by Emily, Co-Director, IHF Aceh
It’s been a trying week here in the IHF Banda Aceh center. Our co-director, Dustin, was hospitalized for Dengue all week. Dengue is a common illness throughout South East Asia and is spread through mosquitoes bites. Usually, the virus is relatively harmless. Most of the time, a high fever and flu-like symptoms last for about a week, and then there is a period of weakness and recovery. The danger comes when blood platelet levels fall too low, so that blood does not clot well. Blood platelet levels should be between 150,000 and 400,000. Dustin’s levels dropped down to 29,000, prompting us to worry exceedingly. If it fell below 10,000, he would need a blood transfusion. Fortunately, they never got so low and he was able to return home for rest and a speedy recovery. We’re relieved to say he’s doing very well and should return to working order soon.
Sickness aside, things are going well at the center. Students had their end of semester exams this week and were quite exhausted. We played a lot of review games during the week to motivate them. It was difficult, as we didn’t want to leave Dustin at the hospital by himself, but we also wanted to ensure the center remained open. Fortunately, we have some spectacular local volunteers, who helped us cover all the classes and make sure Dustin received excellent care throughout his time in the hospital. Some of our SMA students even went to visit him, to show how much they missed his teaching. It was a very sweet gesture that he greatly appreciated. We’re certainly lucky to be surrounded by such sweet students and teachers!