Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The first Grads of Newlife

Sorry for the delayed post. We had our first graduation for Newlife International School of Midwifery on July 12th, 2007. The first grad you ask?? Yes the first grad and we had the honour of being a part of it all. Because of a separation of Mercy Maternity from Mercy in Action, the actual 'Mercy Maternity Clinic' has been around for 15yrs, but Newlife is the new school which has come from the separation. It was a neat feeling to be able to be a part of that. Chad and I even provided the snacks:)

It was a great night of celebration for the seven girls who graduated. Each and every one of them graduated with over a 90% average. They've really set the bar high for us. We ate traditional Filipino cuisine at a poolside and the grads threw the director into the pool toward the end of the night. Noah and Jordan both took advantage of the swimming too with daddy.

Today we got baby number three in our care today. Another little boy. He is a sweetie with no name yet. We're calling him Fil Jr.

We began language lessons for Visian this week. Tomorrow we have our second lesson. Chad is picking it up beautifully. I've got a bit of a phobia to learning languages, but I'm hoping with working in the clinics and birthroom I'll be picking it up quickly. We are hoping to maintain lessons twice each week and Chad wants to be fluent by the time we leave here in three years or so.

Not much else is happening. We're enjoying each day and working more on becoming settled. I was finally able to get a thorough tour of the clinic and quickly realized how much this clinic relies upon donations. They are lacking in some things such as reusable blue pads, suturing supplies, sterile gloves and non-latex gloves. They are also in desperate need of new dopplers. If anyone is keen to send a donation or specific supplies to the clinic please do so. Simply email me at and I will be sure to provide a mailing address for any cheques or supplies. Any and all donations would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, July 09, 2007

They made it in one piece

Today was the day that Tim and Bethany Stewart arrived to join us here in Davao. We met them at the airport with the Germains and Matt, then took them out for lunch to Victoria Mall. They were tired, but running on adrenaline like we did. They should sleep well tonight and be wide awake at 4am:) The joys of time change!

It turns out the Stewart's had a very easy time going through immigration in Manila. An answer to prayer. It also turns out they had been wondering why their car hadn't sold yet and at the 11th hour God came through with a couple from the church who had gone away, then wanted to know if the car was still available. Not only that they paid over their asking price, just to bless them on their journey over. God's timing, although sometimes challenging, is so good!!

Our official orientation for Newlife for us married folk will be on Friday. We are looking forward to it as it will allow us to all get back into the clinic. We've been taken out for this week until everyone (meaning the Stewart's) arrived. We will hopefully be back on rotation by next week. We'll keep you posted.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Orange House Dedication

Last night we had the housewarming party and dedication of the new house the single girls moved into. The big move had taken place the previous Saturday. It was a gift from God that the clinic was able to acquire this house as it was only 6mos old. It turns out the owners are immigrating to Canada. For the housewarming Chad was asked to lead worship. He did so well leading from guitar. It's great to see Chad being used in his giftings here in Davao. You see Matt, the director of Newlife being Chad's music stand:) I was also able to get some of the Filipino midwives and workers to pose for the photo op too. It was a very blessed time.

Earlier in the day Jenn & Jo, the family with seven kids, came to visit and borrow some of our internet. Part of the move was their family moving into one of the dorm houses the girls moved out of. Because of this, they are now without internet and may be now for quite some time. Like I said before, things don't move fast here in Davao, so it could be at least another week or two before they get connected. I'm sure we'll be seeing more of them in the next while:)

Last night was also my first night shift. There was one birth taking place. This mom was having her third baby and had been labouring for quite some time. When it came time to push it turned out she had an anterior lip of cervix holding things up. Once it was moved away by one of my classmates out came a beautiful and not very small baby girl. Mom did terrific and she didn't even tear. Delivery of the placenta was smooth and easy too. It was great to see such a straight forward birth take place. I only have one more observe, then I'm onto the next step of charting.

It turns out many of the births at the clinic have hemorrhaging because of poor diet and low iron. The staple diet in the Philippines among the poor is white rice w/ some sort of meat or vegetable broth. Not very conducive to growing big healthy babies and getting iron. Some of the women deliberately stop eating enough at the end of their pregnancies because of the 'fear' of having a large baby. There is a great lack of education around prenatal health. I look forward to working with the other women at the clinic to create further awareness.

My First Clinic Day

With two babies in hand I showed up late to my clinic, but made it in one piece. I had time to sing worship with the pregnant mama's and then started by observing one prenatal with a second year student named Carmen. She then "threw me into it" by having me palpate for baby's position, measure fundal height, listen to heart tones with the fetoscope (much more difficult than the doppler) and answer questions. The women are so wonderful and have no problem allowing a 'newbie' try things out on them. There was only one position I was unable to identify, but many heart tones I was unable to catch. I pray God will tune my ears to pick them up quickly as they are not loud with this instrument.

Tonight we have the single girls housewarming party at the 'orange' house. It should be fun. We're also counting down the days that Tim and Bethany arrive. We are really looking forward to them joining us. God has been so good bringing all of us out here. We are excited to see all of our new classmates.

Well, no new babies have come through. I'll be pulling my first night shift here tonight. I do hope it's a busy birth night. Only two more births to do before I start charting. Let you know how it goes:)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Waking to Songs of Praise!

Every weekday morning Chad and I have the honour of hearing the women next door sing praise in their prenatal class. They are so sweet and love singing. I will be starting prenatals tomorrow morning in the clinic and look forward to joining them in their praises.

Last night we received baby number two to feed. Mom was transferred for blood loss. We still haven't heard what is happening with this beautiful little girl presently in our care, but we're assuming at this point she'll be staying another night. The picture you see is of our first little boy we took care of eating in tandem with Jordan. Jordan is so kind for sharing:)

I'm sure many of you know this, but NOTHING moves quickly in the Philippines. It was only today we finally got set-up online. The next step will be setting up a phone line on the internet. It's nice to be entering this blog at our home.