Thursday, January 29, 2015

     Our good friend Jean Paul and his wife Eugenie were expecting a new baby girl the end of January.  On about the 15th of January, she woke up one morning badly swollen.  They knew they needed to see the doc who immediately hospitalized her  (that was on Thursday, the 15th).   We went to the hospital to see her on Saturday, the 17th.  When we got there, we were surprised and happy to discover that Jean Paul and Eugenie were the proud parents of a new baby girl!  After trying unsuccessfully for a couple of days to bring her blood pressure down, they took the baby by caesarian that morning at 11:30 am.  Yay!  Mom and baby doing well!

     This is baby Priska, sleeping so peacefully.  Notice that her skin is more the color of Gary's than of Jean Paul's to start out.  Babies that will have very dark skin do not always look "black" when whey are born.  This is because the melanin or the body's natural pigment is not present in their skin immediately and can take weeks before the final shade is present.

Here is proud papa Jean Paul.  Eugenie is out of it, still under the effects of the anesthesia.  She was lying flat in her bed fairly unresponsive,  as it was just 1 1/2 hrs after she had her caesarian.

Some more good news concerning babies.  The little girl who was named for me suffered a traumatized nerve during the delivery as they pulled on her arm to help get her out.  Consequently, she was unable to use her right arm.   With therapy, she has now regained the use of her arm, and we are delighted!

Elections are coming up both in the Congo and in Burundi.  In Burundi they will take place this spring, in the Congo, in 2016.  In both countries,  the incumbent president  has served his constitutionally allowed 2 terms, but neither president wants to give up power.  Last week the president of the Congo tried to change the date when a census will be taken.  He wanted the census to take place before the elections.  Why?, you may ask.  Because the census takes 2 to 3 years to complete and that would allow him to postpone the elections and remain president.  The people objected to this change, and protests broke out in the Congo.  Over 50 people were killed in Kinshasa, the capital.  The government shut down the internet and phone lines to try to stop university students from communicating.  Our missionaries from Uvira (Congo) who were in Bujumbura for a training meeting had to leave early to get to the border because the border was going to close at 2:00pm instead of 6:00pm last Wednesday. Internet is still down in the Congo.

Here in Bujumbura we have had some excitement as well.  The last week in December, 120 armed men crossed the border from the Congo into Burundi.  They were not doing anything actively violent.  They were, we believe, Burundais rebels who had been living in the Congo and who returned to their native country of Burundi.  However, government soldiers frowned on their presence and promptly slaughtered 110 of the 120 men.  Seventeen were beheaded.  These rebels were against the current administration.  We have heard that the president wants to remain president by changing the constitution so as to allow himself the privilege of running for a third term.  We have also heard that the president and his administration don't want to give up power for fear they will be arrested by the World Court for wrongs they have committed while in power.  No one knows who is going to run for president yet, even though the elections are to be in May.  So different from home where campaigning starts the minute the election is over.  Here with just 3 months til the vote, no one knows who will be on the ballot.  It makes me so grateful for our democracy in the U.S. where we do have a peaceful transfer of power once the election is over.  Plenty of fireworks during the election process, but nobody dies.

To leave you on a lighter note, here is some toothpaste you can buy here.  With a name like "Crust", it makes me want to put it right in my mouth and start brushing!  How about you?

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