't.  It drives me crazy sometimes.  I just want to say, "I just want a second!" And honestly, sometimes I do say that...and then I feel guilty...and realize it doesn't phase him at all as he keeps going, 'MOMMY!"  

Anyway, what was I really talking about???  Oh yes. Maybe it is this constant interaction/feedback with my son that has caused me to withdraw from interacting with others around me, I don't know.  

I also tend to blame the is cold and I just don't jump at the chance to leave the one warm room in my house all that even go to the bathroom, let alone go outside and down the street.

I also blame the kids who come play a few times a week.  After they leave it takes me about a day to recover.  Maybe it shouldn't be, but especially when it is too cold for them to play outside and they tear my house apart (stealing (candy, kleenexes, toys, crayons) walking across my table, getting into cupboards, telling me my house stinks, making and leaving huge messes) I find it very challenging.  I do believe that it is good for everyone involved that they come...I keep telling myself that.  But it is just hard.  To wrangle 4 extra kids twice a week is a challenge.  

I also blame Hope, angel khAla's daughter who is here working right now. Angel khAla broke her arm and is having trouble with it since having it set by a local bone-setter...but that is another soap-box for another blog post. So her daughter is here...way more than she needs to be...but I feel bad cutting her hours, knowing we are the only ones employing her right now and that we will be leaving soon too (for who knows how long). There is also the small technicality that really she isn't supposed to be here for that reason, I feel tied to home each morning right now.  

So...there are a lot of places I can shift blame, but the fact remains:

I have become a homebody.

I am not engaging with my neighbors and community as much as I should.  

I mean...

I really can't use my outrageously social son as an excuse - he is giddy every time we go visit someone.  

I can't use the cold as an isn't that cold and everyone has a heated room with warm blankets (and hopefully not too many fleas). 

I can't use the kids as an excuse, they don't come all the time and it is twice a week.  Surely I can handle a handful of unruly kids! I mean, I live here for goodness sake!  Disclaimer - I am not sure I can handle them...but I am hoping positive thinking will help?  

I can't use Hope as an excuse anymore than I allow her to be an excuse...does that make sense on paper or only in my head?  

Really, there are ways to make it work. I just have to make it work!  

I think maybe I am grieving what interaction/relationship looks like here.  

With the goat neighbors, it means that I am invited in and we exchange greetings. The t.v. is then turned on and occasionally the women stay in the room with me, occasionally they leave.  After 40 minutes or so of sitting there with the t.v. blaring cooking shows in my ear, I excuse myself.  And that is a good visit.  

With the neighbors on the end of our block, it means helping the younger daughter with her English homework. 

With other neighbors, it means discussing the weather, assuring them that I don't have medical problems (before I was pregnant), trying to convince them that my husband is not here with the military and is not a spy, and listening to a little family gossip.  

I have to remind myself that the view of so many of my neighbors is SO small. That is not really on purpose, but just a fact of their lives.  They barely go anywhere, most of them are uneducated and illiterate, and life revolves around their little walled compounds. Sad but true.  Not that there is anything wrong with this...heck, it has become my life as well!  But I find it limiting and sad in my interaction with them.  

I am realizing, though that this doesn't get me off of the hook.  

If anything, it should motivate me even more to get out there.  I should be jumping at the chance to be a glimpse into the outside world for these women, to give them a taste of what freedom (true and pure and Godly freedom) can look like.  I have a captive audience in some ways! As much as I hate the principle behind that, it is true and I am stupid for not taking advantage of that.  

I look back at this summer when I was very proactive about interacting with neighbors and it was wonderful!  I really enjoyed that time for what it was; simple, challenging, exciting, and hard.  Little t and I both grew (and brought home fleas) and enjoyed life for what it was.  All too often I find myself getting caught up in the what if's and daydreaming about another world instead of being present in the one that God has plopped me down in the middle of.  I am jealous of myself for what I get to experience and do every day! And yet, I am not fully taking advantage of that.  

So, I am going to work on putting myself out there...getting out to interact with people.  

I have a skirt and a dress that I need made. A certain child growing in my stomach is making it a challenge to find clothes in my current wardrobe that fit!  The woman down the street sews.  

