Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Gift of Stitches

Buddy and the butcher knife.
“Buddy cut himself!” the kids were yelling as they streamed into the house. Buddy appeared in the doorway looking a little pale.  He seems to injure himself often and it is usually not a big deal, so seeing his skin color was a first indicator that this was a larger-than-normal cut.

On the way out of Nairobi earlier that day we had pulled over to the side of the road and purchased a 6-foot long piece of sugar cane for 50 shillings – about 60 cents.  Often the guys selling the cane will cut it up for you into bite-size pieces, but this seller’s English was as bad as our Swahili, so instead he cut the cane into four long pieces.

The job of slicing and dicing the cane fell to Buddy when we got home.  He promptly sharpened the kitchen butcher knife and then set up shop in the yard.  The other kids gathered around to eat the pieces as fast as he could cut them.

An awkward knot in the cane led to a sliced thumb on Buddy.  CrazyMom and I suspected that it would need stitches, but heading off to the hospital when there is a doctor’s strike going on is not something to do lightly.  Instead, we called the home of an RVA nurse even though he was on vacation.  Tipped off by his wife that he was down on the field running, CrazyMom took Buddy down to the field to try to find him.  His generosity of spirit got the best of him and he agreed to stitch Buddy up as soon as he finished his run.

We are thankful to work with so many great people here at RVA that are always willing to jump in and help with whatever needs to be done – even if it is sewing up a finger when you are on vacation.

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