It's Pronounced "Woof-er"
I spent last week in North Carolina getting certified as a Wilderness First Responder (WFR). What this means in the States is that I am qualified to care for people in backcountry situations like hiking and mountain climbing.
As we prepare to head to the field, one thing that we are often asked about is how good medical care is in the parts that we will be going to. The honest answer is that we don't know. Since we haven't narrowed down a location, we are trying to be prepared for anything that might lie ahead of us. In some areas, like the city we visited in Cote d'Ivoire, modern hospitals are easy to access. But in other areas, even a simple broken arm requires evacuation out of the country to get adequate medical care.
My purpose for taking the course was to start developing a set of skills that would allow me to be prepared for areas where good medical care is not easily accessible. As we start narrowing down a location, we want to be as free as possible to go anywhere that the Lord leads us. We already have so much freedom by homeschooling the kids! We are not dependent on having a specific quality or type of school. And now wherever we end up, I want to be able to care for my kids if they get hurt and we're not necessarily close to immediate help.
I've wanted to do this for a long time and finally had a good excuse to sign up for a course!
So, I spent a week with people from all over the country that are growing their skills as first responders. Some were guides for hiking or climbing trips. Some were trying to prepare themselves to get jobs in backcountry environments. Others were just recreational explorers that wanted to be able to do something if their friends got hurt. It was a lot of fun to get to know so many people with so many different stories!
They kept describing the course as drinking from a firehose! It was a lot of information to take in and immediately learn how to put into practice. We cleaned wounds, straightened broken bones, fixed dislocated shoulders, and cared for unresponsive patients. (These were all created with makeup or imagination...no one was hurt for the purposes of our class!)
Occasionally, I got to be a patient and I would send pictures like this to my family. (I promise it's not real.)
In the end, I feel so much better prepared to face emergency situations somewhere on the field. Hopefully, I never have to use this, but having this kind of training can open up opportunities for us wherever we go.
Also, a quick update on our status for France:
We got an email this week that French long-stay visas are open again!
So, please be praying that we can get our passports in time and get our interview scheduled as soon as possible. Things continue to move in the right direction and we praise the Lord for his guidance and sovereignty through it all!