I haven't watched any good local cooking shows lately, so I will go visit the goat neighbors and learn how to cut tomatoes into flowers once again (they teach that on every show, but I still can't get the hang of it, no matter how many times I watch...). 

I haven't heard the latest gossip, so I need a refresher course.  

Little t has perfected some new dance moves to show off for the family of girls across the wall from us.  He is probably dying for an audience.  

I would like two minutes to myself, but I would also like to know that I spent the rest of my time wisely...not just huddled up in my warm room dreaming of a beach somewhere.  The beach can wait, lives here cannot. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

We Don't Live In A Tent...Yet...

So, we really like the house we live in. When we first arrived in M-ville a year ago, we were in a smaller house in the same yard.  At that time, it was the only house available and we made it work.  See a post on it with pictures here.

We had been eyeing our current house the whole time...knowing that the family occupying it would be moving out in the spring.  There was another family that didn't like their house across town and wanted to move into this one.  Since they had been in M-ville longer, they were higher on the pecking order and got first pick.  We debated whether or not to move across town to their house or stay in our small house.  Both had its pros and cons and we really went back and forth.

In the spring/summer, we wound out that this family and decided to move to the capital. Meaning we could stay on this side of town AND move into the nice house.  We were sad to see them go (because they were great people, teammates, friends) but we were thrilled to get this house.  It works well for our family and we really like it.  I just realized tonight that I have never posted photos of it, so you have no idea where we live.  Sorry about that.

I also realized that I needed to post pictures of it now because we might be moving out of it soon.  Yeah...I know, three moves in a year is a little excessive, but we like to keep things exciting around here.  We heard yesterday that the rumors we have been hearing from neighbors are true...our landlord does indeed plan to take this house back in March when the contract is up.  So...even though we have offered to pay a little in rent, it looks like we will be switching houses again before we go back to the States.

When we were still trying to figure out if we would be returning here to M-ville or not (more on that in another post) we talked about what to do with our stuff when we go back to have the baby.  A.P. said he wanted to find a metal shipping container to store it all in because that could be moved from place to place...and at the rate we move lately, we would get good use out of it.  I joked by telling him that he should just convert it into a house and then we wouldn't have to worry about packing or would always be set up.  I was half joking...half not.  I mean, I am sure that somewhere in the world there is a growing fad of people renovating and living in shipping containers.  We will start it here. Watch out world!

Until we get our shipping container renovated, we will be living in this house...or a tent if they kick us out soon.

Before I digress any further, I will just show you photos of the house....

First, here is a layout of the house made by A.P. on the computer (thanks Hubby).  It just gives you an idea of how/where things sit.
Starting in the front of the house (at the top of the diagram) is the living room/kitchen and guest room:

Looking into the kitchen from the entryway/hallway

Kitchen island/counters/sink

Looking into kitchen from living room. Pantry is the door on the left corner of photo. Notice cute tour guide...
You all are in for a real treat today! An M-ville before and after! Below is what the living room looked like when we moved in.  The curtains are a dark red and tolerable...but really made the room dark.  I bought fabric to have others made but it took me a while to get them made.  The light in this room is wonderful. It is where we spend the majority of our time.  So...before...
The t.v. is tucked into the corner on the bottom left

And the after...the room is so much lighter with the lighter curtains and it makes me happy...even when Little t flings pink strawberry milk all over the curtains...

Dining area

Looking into the living area, dining area on the right.
M-ville doors...almost every room in our house has these doors. They are annoying, but I can't help but love them.
Little t's room: Little t loves his room...even though we get a lot of flack here about not letting him sleep with us.  He is happy as a clam in his own little world.  This is a rare occasion where the toys were all picked up...picture stuff all over the floor to get the real feel of the room. Can I just say we are loving the "dump everything out all over the floor at once" stage?  Can you tell that was dripping with sarcasm?
Little t's room overlooks the patio and garden...he has the best view in the house.

The "cage" we make Little t sleep in.  I got a lecture about it from one of our staff.  
Our bedroom:
This is essentially our room...there are shelves for clothes on the right and a window overlooking the patio and garden on the left.  A.P. made me the headboard and lamp.  He is great.
Best part of the house: the patio. This is the place we spend the most time in the summer...seriously, we lived out here, ate out here, took baths out here (only Little t, obviously), played, etc.  Such a great area.  Here is is set up for the men A.P. works with to come over and break the fast during Ramadan.  We have had many a party on this patio and love it.

