Today I rounded early, then went to the OR for a couple of cases lasting until almost lunch. Then Moumadou called to see if I wanted to go ride horses. I had a bunch of other things to do, but I went anyways. Moumadou is an 18 year old boy who keeps the horses around the hospital. His age is given away by the way he rides. I'll be running through the dirt and mud, and here he comes passing me by like a flash of lightning. Doesn't matter to him if its uphill or down, slippery or rocky, he is always wanting to go fast. Since he is usually a bit faster than me, and thus ahead of me, it leaves me splattered with dirt and mud from the top of my head the whole way down. It's okay though, I've always enjoyed dirt and mud. We went to a Fulani (a people group who mostly are associated with raising cattle) compound way up on a mountain. We went to greet and they invited us in. They always are kind to me, I think they are amused that I am a woman who can ride a horse. We were in a little square house with a smaller house on each side. We sat in the man's house, and each of the other houses was for one of his wives. They brought tea with milk from their cows, yams, and bread. I sat with the men and took the tea in a circle on the floor. They were so gracious and kind. It reminded me of so long ago when I spent time in Africa. That was the way that we took every meal, from the same plate sitting on hard dirt. Of course back then I didn't get to sit with the men. And in that culture we all had to drink from the same bowl. Being a girl and young put me right at the bottom of the totem pole, and having to drink from the bowl after everyone else had already drunk and left their spittle. Ugghh. Getting older has some perks. Thankfully they don't do that here. We visited probably too long, because the rains then began coming heavily. They offered for us to stay, but we moved along. So off we went into the mud back toward the hospital. It was the best mud splattering thus far on my clothes. I was really glad to get to go meet with that family. It was a bright spot in the day. The Fulani have always caught my attention. They often live far out from everyone else so that they can raise their cattle. Almost all of the are Muslim. They are often not concerned about education, so many do not send their children to school. It is neat to see how easy it seems to connect with them in spite of being worlds apart in many ways. Like I said, they're always impressed by a white woman who can ride, so that gives me a foot up I suppose. Who would have thought that God would use something like that to start relationships. I don't know what will come, but I love meeting them and getting to know them. I hope that I will be able to continue to build relationships, eventually connecting regarding eternal things. But for now, I guess horses will have to do.
Well after we got back, maternity immediately called. Back to the OR. And then to labor and delivery, again. Then finally back home. A patient at the hospital followed me home. That is always a bit sketchy. She wanted something, seemed like she was trying to get money to put minutes on her phone so she could call her family. I told her where to go at the hospital to get help. I was tired of being chased down by everyone at the hospital and just wanted time alone. People are always trying to get me to see just one more. Nurses always calling me to come see someone else. It wasn't that sending her away was wrong, but the spirit in which I sent her was one of not wanting to be bothered. As soon as she left I began thinking of how Jesus never was really bothered by people. Maybe He was tired, but He kept ministering to others. I then thought of how the Word talks of kindness to others, and how it states that sometimes people have even entertained angels without knowing it. I hoped she hadn't been one. Seems worse to turn away an angel than a person. Of course, that is exactly the point. I wished I had just let her use my phone. Not because I was truly changed into a giving heart, but so I didn't have to think of it anymore. I've been running her through my mind ever since. And yet I really am tired. It's been 5 weeks I think without a real day off from the hospital. I've had hours here and there, but not an actual day off. How did Christ make his eyes see the eternal value of each person in the midst of the frustrations and weariness caused by desperate crowds and endless work?