Monday, October 4, 2010

add it to the list

It's been a crazy past few days. After doing much traveling in the past weeks, I was looking forward to getting back to my routine, host family and work. Friday morning began as any typical work day as I stood by the side of the main road waiting for a bus into the city, and then kept waiting as the bus I caught slowly made its way through the heinous Maputo morning traffic. I was lucky enough to be able to sit down during the ride, and although this meant sitting in the direct sunlight for two and a half hours, I was trying to stay upbeat. When I got closer to my bus stop in the city, I decided to climb over all the bags, seats, children and legs that were between me and the door so I would be ready when my stop came. What began as one big stride over some baggage ended with me crumpled on top of my twisted foot. Apparently the floor wasn't as stable as I thought. This now tops the list of Ways Katie Gets Hurt When She's Clumsy.

I hobbled my way to work, trying to maintain my composure amidst the pain and worry that I had further messed up my bad ankle. Once I arrived at CCM, Jenny, my MCC colleague, was there to hear of my accident, my awful morning, my frustrations and my general emotional havoc. As the morning went on and my pain worsened, we decided to make our way over to the private clinic to check out my foot and ankle situation. After five hours, four x-rays and three snack crackers, we ended up with two different doctors, diagnoses and disgruntled Americans. The first doctor looked at the x-rays and concluded that nothing was broken, but a bone was just displaced. However, she recommended that we wait for the opinion of the second doctor who would be there in 15 minutes. Two and a half hours later, the second doctor arrived, stating that it was merely a sprain, the bones were fine and a simple bandage cast would be fine. In the end, I was given a full plaster of Paris cast and felt much more discomfort with my cast and unanswered questions than feeling like the visit was worth all the trouble.

By the end of Friday, I had many new additions for my list of Frustrations. I was hungry, tired, annoyed, inconvenienced, sore and generally quite negative. I was frustrated that my host family didn't seem to care that I was hurt and that instead the burden of taking care of me unfairly fell upon Jenny. I was annoyed with how much money and resources it took for such a dumb thing as a twisted ankle and that we still needed to buy me a crutch as well. And I felt awful for taking up so much of Jenny and Joél's time as they were trying to prepare for leaving on vacation the next day.

But by the next morning, I realized that all of my negativity had been really short-sighted. With the morning light came a new perspective that things weren't as bad as I had made them out to be. I cast aside dwelling on my lists of angering and frustrating things, and instead chose to add to my lists of Things To Be Grateful For and New Experiences. To the latter list, I can now add the experiences of Mozambican health care, learning to coordinate walking with a crutch and creatively showering when only one foot can get wet. I'm truly grateful that the injury isn't worse, that I have incredible coworkers who go above and beyond the titles of colleagues and friends, that I have an amazing MCC team here who prays for me and sends me encouraging texts and emails, and that I can recuperate at Joél and Jenny's apartment instead of commuting from Matola. I'm thankful for the little things like a ride to Sunday night fellowship, the luxury of Skype-ing with family and for fresh air on the roof where I can watch the Maputo skyline. Yeah, it's a bummer that my foot is hurting, but at least I now that I will be just fine.


Sue Sytsema said...

zoeand sydneyHi Katie! SO SORRY to hear about your cast and crutch experiences! I hope you are getting along alittle better. That is quite a balancing act - I'm sure. Your adventures are certainly interesting to follow from our comfortable house with running water and indoor plumbing. Oh, Katie, how we take things for granted! You are writing WONDERFUL descriptions of what you are seeing and doing. You are VERY gifted - delightful to read! Our prayers will continue for you and your work. We are praying that God will keep you healthy and strong, protected and cared for! We love you, Kate! Love, Uncle John and Aunt Sue

ejklemm said...

So glad to hear that you are all right, just nursing a bad ankle. God has his angels watching over you all the time. We thank God for his constant care for you.
I can taste, smell, hear and see your world when you write about the city and the people. It as amazing to experience another part of God's world. You are in the right place dear Katie. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
God bless and keep you.
Elaine Klemm

Stephen Esaki said...

I've been waiting to hear that story!

Oh man, that commute sounds ridiculous. How's work in bustling, metropolitan Maputo?

traveling kate said...

Thanks for all of your prayers and support! I'm feeling a little better every day, and hopefully on Monday I'll be able to get my cast off. It's been really nice to spend the last week in the city, where I'm closer to work and don't have to worry about that silly commute every day. Maputo is loud and certainly bustling, but the energy has been keeping me company! I have the perfect perch to people watch, to hear all of the wafting music from the cars, and to watch some pretty incredible thunderstorms roll in from the ocean. I hope all is well, and I'll keep you all posted as new events unfold!