I'm Jim Cave, I'm in Mali and these are my notes

I'm Jim Cave, I'm in Mali and these are my notes

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bad times in a good place

I know I haven’t written a blog post in a while. This is especially strange given that the staag house actually has internet now. However, January has not been the best month as of yet.

In addition to some issues state side, I had some tragic events happen in village. First my homologue injured his hand while gathering wood. I could not understand exactly what happened; however, it involved a donkey, a rope and a good deal of panic. Understandably my homologue was under the weather (his thumb was nearly severed).

This was just a small setback with what was to come. As I have said before my host mother and father had a new son when I was in Bamako. Of all the women in my village Annie takes the best care of her children, and goes though a lot of effort to do so. So naturally I expected a little boy in the picture of health when I got back to site. Instead, what awaited was an underweight sickly little boy that would not get better. Daily reports on his progress ranged from well to poor, but he never looked near 100%. One week I decided to come to San on Wednesday instead of Monday to attend a baby weighing. When I got back to site my host mother was attending a training for her position as a literacy teacher, and took John the baby with her. I did not see John for nearly a week. I returned to San for my usual Monday run and got a call from Jennifer, the girl I replaced. John had taken a turn from the worse. I hurried back to site and gave my family some money some money to bring him to the hospital in San. The child did not make it back to site from San. I was pretty shaken up, but as one of my little friend here reminded me, in Mali babies die all the time.

The infant mortality rate here is very high for a number of reasons, but in John’s case I don’t think he had a chance. The hospital did a radiograph on him that revealed that he had one fully functioning lung and his heard was in the wrong spot. Surgery would have been necessary to even attempt to save him, and there wasn’t anything close to a guarantee of success.

I truly love this place, and at this time in my life I would not want to anywhere else. There are times that I think we have everything wrong in states. That there is something that has just been lost in life in a state a ultra development, but times like this are when the benefits of a modern developed society become incredibly apparent