It even comes with the guard who helps serve cool is that!
And I couldn't resist adding this cute photo of Little t!
So, there is our house.  We love it and hope and pr.ay the landlord changes his mind.  Come visit quick and you can enjoy it with us!  

Monday, January 9, 2012

Never a Dull Moment!

How could there be a dull moment with that face to wake up to every morning?

I had never realized how much energy a two year old has.  Wow! The kid never stops! He is constantly talking, dancing, singing, laughing, crying, playing, watching, repeating. You name it, Little t is into it these days.  He is growing like crazy and we are loving it all…some parts more than others admittedly, but it is all good. 

Little t’s vocabulary has exploded in the last few weeks.  He has always been quite the talker, but he has really taken off lately.  I think the biggest development is moving into the realm of phrases and not just words.  He has said, “oh no!” and “uh oh!” etc for a long time, but now actual phrases are coming out of his cute (and sometimes sassy) little mouth.  A few weeks ago, he saw A.P. walk in the door from work and said, “how work, Dad?”  clear as day! It blew me away, but he now asks almost every day.  Other phrases include, “what’s that?”, “what’s matter?”, “you okay?”, “why, Momma?”, “my Daddy”, “Come on” “Let’s go”, “You ready?” “help please momma” “I no know!”, “I do, I mix, I see, I hold,” etc. 
New words include, help (the most beautiful thing he has learned how to say) – he will now ask for help with something instead of just screaming until he figures out what he is talking about.  Beda (how he says angel khAlas daughter’s name), doughnut, snack, here, look/watch (understanding the difference and using them appropriately), Josua, Felix (two German guys who have been here this break and become Little t’s best friends), dough (playdough), spoon and fork, toast, honey, undies, diapers, brother, sister, presents, surprise, birthday, chocolate milk, strawberries, hippo, monkeys, glasses, Pop Tart, popcorn, and probably many more I am missing…

His current new favorite word is naked.  While getting him dressed the other day, I told him that he couldn't run around naked because it was too cold.  He latched onto it and started yelling it through the house.  Now he runs around (fully clothed) yelling, "I naked! I naked!" and laughing hysterically.

Little t is also into counting…or what he terms counting.  At any given time in a conversation he will shout out “2, 3, 6, 9!” and then go on with what he was playing or the thing he was talking about.  He can count 1 2 3, but for some reason 2 ,3 ,6 , 9 is his favorite combination.

We have started working on counting in the local language (1,2,3) and simple command words, (please, come here, thank you, yes, no, greetings) he seems to be picking up on them a little bit which makes us happy. Today we were at our guard’s house.  Little t LOVES his kids and they adore him. They were impressed with his language skillz and he was showing them off, counting for them. It was very fun.  He also does very well at talking with and responding to the women A.P. works with (who we visit often). They talk to him in both English and local language and he seems comfortable with both.

We talk a lot about the baby these days and he is fascinated. We have a few hand-me-down books about new babies and he loves to read them.  He pulls my shirt up and talks to the baby and kisses my belly and gives it hugs.  I have the most moisturized belly button in the world because every morning Little t insists on giving the baby lotion…meaning he goops up my belly button full of lotion.  The baby and I both appreciate it very much!  Every time we ask if the baby is a boy or a girl he mumbles something, but every time we ask if he is going to have a brother or sister he immediately replies sister.  Maybe he knows something we don’t…(and won’t find out until the baby is born, in case you are wondering).  The other day I held a co-worker’s baby for about 20 minutes and Little t was curious, but didn’t act jealous. He came over to look and talk to the baby, but was more interested in the car he was driving and the other people in the room.

He is very into cars and tractors now and is constantly driving them around.  He is now in the habit of taking at least one to bed with him each nap/night.  He is slow to go to sleep and to wake up (or at least doesn’t demand we get him out of bed immediately after waking). Sometimes we will hear him in there for an hour or so after he has been put down or before he wants to get up, playing with his cars, toys, etc.  We are really blessed by this and milk it for what its worth!

