Thursday, July 29, 2010

Projects, projects and more projects...

I was chatting with a friend this morning and she said that she enjoyed reading our blog. Then I realized that it had been a while since the last time I updated, so I figured it was about time. Thanks for the reminder, Tiara!

There have been three major projects going on here at Camp Jabez... so far, only one of them has been completely finished, but the other two are in progress.

Project #1, a wind generator

[the wind generator is secured by wires in three different places that have been attatched to some cemented rebar]

Project #2, the fish pond

We decided to make the pond out of cement and concrete blocks instead of using plastic lining. There were so many more 'pros' to doing it this way. After everything is in place, it will be water proofed.

Project #3, the cow barn/shed

Right now [like literally, as I type], Jake and the boys are working on cementing the part of the floor where the cows will stand.

I'll have to take some more photos when they're done, after it cures. They've been offered a reward if they finish today: nyama choma [= "roasted meat" in Swahili]... a special treat for working hard! I can hear them from where I am in the house, yelling and chanting on encouragement to each other as they mix the hardcore [rocks], cement, sand and water together.

I'm sure by now you know which of the three projects has been completed and which two are still in progress. :)

More bread baking has been on my list of things "to do..." I really enjoy doing it, and we all enjoy the 'end result.' It sure doesn't last long around here when it's freshly baked!!

Pregnancy wise, things are still going really well. I just passed the 2nd trimester mark... well, at least, I think I did. I never was able to get a straight answer from any resource about when the 2nd trimester started... and I heard a million different answers! Some said at the beginning of 13 weeks, some said at 13w3d, some said at the end of 14 weeks... so I just picked the middle response and went with that. I'm now at 13w4d... baby is the size of a peach and continuing to grow! I still feel fantastic... I still haven't had really any nausea; just the tiredness. The "emotional fog" definitely lifted, for which I am very thankful... that was a rough couple of weeks!

This photo was taken at 12w3d, but even now at 13w4d there is still no 'bump.' The layers I'm wearing look funky, but baby still hasn't made an obvious "I'M IN HERE!" statement... although I'm told that he/she will, and SOON!

Jake and I are getting more and more excited every day... but I still don't think the realization has fully hit either of us yet. We've been doing some reading and we feel pretty prepared on that front... but we still need to contact our "non-insurance company" and see what policies they have regarding birth coverage.

The students are going on their 2nd term break tomorrow; they get 8 days to spend some time at home. I think they are all very excited! Although we've had a lot of issues this term, I think most of them are growing and learning a lot of things. If you could be in prayer regarding the country of Kenya as a whole next Wednesday; they are voting on a new referendum. They aren't expecting things to get nasty around here, but there are quite a few people that have left their homes 'just in case.' If things do get sketchy, the students will end up having a longer break than we planned, as it might not be the safest to travel. But, God is in control and He will take care of all of us.
Jake and I are going to spend the weekend in Nakuru, hopefully; I am VERY EXCITED to have a REAL shower! Bucket baths get a little old after a while. :] I think we'll just relax most of the time, but we plan to go into town and walk around the market for a little while. 
Then we begin our third [and final!] term on August 9th... I can't believe it's almost at the end already! The time is flying by, especially more so now that I am counting down the weeks for something else :] 

I think that's about all that's been going on here lately... we've been staying busy with lots of little things every day, and there's a few big things here and there, too. But life is good. God is good. Things are going well. Thank you for praying!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

There really IS a baby in there!

I guess because of the lack of symptoms I've been having, and the "you're not really pregnant" dreams, I was a little paranoid. But, it's confirmed... baby Hawkins is growing! We're back from our first prenatal appointment... 8 hours later. LONGEST.DAY.EVER. I'm tired.

