Saturday, November 29, 2008

Day 2 and Holding

We had a fairly peaceful night, although the guards told me they heard gunfire throughout most of the night.

My phone rang at 1:45 a.m., and I was instantly awake. Turns out, the person just wanted to know if we were safe. I was wondering why he was calling at that time. Later I remembered that calls are free between midnight and 4 a.m. He probably didn't have any phone credit so he took that opportunity to check on people.

You can find quite a bit of news on the internet today if you google "Jos election violence." For the most part, I think the reporting is quite fair, although I think they have greatly decreased numbers of those injured and dead.

We are actually seeing hundreds of people fleeing from the Tudun Wada area which borders the area we live in. It's mainly women and children. They are not quite running, but they are walking very fast. They are all trying to get to the Air Force base which is a trek of about 2-3 miles.

I saw a family of 6 plus the driver get on a motorcycle this morning. The four children were quite small. I have never seen 7 people on a motorcycle before! The traffic I was able to see appeared to be mainly heading south out of town.

Of course, rumors are abounding. We heard this morning that our church was burned, but just now a member confirmed that only windows are broken.

Tobi just asked if he could play outside. I said no, but that he can watch another video--he sure was surprised. Letting the kids 'veg' out on videos seems somehow appropriate these days. They do know what's going on, but I try not to let them hear details.

Amazingly, we have had uninterrupted power for 36 hours now. I always feel better when we have power. I know I can do email, the kids can watch videos, the lamps provide a warm, homey glow even in the middle of the day, the limited food in the fridge & freezer is not spoiling...

I have had to get very creative with meal planning. It's a good mind-stretching experience. We have food; it's just not in the quantities and types that we would normally have. We are now feeding 5 extra mouths plus our family.

One woman who is with us now went to the hospital at 5:30 a.m. on Friday to line up to get her anti-retroviral drugs for HIV. That hospital is in the area of town where the fighting was quite heavy. She had to stay in the hospital all day because it was not safe to go out. She said many people were taking refuge within the hospital compound. She also said many people with injuries were coming in. By 4 p.m. she was able to trek to her home about 2-3 miles away. She said there were many soldiers on the main roads.

The other woman with us forgot to bring her anti-retroviral drugs for HIV when she fled. These drugs must be taken religiously, at the same time in the morning and evening. It's not possible for her to go back home to get the drugs. If the drugs are not taken properly, the body can develop resistance to the drugs in a fairly short amount of time.

Lives are simply being disrupted in every way imaginable. Some disruptions are manageable; others are devastating. We have heard of numerous homes being destroyed by fire.

Continue to join us in prayer for this situation.

1 comment:

Sakina said...

Mary Beth,
I am praying for you in this situation in Jos. Jack and I are in Australia studying Permaculture, and working with sustainable agriculture internationally. I have been thinking of you this week in that respect. I hope you stay well.
DeAnna (Luedtke) Heimsoth