Saturday, October 31, 2009

Science Project 2

It works! Today I took off the bandaids, not having itched my bug bites once:) I did find that toothpaste works if the bandaid falls off, and the bite starts to itch. Apparently it just replaces the itching with a more burning sensation, which I would rather have, personally.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Science Project

So, mosquitoes are a pretty big deal here, for a number of reasons.

First, they are vectors of awful diseases like Malaria and, much worse, Dengue Fever. Malaria is easily treated here, but until you realize that is what you have, and you finally give the treatment long enough for it to start helping, you feel miserable and are for the most part, incapacitated. Dengue Fever, on the other hand, is known as the "bone breaking" disease. It lives up to this nickname by causing it's victims to feel such severe body aches that the pain is best related to their bones breaking. The first time one gets Dengue, the high fever and body aches is mostly what you have to look forward to. The second time one gets it, that person has a high chance of getting a much worse form of Dengue known as Hemorrhagic Dengue. bleed out and die, unless you go to a nice hospital where blood transfusions are readily available.

The second reason why mosquitoes are such a big deal here is that they are relentless. It's possible to have 33 bites on just your legs (I achieved this two weeks ago, unfortunately).

Although the former reason of mosquitoes being vectors is the more serious, I am going to address the latter. As primary defense, insect repellent should always be worn when the sun begins to go down. Sometimes this isn't achieved, however, for whatever reason (out of repellent, forgot to bring it along, busy having fun, thinking you are immune, chatting with a friend and not wanting to break conversation). The result? You get eaten alive.

We all know that it is better not to itch these malicious bug bites: first, because you'll get nasty scabs if you do; and second, it makes them itch more and for longer period of time (a bug bite will itch two weeks instead of two days). The initial itch of a bug bite tends to be (although not always) caused by something brushing up against the bite, and then it is all down hill from there. The anti-itch creams are applied, but they are a joke. I was told tonight that vinegar works for some people. Of all the methods I have tried, none of them seem to be really effective in relieving my mind of the constant screaming inside my head of how much the bite on my toe itches (bites on toes and palms are the WORST!).

So, what needs to be done? My theory, as of tonight, is that the initial itch must be avoided at all costs. So I have begun to test this method out by placing band aids on each one of my new bug bites. I have 12 band aids on my legs right now. Consequently, I will be wearing pants until I am certain these bites are ineffective (shout out to Ms. At Lee) and I can taken the band aids off. In turn, wearing pants means that I have more protection against potential bug bites. It's a win-win situation.

This is only hour 4 of my experiment, and so far it seems to be working splendidly. We'll have to see how it goes over the next 3 days.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

In life, I live for Him; In death, I die for Him

On Thursday night, one of our patients passed away.

She first came to Loma de Luz a little over a year ago, to receive care for complications of AIDS. She and her 11 year old daughter quickly won the hearts of the missionary community here. Her desire for the Word was something that was talked about by many people at her memorial service. Her love for God was evident as I cared for her in her final days.

While her conditioned worsened, and she began to need several blood transfusions a week, she went to a hospital in the city, while her daughter was cared for in the Children's Center. She made several trips back and forth over the past year, as she would recover and then become ill again.

Two weeks ago, knowing that she was dying, she chose to leave the city hospital and come to Loma de Luz to spend her last days and be close to her daughter.

At her memorial service, the people sang a song in Spanish, with a chorus that basically states, In life, I live for Him. In death, I die for Him.

I have always thought about living for God as something that brings Him glory. I have never really saw death as an opportunity to bring God glory. But actually, how glorious it is to be united with Love Himself. The object of Love's affection, man, is perfected; having no boundaries, and no unfaithfulness to her Lord. Sanctification is complete.

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints." Psalms 116:15

We, on earth, see the loss. We only see one side of the curtain. We do more than see it, we feel it. It's a weight that we carry wherever we go, unable to just open our hands and release it's, at times, paralyzing effect. But God sees the end and the beginning of life. He is present in both, He rejoices in both. He sees the grander scale: both sides of the curtain.

We live for Him. We die for Him.

"When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regards to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time, from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 6:20-23