Thursday, April 21, 2011

Our Last Sabbath in Palawan.

When Allison returned from HCBN, we had a list of things we needed to do and meals we needed to eat (yes, we're pathetically sentimental like that). However, we had a very short time to complete our list because we were incredibly busy for our last week in Palawan. In fact, we were only going to be at home in Brookes Point for 2 days. So Allison made sure to put herself in the mindset that she would not be relaxing until the plane ride home ;)
When it came to our last Sabbath, we only had one place where we wanted to spend our last church service. The Limbason church. We've mentioned the Limbason church on a couple different occasions. We've always really enjoyed this church because some of our most favorite people attend this church. Also, because they are a new church and we love the dedication the church members have to making grow.
So Sabbath morning came and after some AMAZING pumpkin pancakes (made by Sam), Jam and us began our motorcycle convoy and headed to Limbason church. As usual, upon arriving, the church members asked us to perform the special music and Jam to preach the sermon. Bro. Nitz had a short dedication and prayer for us, and the rest of the time we spent in fellowship with our favorite little church. Afterwards we took PLENTY of pictures and then said our goodbyes to everyone.
The Limbason Church Membership
After church we had a few people on our list that we needed to see, first was Jojo and Skye. If you don't remember who they are, Jojo is Rovelyn's brother. He joined our mission in December and has been SUCH a blessing. Never have we seen anyone work harder in our lives. Jojo also brought his 4 year old daughter Skye. We wanted to make sure we said goodbye to them and Allison needed a quick interview with Jojo. Afterwards we headed to our favorite Palawano family's home, The Melnes family. We spent some time with them and gave them some clothes that we weren't taking back to the states with us. We admire this family and their faith in God. It was hard to say goodbye.
Richard and his 3 brothers. :)
Then we headed to Richard's house. You may remember Richard, he had the badly, infected leg that Sam cured with Charcoal. We wanted to stop by and see how he was doing and let him know that we were leaving. His leg is pretty much back to normal. When we arrived he was running and playing with his friends. We were so excited to see that he could continue to live his life the way a 12 year old boy should. :)
After running around all day, we returned to our house and spent the rest of our night with the Reyes' family and Jam. We made our amazing Vegan Pizza and it was the best one we've ever made :) Then we spent the rest of the night packing up our stuff. :(
It was a great way to spend our last Sabbath in Palawan, early the next morning we were taking a Jeepney to Rio Tuba to spend our last 3 days on the island of Bancalaan and Balabac. Till then...

~Me and Her

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Blood Patient

In our blog, March Madness, we mentioned a patient who had fainted while coming to our medical mission and we drove her to the hospital. Believe it or not, that adventure didn't stop there.
When we arrived at the hospital with our patient, Norvena, the nurses performed a blood test on her. Her  hemoglobin dropped to 40 mmol,which was very low (normal range 120-160 mmol.). 
Immediately the doctor ordered  2  units of blood to be transfused. But there was no compatible blood for her, so the doctor talked to her husband for her to be transferred to Puerto Princesa hospital. Her husband didn’t want to go, because they don’t have money. But the hospital provided a free ambulance conduction (Praise God!!) and endorsed the rest of the responsibilities to our PAMAS team. We sent Jam along as the advocate for her.

In Puerto, the situation was not treated as the emergency it should've been. It took Jam 4 days to get her, her first transfusion of blood. Everyday we were praying that God would keep her alive and stable and to spare the life of her child. God definitely blessed because she remained in stable condition until she got her first unit of blood (she needed 4 units all together). 
"After the first unit, she was already looking and feeling SOOO much better. She would say, 'I'm ready to go home now'." Jam told us. Its amazing what blood can do for a person.
When she was in stable condition and waiting for her next 3 units of blood, the Doctor  did an ultrasound to make sure the baby was still alive and healthy. What he found out was a surprise to us all!
Norvena was pregnant with twins! Both were still alive and healthy. But the babies were a little distressed so the Doctor ordered an emergency C-section. "I was there and she still had a pregnant belly. I went to get some lunch and when I came back, she no longer had a pregnant belly and there were 2 beautiful twin girls in the NICU" said Jam.
 They put IV’s on the babies and gave them antibiotics because they had Sepsis (infection in the blood). After a week, Norvena was able to received her next 3 units of blood. Then Roy headed down to Puerto to help Jam with the discharging process. Roy, Jam, and Norvena's husband were a little nervous with how much the bill would be. 
Their fear was answered by God with the help of PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes office) who took care of most of the costs! Praise God! Then they returned to the hospital to get all 3 patients discharged. Before they could discharge the twins, the nurses said that they had to be named. As is Filipino custom, Norvena asked Roy and Jam to name them. Roy looked at the twin, baby girls and said, "Let's name them Samantha and Allison." (Two VERY dignified names, if we do say so ourselves ;)  ) So after 2 weeks of being far away from home, Norvena, her husband, baby Samantha and baby Allison were discharged from the hospital.
When they returned to Brooke's, Sam met the newborn twins, Samantha and Allison, for the first time. (Allison was at HCBN at this time.) They were so tiny and adorable. Roy and Sam made sure to go to the twins house everyday for the first couple of days to check on the babies, change the mom's C-section bandage, and make sure everything was ok. Sam enjoyed bathing and feeding little Allison and Samantha. As she would hold them she would use little nicknames that she had heard her entire life (For example: Sammy, Sam, Ally, Al) and the family was like, "Those are cute nicknames for them!
"Oh, thanks. I've only had 22 years experience with the names" Sam replied ;)
When Allison returned from HCBN, we went to see the babies. There's something extra special about holding a baby that is named after you :D We were so happy that we were able to help take care of this woman and to help save her life and begin 2 more. It was truly and miraculous experience.
~Me and Her

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A little bit of our Filipino life: The Filipino Pose

U.S. Countdown
6 days

Now we couldn't do a blog about our Filipino life without mentioning "the Filipino pose". You've probably noticed it more than once in the pictures we've posted on our blog. The Filipinos we take pictures of really enjoy the 'checkmark under the face' pose. We first noticed it when  Nini lived next door. She use to do it ALL the time, then as we started taking pictures of other kids and people we realized that it was a fairly popular pose in the Filipino community. So, here you have it. A small collection of the Filipino pose
So if you ever come over to the Philippines, expect to get PLENTY of pictures of people doing this pose.
Even WE caught the "Checkmark pose" fever. :)

~Me and Her

A little bit of our Filipino life: Swimming Time!!

U.S. Countdown
7 days

With the 90 degree days, and the extremely high humidity, swimming is the favorite past time of almost ANY Filipino. However the rules of swimming are MUCH different than in the states.
Here, of course, there are no pools. So everyone pretty much swims....wherever they can find water and the kids their birthday suits. It was always pretty humorous, you'd just be driving down the road and all of a sudden see naked children jumping off a bridge.

As missionaries, we also enjoyed a nice swim once is awhile (of course our attire was somewhat different ;)  ) Whenever we wanted to spend the day as a team somewhere we would swim. The best part was the Brookes Point area offered NUMEROUS locations to swim. Sometimes, they involved waterfalls, sometimes hot springs, and sometimes cliffs. But either way, we always had alot of fun together swimming. Definitely makes the day seem a little cooler.
Even Baby Haddie was a little water bug. She'd even sit in a puddle if given the chance :)

We're definitely gonna miss our random swimming adventures, among other things :(

~Me and Her