Friday, July 31, 2015


I was flipping through my camera looking for something else to write about and discovered I have tons of pictures of my cat killing and eating things. I tolerate it because he also kills snakes though I don't have any pictures of this unfortunately. Usually because I'm too busy making sure the snake is dead, I guess. Cat also has gotten into the habit of bringing me some of what he has killed. He likes hunting at night. That means he regularly brings stuff into my bedroom. Into the bed if I haven't tucked the mosquito net in well enough. I dreamed a few weeks back that I was trapped in a latrine and woke up to discover my bed stank so bad because the cat had a huge latrine rat in bed. Nothing like needing to change your sheets and shower at 3am.

Birds are also fair game. 
Lizzards are also common. As a bonus they get thrown up the most too. 
This was a giant rat. 
He always eats the head off first. I wonder why. 
I just realized I need a hobby besides taking pictures of my cat with dead things. And writing about it. Worst blog post ever. But this is life here.....

Monday, July 27, 2015

The wonderful placenta

Our baby and model placenta
So who wouldn't want to spend two hours talking about placentas?! This was the topic of the last TBA training. We talked about a huge range of things, mostly about what can go wrong with it. And an hour before our training started (or the reason the training started three hours late depending on how you look at it), together we all delivered twins so we had two placentas to look at and discuss. (No pictures of that, don't worry.)

Does this woman look like she delivered these two babies six hours before?!
Demonstrating to each other that they know how to administer pitocin.
 Just for fun you can try to picture me, a laboring woman, her mother, mother-in-law, sister and at least six (possibly more I forgot to count them) TBAs, all squeezed in a dark, smokey, dirty, mud hut. My translator was outside so I would call out, through the wall (no windows) in English, and she would yell the translation back in. The first baby had already arrived and things were going fine so mostly I was just trying to point out things we would discuss later in the training.
Less than 2 kg
 At the end of the training the new mom, both babies and grandma all got a free trip to Irriri Health center. Mostly for immunizations but the TBAs thought there is a WFP (World Food Program) initiative going on right now that gives free food to mothers of babies less than 2 kg. So because she has two tiny ones she would qualify possibly for posho (cornmeal),cooking oil and salt.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Update on Maria and Sarah

I went out to visit Mutia Maria last week. She is the little girl who has TB of the spine. (June 3).  Truthfully, she looks a bit rough. She has pressure sores again already and has lost weight. I'm a bit bummed but knew it was going to be tough for her. Unfortunately, her lung sounds are also worse and it seems like the haven't been giving her TB meds correctly. This is the day they should have run out and we were going to the clinic together to get them refilled but she still has two weeks worth left. Also, maybe the thing that discouraged me most, is that I discovered her whole family is still alive. I had been told she was a total orphan, her mother and siblings had also died of TB, she was a a very vulnerable case. Well, the above picture is her immediate family. They just got tired of her being so much work and had been told that her TB could spread to them so they left her to die. I am glad my TBAs didn't give up on her but I wish they had felt like they could tell me the truth. Maybe it was a shame thing. Not coming from a shame/honor culture I often don't understand why they do what they do. Anyway, will follow up again in two weeks.
Several years old but you get the idea

Ajiko Sarah (Last post here) is doing much better than I thought she would. She has a lot of pelvic pain which we expected based on how her x-rays look. But she is putting on weight well, feels the baby move often and as of this week is 25 weeks along. We are planning doing another ultrasound in one month. Her C-section is still planned for October.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Kind of like grocery shopping when you are hungry....

Kind of like grocery shopping when you are hungry, you know you will probably shouldn't do it but sometimes you have no choice. I don't like posting when I'm discouraged but obviously waiting until I'm optimistic and in a good mood is not really working for me as I haven't posted in far too long again. I've been sick off and on this whole month and the more I ponder it the more I think it has a significant spiritual component. Which, if anything, makes it less easy to cope with.
Congratulations Chip and Susan!
My brother Chip and sister-in-law Susan had their first child this weekend and I'm so happy for them but I want to be with them so badly it hurts so I'm homesick and that compounds my melancholy attitude.
On top of all that I'm hurt and frustrated with International Teams. Next week is my final week with them. I needed to resign. I loved their values and was very excited when I found them as an organization back in 2009. I value loyalty and hate that I felt forced to leave.
Consequently, teammates are now former teammates and several are not around Soroti at this time. It leaves quite a void in my life.
I enjoy the work I'm doing in Karamoja but some trips up are really hard and I'm coming to hate doing it alone. (Like this last one, two patients who were brought to me died. A few month old baby girl who was badly burned after she crawled into a fire died of infection in her wounds and a seven year old little boy who had cerebral malaria or meningitis or something of that nature passed away while I was trying to transport him to the hospital).
Well, so that's it I guess. I'll see if I can drum up a better post tomorrow. But I'm freezing so took my temp and I'm back up to 99.9 so I get to find some tylenol and crawl back into bed.

Leaving International Teams

I hope this isn't new information to people but I realize I'm not great with communicating so here is an update:
Dear Friends and Family, 
I need a few seconds of your attention today to share with you some changes and ask for your help. Due to some events here in Uganda it is necessary for me to transition out of International Teams. I hate the idea of leaving the organization but they have announced they are suspending all ministry work in Uganda. I know that God has not changed my call to Uganda and He has provided a new organization to work with. 

Fuel Uganda is a little mission organization that has been working in several locations in Uganda for several years now. Christ centered community transformation is their purpose, which lines up perfectly with what I've been doing.  My day to day activities will not change at all. I'll still be in Karamoja two or more weeks a month and based in Soroti the rest. Click below to see Fuel Uganda's web site. 

Here is where I need your help:
I still need your support!  My funding still comes 100% from your donations. Your future gifts to International Teams won't come to me so I need to ask you to send them to Fuel Uganda. 

- There are the same three ways to give and all gifts are still tax deductible:
  • Bill pay (free, monthly or one time, automatic giving via your bank's online access.)
  • Credit card (Monthly automatic or one time online giving. There is a 5-6% charge to Fuel when you use this option. So if you are giving $100. $95 will make it to the organization.) Click here to give online. It says Give in the upper right corner. Then click Donate.
  • Check- Make payable to Fuel Uganda and put Jennifer on the memo line. Mail to:  Fuel Uganda 6328 Country Donegal Ct. Charlotte, NC 28227

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to send me an e-mail. Also, I will be stateside for furlough from September 16th to December 27th and would love to tell you more about it. 

Thanks so much for your faithful partnership with me for the past 5 years, seeing lives and communities around Soroti and in Karamoja transformed by the power of God. I hope you will continue that partnership as we follow God's lead. 
Jennifer Kragt