Detailed version:

It took us about an hour and 15 minutes to get there, so we arrived around 9am. I had to pee when we left home, but I was so afraid that I wouldn't be able to pee when the time came for a US, that I held it. We [finally] found the private clinic. Think of every typical American doctors office, and then shove those images out of your head. It was nice for a Kenyan hospital, but would definitely not be up to 'par' in the States. I had to fill out some registration forms and then flipped through a Reader's Digest from the 90's. I had my blood pressure taken, which was really, really high... usually mine is super low. They also took my weight [oh the joys of having this done in front of everyone... things are NOT private here!]... she was like, "You're heavy!" Last time I checked, you DO NOT tell a pregnant, hormonal woman that she is 'heavy," thank you very much!

BUT! I'm letting her comment slide. This time. Because... although I was disappointed I didn't lose MORE weight since coming here, I was happy to see I HAD lost weight... 25 pounds, give or take. So I'm letting that be my victory and I'm just going to ignore what she said.

We waited until 10:30, when we were seen by the doctor. We went over the normal things... LMP... are you healthy, etc... I was surprised she didn't ask MORE questions [are you taking a prenatal, are you taking any other medications, if I have any allergies, etc]. She set my due date as January 30th, one day before the date I figured.  She said it's likely that I'll have to have all of the tests done again when we go home to deliver, because they probably won't accept the records from Kenya... but oh well. And she said that they don't offer any of the testing to see if there is down syndrome or anything like that. I was fine with that; we would have declined it anyways. It will be kind of nice to not have the pressure to take the tests.

She then wanted an ultrasound, urine sample and some blood work... I begged to have the ultrasound first, so I could pee in the stupid cup and empty my bladder. She laughed and said "Okay!" So we walked through the hospital, went outside, up some stairs, and came to the ultrasound area. I told the technician that I had to use the toilet, SOON. He let me go first in line. I felt really bad for the other ladies waiting, but my bladder was about to explode! I laid on the bed and he squeezed the gel on me [brrr] and pressed pretty hard with his magical baby-seeing wand. Made me had to pee all the more! I motioned to Jake to have him close the curtain the rest of the way [there were a lot of people walking back and forth and it was still open about a foot... made me feel weird]. The technician didn't say anything for about a minute. A minute isn't really that long amount of time in general, but laying there waiting, it felt like an eternity. He then asked, "So, you haven't had any problems?" My heart just about stopped beating, because I was so afraid about what he was going to say! The puzzled look on his face certainly didn't help. I looked at Jake as if to say, "Do you see anything?" and he just kinda shrugged. I shouldn't have asked him; he's never seen an ultrasound before, how should he know?

Finally the guy turned the screen and was like, "There it is! You don't have a lazy baby. I think it's happy that we are looking at it right now!"  I seriously wanted to cry, but I was like, "Hold it together, Laura, hold it together!" We didn't hear the heartbeat, but it finally hit me... I have a little baby inside of me!! I can't believe it was moving so much. It just blows my mind. We didn't get any pictures, either... Kenya definitely isn't very high tech. He let us look for a while, then charted what he needed to; he measured me at 11w2d. He wiped the goo off of my abdomen, and sent me on my way to the lab. 

We sat in the lab office for about 10 minutes... there was a guy in front of me. He had his blood drawn, and then the nurse motioned for me to come over... I don't think she even said one word to me. I had to ASK her to change her gloves from the previous guy, though... that was awkward... but seriously, I'm not taking a chance. Instead of a band to tie around the arm, she tied a rubber glove around it. Then, she poked me in my left arm. Nothing. Pulled it out, poked me in a different spot. Nothing. Pulled it out, poked me in a different spot. I could tell she was getting frustrated, and that made me super nervous. She then tried a vein in my wrist... by now she was poking around inside and pushing the needle in and out... NOTHING! She poked me twice there. Finally she tried in my right arm, and she got some within the first try. I was getting irritated. I mean, I didn't even get a sparkly band aid. Come ON! :] And now my arms itch.

So then we got sent back to the clinic part of the hospital. And we waited. And waited. And waited. My labs finally came back, but now we had to wait for the doctor. We waited some more... and finally we were the only ones in the clinic... but the doctor still didn't come. FINALLY at 1pm, she came and said, "Everything looks good!" and we made an appointment for 5 weeks from now... the 19th of August. We finally got out of there, after paying our bill, around 1:30pm.

