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Voltage, Patients, & Sago Grubs

July 2, 2011

Today is an amazingly quite day in Walagu. Most people have gone to their gardens. We should see people as the afternoon goes on…

Who knew how exciting 0.3 volt could be. For 3 weeks, since we had filled & installed the 2 new batteries, the voltage reading had fallen to 12.4 in the evening. A good healthy battery should hold at least at 12.7 overnight. We have spent, especially, the last 2 weeks, trying different hook-ups of the batteries, regulator, lights, pump, & radio. As hard as it is to accept, it seems that the energy culprit was actually the 2 new batteries. Somehow, I got not just one, but 2 bad batteries. Yesterday, we reattached the old battery (brought back from the literacy office), and it held steady at 12.7 voltage all night long. I am not sure what or how I’ll do about replacing the new batteries. Batteries are hazardous cargo, heavy, and hence quite expensive to fly when we pay by the kilogram. Pray for wisdom. Also pray for grace as I talk with where I bought the batteries. I know that they thought they were selling me good batteries.

The boy with the broken arm has been out and about some. His hand is some swollen, but his fingers are warm and moveable. Do continue to pray for good circulation & for good healing of the bones in alignment. The lady with the very large boil/infection is still feeling quite ill & the wound is still draining quite a lot. The toddler girl with the severe ear infection is better, but she still thinks that we are the enemy rather than friends. The young boy with the burns on his arm is doing well. It is very sweet, one day, I was feeling a bit harried. I unwrapped the old bandage, washed the burns, put on the medicine, then, re-bandaged his arm. I asked him, “Finished?” He immediately replied, “You did not pray yet!” Wow, was my heart both blessed that he considered this an important part of each day’s treatment, and quite a bit convicted that I would forget that, I usually did count those prayers the most important part of each treatment. Needless to say, I did pray quite fervently for his arm that day, and all of the days since! All of the people treated for malaria are doing well.

A sago grub by any other name is still a ‘nolu feleli.’ In April while the main 2 literacy co-workers were at Ukarumpa at a course, Joy had talked with Jeffery & Hauwo about how she had never eaten sago grubs. So, they on their return to Walagu, they each cut down a sago palm and just left it there. The smell of the dead sago calls to the sago beetle to come and lay eggs there. A month or so later, the larvae are ready to harvest: the sago grub or ‘nolu feleli’ as it is called in Onobasulu. Many years ago, I had had a tree grub, but never until just this past June had I eaten a sago grub. Joy & I got to have some a few weeks ago at Hauwo’s house. And this past week, Jeffery’s wife brought some for Joy, Jenny & I to all try. The Onobasulu people love these mouthfuls of protein. And I am quite happy to leave as many as possible for them to eat! 🙂

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