Blue dog is still like Little t’s third arm.  They don’t spend much time apart. We are working on Blue Dog staying inside when we go out (Blue Dog gets cold easily, you know) and not being carried places (especially the bazaar, motorcycle rides, to the garden, etc.) but progress is slow.  If you are ever in M-ville and see a crazy foreign family on a motorcycle, you will know it is us if you see Blue Dog’s head sticking out of the neck of the little boy’s jacket.  It terrifies me that we will lose him when we travel, but Little t does a good job at keeping a tight grip on him.  Keeping Blue Dog clean is a miracle in itself…now that it is cold and damp it is nearly impossible to get him dry before bedtime or naptime, so he is grungier than usual.  A.P. came to me in a panic a few days ago and held out a very wet Blue Dog.  It was 5 p.m. It was cold and the sun was setting.  Somehow Blue Dog had made his way into the laundry pile and into the wash. We put him in the oven…although a little too high and now he is slightly brownish in color….but Little t hasn’t seemed to notice, which is the most important part!
Like I said, Blue Dog goes everywhere...the aquarium in the Dubai Mall...

The Riverwalk in Old Dubai - the peak of cleanliness for Blue Dog in the last year.
We are actively trying to get Little t weaned in the next few weeks.  It has its ups and downs, but we are making progress.  We are down to him eating before he takes a nap and before he lays down for bed. To be honest, I could have been done a while ago, but with teething and traveling and being sick, our efforts were in vain for a few months.  We are decreasing the amount of time he nurses each session and we are getting close to being done. We talk a lot about the baby and how the baby needs to eat with Momma right now.  Little t is a huge fan of green tea and strawberry milk, so we use those as alternatives.  Sometimes I joke that I am feeding three children now; Little t, Baby and Blue Dog. Little t insists that Blue Dog needs to nurse on the side that he is not nursing on…pretty sure it is time for both of them to be done!
Tell me, do you still really need to be nursing when you look this cool?  I don't think so either!

Rock and Roll Elmo has come to our house and is a big hit.  Although I am not sure who loves him more, Little t or Hope (angel khAla’s daughter).  Last night when we ate with our team, Ruth asked Little t if we should sing a and which one he wanted to sing.  He looked at her and shouted, “Elmo!” Today he broke out Elmo and had a mad dance party in the living room.    

Little t continues to be drawn to music. He is always singing and dancing and everything has potential to be a musical instrument.  He loves his tambourine and plays it all the time.  His father recently introduced him to Guitar Hero and now he strums his air guitar non-stop.  Yesterday he insisted on sitting on his potty chair and then made it a party when he picked up his tambourine and sat there singing a song about his potty and undies and diapers.  He is constantly making up new songs or asking us to sing.  He loves, Who Built the Ark? (shouts Noah Noah), The Ants Go Marching, This Little Light of Mine, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, ABC’s, This Old Man.
Guitar Hero on the pool table in the game room. Doesn't get much better than that!
Speaking of the potty…it isn’t happening.  We were all excited when he peed in the toilet a few times this summer, but it has fizzled.  It is harder now that it is cold and he is wearing significantly more clothes.  By the time he says he has to go and we get all of the layers off he has already gone. But we are working on it.  We have begun talking about how great it would be if he wore big boy undies when the baby came, and he is really interested in that. He saw me spraying his dirty diapers in the toilet the other day and was totally grossed out.  He kept saying ‘EEEWWW! Gross! YUCK! Poo! (how he says pewww – like something stinks) Poop! Dirty! Yucky Diaper!’ Etc. He can be a tad dramatic. (I think he gets it from him from his father.) We talked and I told him that 1) He didn’t have to watch and 2) if he started using the potty like a big boy he wouldn’t have to use yucky diapers anymore. So maybe it will happen before he is 10?  

