24 March 2010


Monday, 4 January 2010 6:30am
Mavuno Village

Dave and Megan (age 4) Helsby both came down with malaria Saturday night. Apparently they picked it up on Lake Tanganyeka on 18 Dec 09. Dave remembers seeing Anopheles mosquitoes there. They are being treated with Artiminesin - a Chinese drug which is pretty effective.

Both are miserable, going through intermittent periods of fevers then chills with shaking. It is easy to test for malaria with a kit called Parascreen - a rapid test that detects both falciparum (specifically) and the 3 other strains. Dave's test wasn't as positive as Meggy's - - hers was very hot for both.

Dan and Bethany and all their kids left yesterday morning for Nairobi. They are headed to the states for four months furlough after taking care of some business with their mission board and dropping Caitlin off at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya. We hope to see them in Denver; one of Dan's brothers works for Raytheon in Aurora, Colorado.

No one is up yet, but I can hear various animals and insects noisily going about life, and in the background the fishermen chanting as they pull in their nets. At night various parts of the nearby bay (Speke Gulf) look as though there were cities across the way - - but it is fishermen fishing (illegally) for daga with lights. Daga are a very small minnow-like fish. One reason it is illegal to fish in this area is that just off shore from Mavuno is a spawning area for tilapia. Dan says there are rock formations underwater where spawning fish gather - some of these rocks are only inches below the surface. Some fishermen build boats (really rafts) out of plastic bottles and styrofoam, etc. and wrap them in reeds and grasses. We have also seen a number of dhows in the bay.

McLaughlins, Eric, Elliot, R2 and I are staying at Tanner's since they left. Millers will move in here after we leave. Last night we ran the battery bank down to 11.9V (~40% state of charge) and I shut everything electrical off (the 110V and 230V inverters). We all went to bed with flashlights for reading at about 10:30pm. R2 talked to Allison on an international phone that Dave McL brought - - this was good because apparently Robin Woolums didn't get the email I sent from the Arusha airport, so everyone back home suspected that we fell off the edge of the earth ["Here be Dragons!"].

Sundays are rest days here - more or less - so yesterday evening we all got together for dinner, a time of prayer and singing, and then listened to an excellent talk by Kay Warren on the problem of orphans / abandoned children / HIV orphans around the world. Among other things she made a very memorable point using the Scripture in Mark 8:34:

"If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me."

- - the point was (and Jesus may have directed his audience's attention to someone going to his own execution) that taking up your cross implies going to your own death - - the last thing you do on earth.

We tend to think in terms of "this is what I'm doing now" or "my current interest / project is".

We tend not to think "I will do this until I die." Maybe I need to reconsider...

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