Friday, December 22, 2017

The changing world (36) Apr 1975

1st Was due to preach at Gindiri but Machunga the TEKAN General Secretary arrived and I was replaced. He heads the fellowship of the different denominations that have come out of different national SUM branches, Danish Lutheran, USA CRC, United Methodist and Brethren. Others from South Africa work.
   2nd Spoke to Gindiri conference on ways and benefits of Bible study.
   3rd Geof Birch gave a good word at Gindiri. back to Vom.
   4th Agreed with Ian Rathbone that I will be the Vom pharmacist for the two months of our Vom residence.
   6th Trevor Wells dropped me to preach at Kaduna Vom. But his return to pick me up was delayed so I paid 20 kobo for a taxi home.
   7th Fist full day in pharmacy. Richard and Jane Gill to dinner. He is a new doctor. He did his elective here and after qualifying said he would have one shot at MRCP before coming to Vom. Pass rate is no more than 20% and he passed.
   8th Depressed by number of pharmacy items out of stock.Depression is a constant recurrent theme all the years of my autobiography right from the start at university in 1964. The first depression I recall was after A levels in 1963 which I thought I had failed after strong revision.I was so wrong having in fact the best results in my year, AAB.  The next episode was 1964 going up to university and thinking my studying was not going in at all. I was diagnosed as having a mental health problem but there was no treatment. Depression came and went and I never sought hep. I rejected the idea of antidepressants. Partly this was because I thought the problem was at basic spiritual. Also as a pharmacist with easy access to drugs I did not want to be taking them. I now realise I was wrong about it all being spiritual. Not until my sixties did I seek medical help for depression. It was a few years before I was diagnosed as bipolar and that came from a psychiatrist friend not the GP. The diagnosis explained a lot of my history over the decades. The drugs prescribed had some effect but after about five years I managed to wean myself off them and now for nearly a year have been drug free and happier.
   9th Finance news at Vom not good. Not happy the prayer meeting had a female leader. The denomination does not ordain female pastors but does have female elders though not at Vom nor IIRC where I served in Borno.
   12th First heavy rain this year.
   13th Pharmacy duty plus Hausa sermon preached at Vom. Brian Biddy eating with us. Des Thomas preached in the evening. He is the practical man at Mongu leprosarium. Their family was the only one to exceed the SUM four children limit. All missionaries received the same allowance from newest recruit to the director in charge. Married couples had allowance for two. For each child up to four an additional small allowance was received IIRC and all travel, medical and school expenses were paid. Above four you had to fiancee those children.So we had four children as our quiverful. The Thomases went on reproducing and with more than the allotted four were eventually to live the mission.
   14th More rain. David is scared of the rain. Noise on the roof?
   16th Ivor Thomas confirms Katy is pregnant but small for seventeen weeks.
   17th Tahiru our cook off work with fever so Katy has more housework and I have washing up.               18th Tahiru back to work but sacked by Katy for refusing to chop firewood for the stove cooker. Naughty Jonathan ruined record player stylus, pulled out typewriter ribbon, touched transparencies and dough.
   19th Tahiru has stolen N58 from the safe. Our roast pork joint turned out to be the rear end.Katy would go twice a week to buy meat brought to the hospital. Pork was a treat and the only meat fit to roast. Beef was tough, fit only to be minced. Goat or mutton was not offered.
   20th Morning three and a half hours rain.
   22nd Haruna (Aaron) started as cook.
   23rd Spoke at staff weekly prayer meeting.
   27th Richard Gill gave good sermon.
   30th To Jos for Katy to have Hausa oral exam. Took boys to zoo.

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