W’apɔw mu ɛ?
Hello! No, we did not fall of the face of the earth. Things have been in high gear for the past few weeks. I guess it is about time that we get caught up.
On December 20, we found out that Emily Aaron needed someone to fly home with her and the sick baby. Because it was close to Christmas, not many seats were available on the plane. There were two seats available on the flight leaving on December 21. They tried to find a nurse or doctor who could travel back with them, but no one was available. So, we put it into overdrive and finished packing our house that day. The next day, we drove to Accra. Soon after we arrived, we were on our way to get Emily and Elise from the hospital to head to the airport.
Someone from the airport called and wanted us to arrive early so that they could see the baby. We had a letter from the doctor stating that Elise could fly home, but they wanted to see all of that, look at the baby, and see what they thought. The lady was very kind. She made a copy of the letters. She sent someone to walk us through customs and right to the front of the security line.
They wanted everyone in the gate area two hours before the flight. Once we were seated, we got the IV switched back on and took turns holding the IV up in the air. I was teasing Emily that we were like Moses; we were wishing for someone to come hold our hands up.
After we got on the plane, we were trying to figure out what we could hang the IV on. Before we left, Andrew had offered one of his shoestrings. We did not take him up on the offer because Emily’s tennis shoes had shoestrings. The shoestring ended up being the best way to go. We hung it on the headrest of the seat. Elise was on an IV and also had a tube coming out of her nose which was collecting bile. At the hospital, they said that if we needed to remove either one for any reason that we could do so. The IV was having a little trouble due to the change in air pressure. It worked okay for most of the first flight. Elise did well on the long flight. The only times that she got worked up were when she was hungry. The doctor had told Emily that she could use a bottle to put small drops of milk in her mouth just to keep it moist, but Elise did not think that was quite enough. Everyone around us was asleep. When Elise started crying, the steward came to see if there was anything he could do. No one around us complained though.
We landed in New York City and were in line to go through Customs there. The man in front of us in line saw that the baby had an IV and got the attention of a Customs agent who took us to the front of the line. I was carrying Emily’s bag and all of the paperwork. The Customs agent would not let me go through the line with them though because I was not family. So, I went back to the line. We both got through Customs about the same time. We did not check any luggage so that we would not have to bother with claiming it in NYC and rechecking it after going through Customs.
After we made it to our terminal, we were able to talk to our husbands and the children via Facetime and the Wifi at the airport. The two men had seven children between the two of them. They would not fly out until December 25. They were all in a guest house in Accra. Joe was chief cook and bottle washer.
There was an air bubble in the IV line. We showed it to Andrew via Facetime, and he called a nurse friend in Ghana. She told us what to do with the IV. It worked okay until we got on the plane again. The change in air pressure was about to do it in. On the second flight, Elise sneezed, and the bile tube came out of her nose. Because she was not getting a lot of liquid from the partially functioning IV, she did not have much bile coming up at that point.
We flew from New York to Atlanta and then from Atlanta to Little Rock. By the last flight, the IV was not working at all. There were flash floods in Little Rock. We were in a holding pattern over Little Rock for about thirty minutes. I had done well with not getting airsick up to that point. I think that was the roughest flight that I have ever been on. Somehow Elise slept through it.
The Crumptons, the Aarons’ pastor and his wife, were there to meet us when we got off the plane. They took Emily and Elise straight to the hospital. I had a connecting flight from Little Rock to Dallas. It was delayed an hour or so due to the weather. From Dallas, I flew to Oklahoma City, where my parents met me at the airport. At that point, I had been up for over thirty hours. We ate some supper, and then I went to bed. Before we got back to parents’ house, Elise was already out of surgery. She had mal rotation of the bowels. She stayed in the hospital for five days and was released the day after Christmas.
Joe and Andrew had five long days in Accra before their departure to the US, but they survived.
My parents brought me down to Texas so that we could be here when Joe and the kids arrived. Bonnie had fallen asleep in the vehicle and was carried straight to her bed. Danny had fallen asleep too, but he woke up a little bit. My sister Amy and her family also came to see us. I was about over jet lag by the time Joe and the kids got back, but it took them a week or so to get over it. Danny and Bonnie kept waking up about 3:00 AM thinking that it was time to get up.
Our church in Center, TX, had our pantry full of food when we arrived. Then, they also had a Christmas party for us at the Watchnight Service. We are all set for quite a while!
On New Year’s Day, we drove up to OKC to spend a couple days with my parents and my youngest sister Sharon and her family. Joe came down with the flu on Thursday. Then, Gilbert came down with it on Friday. We drove home on Saturday. Bonnie threw up just as we were driving into Center. We were all sick on Sunday. The boys both missed their first day of school here. Bonnie went though. I am teaching the 7th grade English class in the school this semester. We will be traveling with Joe to some of the furlough meetings.
It has been interesting to listen to the things that our children have noticed that are different here than they are in Ghana. Bonnie was two when we went back to Africa; so, she does not remember much about America. Danny was telling her all about the drinking fountain one day before we left Africa. He said, “Bonnie, at our church, there is a machine; you just push a button, and water comes out! You can drink it right out of that machine!” Danny was sure to point it out to her as soon as we got to church. The boys were helping her and showing her how it worked. As we were driving along, Gilbert said, “It’s so clean here!” Bonnie said, “Mom, they don’t have baskets on their heads!” Danny wanted to know where all of the people are who should be walking along the side of the road. Bonnie said, “Mom, there’s no one selling snails on the side of the road either.” There are a lot of street vendors in Ghana.
Well, I think that just about brings you up to date. You will probably not receive a daily update while we are on furlough, but we will try to send a weekly report.
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie