Monday, February 11, 2008

Update from Peru

A lot of people have been asking me for updates about Rhett and how things are going here soooo . . . I'm happy to report that things are going well on both fronts! Rhett is settling into his temporary home in the jungle while we manage without him here at home. We appreciate everyone's prayers for Rhett's safety. This is still my biggest request and fear while he is gone. It doesn't help that he is driving a motorcycle (a real motorcycle that requires one hand for clutch, another for gas, one foot for gear and another for breaks - so all 4 limbs must communicate effectively to avoid disaster). Did I mention that there is no helmet involved at any point here? Not to mention no traffic signals or laws for that matter. Special prayers for the motorcycle are especially appreciated. I understand that when you are in the developing world you see things (especially safety and transportation issues) differently. I've been there. I rode in the back of a small pickup truck with 27 Haitians (I am not exaggerating - we counted). There have been times I have just closed my eyes not wanting to see the scene playing out on the road in front of us. We rode on a bus in Haiti that had people stacked on top of it. We were inside luckily instead of hanging on for dear life on the roof but a chicken did have diarrhea on Rhett's shoe during the trip so we may have fared better on the roof. There are no such things as seat belts or carseats in these places and I know and understand that completely. It's just difficult to change gears from being the lady who doesn't back down the driveway without a seatbelt on to being one of 27 in the back of a truck. But when I was in those situations it didn't really seem crazy or particularly unsafe (definitely uncomfortable at times) it was just what we needed to do to get from point A to point B. I understand that is the mindset that Rhett is in so I am trying to deal with likemindedly.
He is learning a lot about the culture and language. He's made a lot of Spanish comprehension progress this week and hoping that his speaking ability improves as well. This isn't an area where people speak even a little bit of English - he's definitely immersed. His role in the research (doing the clinical sampling) starts this weekend so in the mean time he has been visiting different clinics and rounding with an infectious disease doctor at the hospital. Overall he is having a great experience.
We are hanging in here without him. My parents were here for a visit which was wonderful. Claire got lots of attention and I got lots of help and treated to several meals out which is always yummy and fun. We will be visiting friends this weekend and plan to have Rhett's mom here next week at some point. Everyone has been so supportive of us. Claire just misses her Daddy and I miss my husband/best friend/biggest supporter. Ford is blissfully unaware which is nice so that someone around here isn't affected by Rhett's absence. I can not imagine being a single mother or being a military wife. It's just sort of lonely after a while. But everything is in perspective. As I was driving Rhett to the airport I imagined if he were leaving for war. It was difficult enough saying goodbye knowing that chances are pretty good that we will see him again. I can't imagine if he were going into combat. I know that many, many wives and mothers have had to say goodbye under those circumstances throughout history. It's just excruciating to imagine. So I will happily say goodbye for 3 1/2 weeks just thankful it's not 3 months, 3 years or forever.


The Allums Family said...

So glad he is doing well. Will continue to pray for him. I understand your stress about the transportation- I have some stories from Guatemala I could share later!

Love you guys!
Stephanie and Casey

Are We There Yet?? said...

We'll be praying for his safety and your sanity. ;) I am so impressed with the service that both of you do (and plan to do in the future). Isn't it amazing how much you can love and care for people you don't even know and can't really communicate with? What a blessing!!

Speaking of war...Joseph Siskey left again this week for Iraq. He was recalled by the Marines after almost 2 years out. Please keep him in your prayers. He has been doing well in college and has a really serious girlfriend now. Leaving this time is a lot different than it was 3 years ago for him.

Shanan said...

Thank you so much for the update...I have been checking daily. I'm so glad that you are surviving and that you are coming to Ga this weekend for some fun fellowship, a date a the nail salon, and some help with bathtime! Rhett has always had fun adventure stories to tell so he'll just have to add this trip to his bag of stories. God is so faithful - I'm so happy he's safe (didn't know the motorcycle detail!) and that you and Claire are managing. Rhett is one lucky man to have 2 beautiful women at home missing him as much as ya'll do. We'll continue to pray for all 4 of you. love you!