Before we headed off to bed last night, the phone rang and it was CHRIS!!! I was so excited!!! I just hated that we had missed her earlier call!
As always, this was not a short call. (I think that we could visit all day sometimes!)
I asked Chris what had happened to Peter. She told me that he has MALARIA of all things! (Fortunately, that is something that we don't hear of happening much in the U.S. anymore.) Chris said that he looked so comfortable being back in a REAL bad in Cairo last night! Of course, tent cots are not known for their comfiness but they're still better than lying on the hard, cold ground.
Chris is bound and determined that she will return to Darfur today as she knows that there is still plenty of work to be done there. She has been giving an average of 700 shots each day! Can you imagine that???
The conditions have been a bit less that "optimal" in the Sudan Region during this trip. The hot wind has been blowing sand around constantly. The people are just laden with sand that lands anywhere and everywhere on their bodies. Chris said that she could hardly wait to take a shower when they returned to Cairo! This lady is accustomed to 2-3 showers per day but during the past week, she had not been able to have even ONE!
They have been EXTREMELY concerned about the Haitians' multitude of problems. The first earthquake was measured at 7.0. Yesterday, the media reported that an "after shock" had rocked their lives again. It was measured at 6.3. As Chris acknowledged, that is NO after shock--that is a another serious earthquake!!!
Chris and Peter have visited with people in -the -know in Haiti. They have learned that the first earthquake did an enourmous amount of devastation. Not much of what had once stood there, still remained. Yesterday's earthquake has basically leveled the rest of the buildings. Of course, worse than that is the fact that authorites had once believed that the lost lives would reach the tens of thousands, now they belive that the final count will be somewhere in the 6 digit numbers! It just seems impossible!!!
Even though Peter is so sick, he is bound and determined to get to Haiti to do whatever he can. Of course, there is always the possibility that his current health condition will not allow that to happen. Chris is planning on going to Haiti just as soon as she recives permission from the government to help with this massive effort.
When I asked her how long she should expect to wait to receive that news, she responded that it could be anywhere from a few minutes to months. I wanted to know what skills she is planning on using in Haiti. She told me that she can once again give immunizations, deliver food or just hold victims' hands and tell them that everything is going to be okay. It is amazing just how much those words can soothe a person's soul.
Actually, I doubt if many Haitians are expecting "normalcy" any time soon. Of course, they would be right. Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas. Unscroupulous dictators have unraveled their country's wealth little by little and lot by lot. The people have had to fight for every morsel of food that they have had. So far, millions if not billions of dollars have flooded into the country to help the victims who have endured so much more devastation than we can even imagine. If there is a silver lining to this whole issue, it is the fact that the rotting, unsafe homes, stores, schools, etc that once stood, will now be replaced with much better and safer buildings. Of course, the United States is heading the relief effort. I get sooooooooo tired of hearing on television and radio and reading newspapers that most of the rest of the world dislikes us. Of course, there are things that we could improve upon but whenever tragedy rears it's ugly head, the world expects the U.S. to step up to the plate first to bring aid. When I hear of other Americans and foreign countrymen rubbing our face in the ground, I immediately remember how many people would die if it hadn't been for the U.S. amazing generosity in so very many ways. I, for one, am very proud to be an American!!!
Money is not the only resource that is needed. Medical organizations are BEGGING for blood! Out of the people who are capable of donating blood, only 38% of those Americans actually show up at blood drives, etc. Maybe you are not in a position where you can afford to donate money but it would be equally important if not more important if you could share your own blood. There is absolutely NO cost out of your own pockets to do this. I am going to try to get some more research done on this topic. I will post my findings here.
Many of you have asked me when you could visit with Chris face-to-face. Chris confirmed it last night that she WILL be here for the Wichita County Fair!!! At this time, we are working on a community wide get-together where she will talk to whoever wants to be there to hear of the many philanthropy efforts that she and Peter have made throughout the world. She will be bringing outstanding photographs of the people whom they have met and come to love throughout the world. Chris will actually tell us just what people back here at home can do to help the MANY people who are living day-to-day lives in areas of destruction, etc. I'll write more of that later.
Anyway, please pray for a quick recovery for Peter and continued safety for the two of them as they continue to spread more love throughout the world.
Chris and Peter, we are only too proud of you for all that you have done, are doing and will do in the future to bring stability and hope to the many people whom your love and support touches!!!