So about 3 weeks ago the container arrived which had the 2 vehicles and big dirt bikes. Naturally, I was pretty excited and could not wait to ride the bikes. I had been practicing on the small motorcycle for the past 2 weeks before the dirt bikes arrived, so that I could be ready and able to jump right on. The follwing Friday night, my dad came up to me and told me that he had time right now to take me out. I got right up and put my shoes on. I walked to the dome house, which is where all of the motorbikes are stored for now. He hopped on one, put the key in, put it in neutral, and wheeled it outside the gate. I did the same.
Once we were both outside the gate we started the bikes. He told me to get used to the throttle and the clutch, because they are a lot stiffer than the small motorcycle, which I had become so used to riding. I spent about 2 minutes messing with the clutch and throttle and then my dad took off. I was like, “Okay boss” – and I followed right after him. He lead the way to the school’s soccer field, which is just about a 2 minute walk from the compound.
He started doing figure eights, and I was just following in his tracks. Once we were about to finish another figure eight, I watched him fall when his bike slid and tipped. I started to go around him not knowing what had caused him to wreck, and then I tipped too. I didn’t know what had happened at first. I got up and my dad was already standing, just staring at the bikes, thinking. We had both hit a long pice of wet bamboo hidden in the long grass. When our front tires hit the bamboo, the tires slipped out from under the bike, causing us to tip. I stood there too for about 30 seconds and then I felt a really hot sensation on my right forearm, so I looked down. There was a 3 and a half inch gash. It wasn’t bleeding a ton, there was just white. I knew it wasn’t bone but I just stared at it and said, “Wow. That’s deep”. My dad told me to to come over to him so he could have a look. He said that we were going to have to get me to the clinic right away and that I was going to need stitches. He told me to go wash it really well and that he would be over in a little bit. He was going to try to figure out how to get the 2 bikes back so they wouldn’t get jacked or played on by kids.
I started walking, and then I turned my arm over because I was dripping blood from some place other than my forearm. Most of my palm was covered in blood and there was about an inch wide puncture wound, and I could tell it was pretty deep. As I was walking back to the compound, three people stopped me wanting to see my arm. I was fine with it because I wasn’t in a real hurry. It suprisingly didn’t hurt. I finally got back to the compound and everyone was just staring at me. I went over to the sink and started running water over it. I did that for about five minutes until my dad got back. He came over and took another look at the cuts and then got the alocohol to pour on it to clean it. It didn’t hurt. At least that’s what I told myself. It actually hurt like crazy! We then wrapped it up in gauze and drove to the clinic which was about a 45 minute-1 hour drive. My mom came and one of the other orphans named Leo who had a problem with his finger.
Once we got to the clinic, we checked in. They already had my name and all of my information because I had been there earlier in the week when I was diagnosed with Malaria (that’s another story…). The generator didn’t come on until 7pm, so the whole clinic was dark. We did the stitches outside on a white, plastic card table with sugar ants all over it – no steril pad for me to lay my arm on. Not the best of conditions, but then again, we’re in Africa so what do you expect? By the light of my dad’s iPhone, Dr. Bobby put the Novacain in my arm and started the stitches. He must have had a dull hook though because I could tell that he was really having to use his strength to get it though my skin. He finally switched out the hook for one he crafted out of a needle and it was a lot better for both the me AND the doctor. I got 12 stitches in my right forearm.
Next was my palm. I only got 5 stitches in there, but the worst part was numbing it. Putting the needle in hurt so bad! Once he was finished we got pictures (of course), and then he bandanged me up. It didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would when the numbness went away, but it sure was annoying having so many bandages on and not really being able to use my right hand at all. The bright side? I didn’t have to do dishes, homework, or most of my chores for a week!
Anyway the stitches are out now and there’s a gnarly scar on my forearm. My palm still isn’t healed though.
Look at the pictures on our online album. There’s a link somewhere on this blog site I think.
I love you all! Hope you’re all doing great!