It took a long time to get home... there was some major fog, and we could only see about 20ft in front of us for a long time. Driving in Kenya is scary enough when you CAN see... driving when you CAN'T see is absolutely insane. We almost got hit twice and almost hit a cow once. We made a quick stop at the grocery store and then made it home around 3:30. 10 hours later after we started our day... we were finally home. I'm exhausted. My head is pounding... I'm ready for this 3-day headache to go away. But I'm happy.

Non-detailed version:
-there actually IS a baby in there!
-she put my due date at 1.30.11
-I'm measuring at 11w2d instead of 10w6d

Whew. I think that's all for now. Tomorrow we're going to the "agricultural show" in Nakuru... we're taking all the students for kind of a 'fun day.' It's KIND of like a fair... but I'm not sure what that looks like here, so who knows. Deep fried everything on a stick, all-you-can-drink milk for $1, Sweet Martha's cookies, foot long hot dogs... I can't wait. Oh, darn... that's the MN State fair. Shucks. Guess I'll be stuck with a soda and a samosa. Oh well. :]

Friday, July 2, 2010

[ little things ]

First of all, I want to give a shout out to my parents, who celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary last Saturday, on the 26th. Happy [belated] anniversary! You are both great parents and we miss you a lot.

There have been a lot of 'little things' going on around here lately... not huge changes, but I figured we could update you :]

We spent last weekend in Meru with four students and a student leader. The weekend was basically a "Weekend Challenge," and all of the students had a chance to share during one of the sessions. The theme was "Make Straight the Paths" based off of Matthew 3:3. It was a good weekend, but definitely an exhausting one for me! It was neat to see some more of the African culture and see more of Kenya. We've been staying in the same place for a long time so it was fun to see some different things and meet new people. Here are a few photos from our weekend:

[this is the car we smashed nine people and all our luggage into for a half an hour ride]

[this is the church where the weekend challenge was held]

[kate leading the children's sunday school class]

[i figured out how kenyans stay so thin but are able to eat so much: they dance. all.the.time]

[mike, the student leader, and jake]

[the team, minus jake, who is the photographer, and me, who was resting at this time]

[meru was a very beautiful place!]

It's hard to believe that I'm already almost 10 weeks along... sometimes it's difficult for me to believe that I'm actually pregnant, because I've been feeling so good. I've had very little queasiness, and my only main symptoms are that I'm extremely tired all.the.time and my emotions are giving me a roller coaster ride. I think my first appointment is next week sometime [I say "I think" because Juli made the appointment for me when she took Arielle in for an appointment, so I'm not exactly sure]. I'm kind of nervous! I know what to expect for a typical appointment in the States but I'm not sure what to expect here... I guess we'll see!

Juli's parents, Bob and Kathy, came in the middle of June and stayed for two weeks. It was sooo good to have them here! Bob and Kathy are really special to us and it was such a treat to have them here. I'm sure they enjoyed spending time with their grandbaby and with Eric and Juli. I really enjoyed the hugs from Kathy. It was just so nice to have them here... I miss them already!

It's Friday, so I'll be teaching the all-girls session tonight. Besides doing that, I've been meeting with one girl every day for some one on one time. I think we've all been enjoying it. It's nice to get to know them better.

Jake is still teaching an evangelism course on Wednesdays, and he's been doing work on the barn, trying to get that finished. We're also trying to figure out a solution to our water problem... not exactly sure what the issue is, but we don't have any water! Rainy season is definitely over so our supply of rain water has been finished.

If you could be praying for one of our students, Flo... her brother passed away earlier this week. Please pray for her and her family as they are grieving.

I think that's all for now... I just heard that there are some turkey eggs about to hatch, so I want to go check it out!


PS. Kathy, this is just for you, because I forgot to show you how to comment on posts before you left :] See at the bottom of the each entry where it says "comments"? You can click that, and a small box will pop up. You can write a comment, and click "publish" and it will post to my blog :]