Little t is still super super social.  With most local kids he is more withdrawn (they have no boundaries, are super intense and intimidate me as well, so I can see where he is coming from) it is a slow road for both of us to adjust to playing with local kids. But we are working on it.  He is the life of the party in any other situation.  He loves the two German guys (18 and 21) who are here right now. He calls them “the Boys” and thinks everything they do is amazing.  They are very good with him.  He loves the people on our team and is totally energized by time with them.  It is really great to see how much they love him and how he reciprocates that.  We are really itching to be in a team environment with another family because Little t is SO social and loves playing with other kids.
How could you resist playing with this face?  Little t helping make Christmas cookies.
 Little t still adores kAkA. They don’t play outside as much now that it is colder, but he talks about him all the time.  He goes with one of us to get the naan every morning and give kAkA the money. He now says yak naan (one naan) dU naan(two naan) toe-toe (how he says kAkA’s name). The other day he was trying to get kAkA’s attention to tell him hello and was so flustered that kAkA from across the yard wasn’t responding.   Little t is still quick to greet everyone, putting his hand over his heart to say salaam and then shaking their hands.  He loves going to the office (and will sneak over there by himself if I don’t watch him) and adores the ladies A.P. works with…and all of the attention he gets from them.
Little t sporting the fancy shoes I got as a Christmas gift from angel khAla. He can walk in them better than I can!
We have entered the discipline stage with Little t and it is interesting to say the least. He responds quite well to time outs (he has a special stool in the hallway he sits on). The other day he hit me on the face (a common occurrence when he is upset) and then had to go sit in timeout. Later as we walked by he looked at the stool and said, “no no hit, sit down!”  We are working on talking when we are mad or angry instead of hitting. Sometimes we also count to three and Little t responds to getting in gear by the time 2 or 3 rolls around so he doesn’t have to sit in timeout.  It is new territory for all of us and we are learning.
Close to the time-out stool...and ready to go outside to play.

A new discipline technique at our house?  Little t insisted I put these on his ears (after he put them on Blue Dog's). I warned that it would hurt. He realized that it did and started screaming. The photo is blurry because I was laughing so hard (pre screaming, of course). 
Currently Little t is sitting across the table from me munching on cheese crackers while playing with the new monster trucks he got for Christmas. He is happy as a clam. We are so thankful for such a spunky, happy, healthy little boy. He has turned our lives upside down and we are loving it.
Playing outside for the first time this winter.

It's true, it doesn't get any cuter. It just doesn't.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

And We Stop

We stand across the kitchen island from each other, mixing up Christmas cookies. I have the real bowl and Little t has his own concoction of flour, salt, toilet paper, rice, etc.  We chat as we work. I am in the middle of explaining something when Little t’s excited voice breaks in.

“Pay! Pay! Pay!”

Sure enough, in the distance, I hear the mullah on the corner begin his call to prayer. This sound has become regular in my day. It blends in with the rest of the noise most of the time.  Early in our time here, I would stop and pr.ay for the hearts of those around me when I heard it. Those days of sacred moments spent pleading on their behalf seem to have fallen by the wayside…now that call is just noise that falls on my ear like all the rest.

But Little t is acutely aware of it these days and makes his observation known. 

I ask if he wants to pr.ay for his friends and he enthusiastically nods his head.  Every day we go through this routine the 3 or 4 calls to pra.yer that he is awake for.

So we stop mixing our bowls full of treasures to pr.ay for those around us.   

His little eyes squint closed and he starts: “Dear Jesus….”  The rest is a jumble of fervent words. 

A few seconds later he simply says, “Momma” signaling that it is my turn. 

I pray for our neighbors, our friends, kAkA and his family, etc.  

Little t nods his head and echoes my amen.  As we go on with our day, mixing and chatting, my heart is full.  So often I get caught up in the busyness of life in this place, but these moments are so good. 

I am so thankful for this little boy who reminds me many times a day of the urgency that our friends in this place live in.  I am challenged to pr.ay deeply in those simple moments for those around us who are lost and hurting.  What a gift to bring them before the throne of grace.  What a gift to be reminded by a child the value that lies in separating the sacred from the noise.

A Little Speck of Light...

Today I went to visit my Dr.  

I am trying to be a good patient and go to regular prenatal appointments. Have I shared on there that I am 16 weeks pregnant with baby #2?

I didn’t have great medical options with Little t and just did what I could to keep tabs on how I was doing.  Now that we are in a bigger town/city, our access to doctors is better and I decided to take advantage of that this time around. 

A teammate of ours was pregnant last year and had rave reviews about a local doctor here in town. A.P. and I decided to give her a try.  Originally we went to get confirmation of my pregnancy before we broke the news to our families.  But that was a little over a month ago and I really liked her so I decided to go back. 

Dr. Anisa speaks excellent English and is very very kind.  I had to turn down about ten offers for tea today and I also had to pay her double because last time I didn’t have the cash to pay (I only had a big bill). It took a lot of insisting for her to take the money today…because she is glad to treat me because I am a guest, etc. 

