Friday, June 24, 2011

My Only Option Was to Fly Home

A belated Mother's day present. Now only if I
had time to do one for my Dad...

Teaching the group how to make nutritious
Peanut Butter Balls!
My swollen eyes have nothing left to leak. Just a week ago I was celebrating receiving my two-year work permit. I didn’t get longer than one day to enjoy the news before I found out bad medical news.

First, on a positive note, I want to talk about the progress made in my village. If I had any tears left to shed they would be flowing thinking of the improvements made since I have arrived. The group I meet with every week has called themselves Katherine Mulonga (after the village chief) group. A group of about 30 who have been dedicated every week learn as much as possible to be able to live a better life. They even met while I was not there last week to discuss different programs I have going on. To see their dedication makes me want to work that much harder for them!

At least two sewing machines are being bought thanks to faithful people who made donations! I believe the saying goes, “Don’t’ just give a man a fish, but teach him how.” A long those lines I have decided to give the women a sewing workshop. Since I had to come home I have to postpone it. After they learn, I am hoping they get together to start a business. Possibly sew baby clothes or purses to sell.

The two men on fire to start a bee keeping cooperative!
The two men who went to the beekeeping workshop are on fire to form a co-operative. A deal was made with them. If the cooperative builds all the beehives, I will buy the tools from donations made. If a lot of people join the cooperative the possibility is endless!

As for the microloans I found a program called Village Banking. It is a savings and loans association that has been proven to work very well all over Africa. The group will put in their own money, make loans within the group, and then receive interest when loans are repaid. After they establish themselves and learn fundamental savings ideas, I will put in a bit of donations made to jumpstart the program! The first meeting took place last week and everyone is very excited about it. The classes to teach the program will start in July!

I was lucky enough to get Gehone, from the organization
Corridors of Hope, to come teach about Village Banking.

… I think I am ready to talk about the bad news now. After a horrible urinary tract infection, I was having excruciating flank pain. Concerned I went to get an ultrasound done. Turns out my left kidney had hydronephrosis (urine backed up in the kidney). I also had this same problem as a baby, but had a couple surgeries and have had no other problems until now. I went to the capital in Zambia a couple days ago to get my two-year work permit and to see a good doctor. I got another ultrasound done and now it is in both kidneys.
My kidneys look like sad eyes...

My travel insurance said I had to see a specialist within a week and only in the States. I was left with no choice, but to go back to my village say goodbye. I only packed a few things knowing my work there is not finished and crossing fingers my body will be quick to recover.

For now I must wait. I hate waiting. I feel like I am wasting precious time I could be spending teaching my village. But I remind myself my health comes first. I am constantly learning to go with the flow of life, accepting the flips of the stomach it slams at me. 

The girls love to put makeup on... and I love to put
it on them!


  1. Praying for you Katherine - you are a hero to me.

  2. Thank you so much for your post. Praying all goes well with you and a quick recovery!!!

  3. Katherine...waiting can be when God gets us still and quiet enough to speak...and we hear! What will he speak to you? Isn't that exciting to think about...maybe other ideas for helping these people you have come to love. We will be praying for complete healing and rest and hearing God speak! Much love, Gerald and Britt

  4. Thank you for the blog post, Kat. I hope you have a speedy recovery and are able to return to Africa safely very soon. It's amazing what you've accomplished there already!

  5. Wow Kat! What you are doing is truly amazing and inspiring. I wish you a quick path to recovery and back to your village. I will pass around your blog info at St David's so all of our friends and co-workers who don't know about it can be filled in on your touching experiences.