Sunday, January 25, 2009

Malaria

As some of you have heard 5 out of the 6 of us have had malaria since returning from village living. Paul, Daniel, Jessica, Rachel and then Michael. Paul’s was the worst lasting about 4 days. Once the others started on the treatment the symptoms were gone in 1 day. Out of 50 people in our training only 4 other people got it. We had blogged about malaria before we went to the village and never thought we would get it. We always slept under nets and took the preventative medicine. There are 2 primary types of Malaria, falciparum and vivax. Falciparum is the type that can be fatal if not treated promptly; Rachel, Michael and Jessica had this. It is transmitted by the anopheles mosquito. This type only comes out at dawn and after the sun sets.

We thank God for His protection and healing and for good doctors and medicine that helped us.

I recently read a great article about Malaria in the July 2007 National Geographic. Michael wanted to read the article for a bed time story but we didn’t think that was such a great idea.

  • One of the treatments we took, Artemisinin, is based on a cure first described in a Chinese medical text written in the fourth century A.D.
  • The disease’s name comes from the Italian mal’aria meaning “bad air”. It was thought that swamp fumes caused the illness.
  • Malaria was common in the United States – Abraham Lincoln and George Washington had it
  • 1 million Union army casualties were contributed to malaria
  • WWII casualties from malaria exceeded those from combat

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Morning

Yesterday I got up and had a quiet time on the back deck before everybody else got up.  The it was really clear that day but there was a heavy dew which made the spider web really stand out.

Geometry question answered

Thank to everyone who sent us an answer. Each answer that we got was different but I think this one was right:

1 gallon = 231 cubic inches
pi*r^2*h/231 = 3.14159*(99/2)^2*73/231 = 2432.6 gallons

Thanks Lydia and Liz for the correct answer.

This means our water tank holds almost 2500 gallons of rain water. We have a metal roof and the water that falls on it is directed to the tank with gutters and pipes. We are in the wet season right now so the tank has been almost always full. PNG gets about 400 inches of rain a year but in the dry season we will need to switch to ram water (http://www.howstuffworks.com/question318.htm) from a creek.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Geometry question

The height is 73” and the diameter is 99”. Who can tell us what the volume of the tank is in gallons?

 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Help Desk

They have had me working at the help desk since I started working here.  I really like it and am learning a lot.  I get to fix peoples laptops and meet lots of people.  It is fun talking with people who have been out in the villages translating. 

 

Yesterday someone dropped off their computer because their email was not working.  He is from Finland and I told him I would take a look at it and try to fix it.  When I started it up I realized that the operating system is in Finnish.  I guess I’ll have to have him come back and help me interpret.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Market

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday the local people bring produce from their gardens to the center to sell.  It starts at 6:00 am and ends at 8:00.  Paul always goes and will bring one of the kids with him if anybody is up that early.  The produce we get there is incredible and relatively inexpensive.  There are about 80 families there selling their produce every time.  

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Coffee Plantation Ride

Daniel and I borrowed a friends Honda XR 400 motorcycle and went for a ride. We went out the back gate of the center and followed the road until we came to a huge coffee plantation. We stopped and talked with a man that was walking back from working in his garden all morning. It is great to be able to communicate with the nationals in tok Pisin. We were told that some of the coffee from this plantation is sold to Starbucks.

Ukarumpa

We arrived at Ukarumpa, the mission center where we will be serving, on December 2nd.  We are renting a house from a family that have 7 kids while they are back in the states for a while.  Pretty much the whole month of December we were all sick with Paul and all 4 kids having Malaria, all 4 kids having asthma and allergies and Paul and Daniel both having strep throat. 

 

Despite all the sickness we are really enjoying being here.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Trip to the Doctor #...(I've lost count)

Rachel had a fever Saturday;  Sunday she was fine.  Monday she had a fever; Tuesday she was fine.  This afternoon she had a fever over 103 degrees.  We’ve come to learn that this pattern usually means one thing – Malaria.  I called Paul and asked him to come home from work and take Rachel to the doctor.  The clinic is closed on Wednesdays due to lack of staffing (any nurses or doctors want to come join us here?). On the other side of the clinic is a walk-in clinic which is available for nationals as well as missionaries.  It is staffed by nationals and cost two kina which is less than a dollar. (The Papua New Guinea medical system in socialized but the clinic we usually go to is not). The nurse took a blood sample and we got a call about an hour later – Rachel has two kinds of Malaria.  Malaria cycles and one minute you’re feeling horrible and the next your just about fine only to do it all over again.  Fortunately tonight Rachel felt good and was able to enjoy Daniel’s birthday celebration.  Please pray for our health. 

Daniel's Birthday Adventure






Paul worked today at CTS (computer technical services). It’s Daniel’s 11th birthday! A man that’s been a missionary here for many years organized a two hour hike to nearby Ukarumpa village. Daniel, Rachel, Michael and I left Jessica with a friend and joined about 25 others for the hike. What I didn’t realize ahead of time (and it’s a good thing) was that right after we went through the gate we’d have to cross a very, very dilapidated bridge over the river. Walking up high on narrow places is one of my least favorite things to do in the whole world. I prayed (and bent over and used my hands – not quite crawling) and I made it! This village is just outside the gate and sprawls over a large area of land. The main center where we’re serving is named after this village. It was great to see the houses and gardens and meet people. One house was under construction. When it’s done it will last 5, 10, maybe 20 years and then more trees will be cut for a new one. The houses don’t last as long as the type we’re used to but hey – THERE”S NO MORTGAGE!!! It was a fun hike and Daniel had a great birthday.





Saturday, January 3, 2009

Pauls favorite village pictures

Here are some of Paul's favorite pictures from living in the village.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Questions for us

We have been trying to figure out the best way to use this blog to communicate with our friends and family back home.  People have been asking us some good questions and we thought it would be a good idea to post some of them and our answers.  If you think of questions you would like us to answer please email us and we will post them so everyone can see.  The best way to contact us is pldokken@gmail.com