The check-up consisted of chatting and an ultrasound…because that is how things work here.  The baby was sucking its thumb and twice turned to look right into the camera as it waved – perfect 5 finger outline right in the camera.  It was very very fun to see.  Dr. Anisa claimed it was the cutest baby in the world.  She is obviously a very smart woman!   

While the baby made me giddy…our chat left me fascinated and sad.  

I thought it would be interesting to share a little about the observations from a local professional concerning her country and the state of things in this place. 

The biggest thing that was shared by Dr. Anisa was a concern for the future of her country and its people.  She said time and time again, “how can we expect to develop and move forward when no one will take responsibility for their own actions, no one will think about the future, no one will seek to better their lives for the long term – even if that means a little risk today or not seeing immediate good results?” 

She was the main ob/gyn at the hospital here in M-ville and in the last 4 years has had her eyes opened to hard hard truths about very real issues in this place.  Intermarriage, a rise in STD rates (mainly as a result of men bringing them back after working abroad), malnutrition, etc. has made this a hotbed for birth defects and anomalies in pregnancy.  She talked about being totally overwhelmed by what she saw in the hospital.  She described her feeble attempts to make improvements and a difference (with very limited help or resources).

We talked about the issues regarding male/female relationships here and the challenges that it poses for life in so many ways. It is not uncommon at all for a girl to be totally clueless as to what will happen on the wedding night.  There is usually very little normal, comfortable interaction between members of the opposite sex, so suddenly being intimate is a lot to swallow.  Added on top of that is the fact that the bride and groom hardly, if at all, know each other. There are several stories here of girls passing out or going into some sort of shock on that night or following nights.  Think about it. A girl, sometimes a young as 10 or 11, not accustomed at all to interacting with the opposite gender suddenly finds herself very vulnerable and intimate with no prior warning or knowledge. That is a lot to take in.  Even for older girls/women, there is an unspoken rule that you don’t talk about the wedding night with the potential bride…you just don’t.   There are just a lot of hard issues surrounding newly married intimate relationships in this place.  And Dr. Anisa has had to wrestle with many of them. 

Last week in one day she had both a 13 year old and a 15 year old come into her private clinic for consultation.  The 13 year old was 6 months pregnant.  Dr. Anisa said she couldn’t believe her eyes. She wondered why this young girl was being brought to an ob/gyn, only to realize that she was about to become a mother.  Shortly after that, a 15 year old arrived.  She had been married for 4 years and had been unable to get pregnant in that time. She was in tears as she explained that she was desperate to have a baby because her husband and his family were threatening divorce if she didn’t.  As Dr. Anisa was talking to her, she asked about her cycles, if they were regular etc. The girl stated that she hadn’t gotten her period yet.  Dr Anisa explained that she wouldn’t be able to get pregnant until her body was ready i.e. her cycle started.  The girl adamantly insisted that they were having intercourse, so she HAD to be able to get pregnant… 

Dr. Anisa shook her head as she recalled the story.  She exclaimed that it is hard for her to see a way forward for a people who continue to marry their children off to their cousins, suffer from crippling poverty, deal with a 90+% illiteracy rate, and do it all with a war raging in their midst. 

Currently Dr. Anisa has stepped back from her direct involvement at the hospital in order to find other avenues of meeting needs.  She said that she had to make a decision of how to best use her ability and time.  Currently, she is the head of the midwifery college here in M-ville and also the head of the Maternal and Infant Health division of the hospital.  She hopes that by training others, she can spread her knowledge wider and help meet the needs of a wider range of women.  She has a scholarship at a college in Australia to get her master’s degree in Public Health.  She hopes to go in the late summer to begin her program. 

Personally, I am very grateful to have the care of Dr. Anisa during this pregnancy. But more importantly, I am thankful for the glimpse of hope she is.  So many days it is easy to just see the issues and wonder how the mountain of impossibilities will ever begin to be tackled.  But people like Dr. Anisa are a vital part in seeing stability and development make a difference in this place.  The place isn’t totally hopeless with people like her quietly and slowly plodding along, one woman, one baby at a time.  

Little tiny lights in the midst of a sea of impossibility help keep us afloat.