Monday starts with a clinic at Chavakali, a village we have been coming to for 7 years. The patients are glad to see us and we them. We treated 610 patients inside the clinic, dewormed 329 children, and handed out 35 pairs of eyeglasses. In addition, Lynn conducted a sexual education clinic for 26 women and 33 jiggers patients were treated along with two home visits.
Yesterday, I asked if you would spread dung onto a friend’s floor, but today Tayla and Sephora did just that. They covered a woman’s floor with dung so she and her children can have a healthier life.
CNFA has provided a nursing scholarship to one nursing student, and we have been fortunate to have Victor work with us this week. This young man is bright and enthusiastic with a perpetual smile on his face. His family tried to dissuade him from the nursing profession as it is a woman’s profession, but he is passionate about the work. He said he wants to work in a critical care unit as he wants to “save people from the grave”.
For those of us on this mission, we are seeing the real Africa. We are speaking with and seeing the Kenyans in their personal lives by visiting their homes. This is a privilege for us and a chance to immerse ourselves in reality. Two of our nurses have personally paid to have a roof repaired because how can you walk away leaving a family to cope with the rains when there is nowhere in the house to take shelter. How fortunate we are. By opening up their homes, the Kenyans give this gift to us.
Upon arrival at the entrance to the road to Sheywe last night, there were several hundred students packed into the back of 2 large trucks yelling and shouting. My initial thought was student revolution, but as it turned out, the university student president elections are being held and they were encouraging other students to vote for one individual. Aggrey told us that each one of them was being paid to campaign for their candidate. Where does a student get that kind of money? The student president office comes with a lot of perks and prestige.
Corruption is rampant in this country. It has been described as “filling the belly”. As an example, the police frequently stop our car and occasionally our van. They are looking for current insurance and checking out other safety items, such as tire pressure. They don’t really bother us but other drivers will simply pay the police depending on how large the infraction is. No one ever goes to court and, at the end of the day the two officers will split what they have collected. Filling the belly goes right up the political path to the presidency. Each elected politician has to show gratitude to their supporters who put them there. As a woman stated yesterday, “I won’t see a change in my lifetime”. Hope is eroding in Kenya and people without hope have no other options than to rise up and take what is theirs.