Visiting the FLM President

Today I got an invitation to meet the FLM (Malagasy Lutheran Church) President Pastor Modesto. He is a very gracious man who remembers my father (indeed was treated by him as a young man). I am truly blessed by all the people in the FLM who remember him with pleasure. They are all excited to hear that he is still alive and to receive his greetings.

We (myself and Duda, the young Malagasy Pastor Rakotonirina found to guide me around) had an interesting trip. We took the bus (non- scheduled) across town. After about an hour, Pastor Rakotonirina said, "You're late, I'll come and meet you." We still were a hour late! Then when we left we took to bus again. It took over 2 hours to get back to the hotel because of heavy traffic. The bus drivers impressed me. They pass with less room than I like, but I saw no accidents.

The streets teem with people. Many young people - young adults and children of all ages. The flavor of conversation is happy and friendly. Not that I understand all that much, but voice tone tells a lot. Young school girls acting like girls the world over - in our bus., like all buses they give you a separate board to provide a seat in the aisle between the seats. I counted 37 passengers in a bus with 24 seats! Anyway these two girls sat one on the other next to our seat, and talked uninhibitedly the whole trip. I enjoy people watching. There are so many pictures I would like to have, but I don't have the natural photographer's arrogance to insist on interrupting people for my desires.

Oh, on what types of problems we treated on the clinic visits: I didn't see any reference to malaria, although I am sure there was some there. It doesn't seem to be highly present, or maybe just accepted. I remember seeing bronchitis, pneumonia, fever, rashes (sometimes fungus, sometimes other things), seizures - sometimes with a history of years, SOB. We would treat for a while and then close shop (so we could close in time to get home!) One time a lady came up as we were closing the pharmacy (always the last) with an obviously sick baby. The doctor saw her even though it was after time. She had a high fever. We probably saved her life since she wouldn't have gotten to a hospital in time to do anything otherwise. What a privilege God gives us.