Well, this is it. It’s bittersweet really. We are tired. We miss our families. We look forward to heading home to Canada. But, every one of us will miss Africa. It’s amazing how adaptable we are as human beings. The squatty toilets that made us wrinkle our face and plug are noses are now second nature. Steamed vegetables every night are no big deal (though I do look forward to a juicy hamburger). And the crowds! Wow, the crowds of people. It is so difficult to take a photo that will convey the sheer mass of humanity on the streets and markets! Suffice it to say, I think we will all leave a little part of us in Kenya. We will also take a lot home. Gratitude. Appreciation. A little less sense of entitlement. It will be difficult re-adapting to a consumer based culture. So please be patient with us. Look at our photos (even if you aren’t interested), listen to our stories (even if they kind of bore you), bear with us as we might even seem different, or frustrated with our world of plenty. I hope I’ve changed. I know we have changed the world. Not hugely. But for each individual that comes to the clinic year after year; healthier, eyes brighter, smiling, for these people it IS a world of difference.
At Hamadira today – after we drove around the countryside trying to find it – exactly 500 people came to clinic. A little grandmother came up to Gail, and said “thank you. My grand daughter and I would not be alive if you had not started coming”. So many people have said thank you. Thank you to us. Thank you to all of you. They really do! They recognize that you send us! And they are so, so grateful.
Johnstone dealt with 15 cases of jiggers today. Just a few years ago they would do over 80, or even 100. What a difference! We are so grateful for the year round work he does for CNFA.
Today, a caring son brought his father to clinic in a wheelbarrow. It was simply the only way to get him there! If funds are available, there is potential to get him a wheelchair and physiotherapy. A young boy, sick with malaria, went to hospital today, as did a young man who suffered a motorcycle 18 months ago. He broke his femur, had surgery, but it has NEVER healed right.
Again we ran out of glasses early on. We are so glad to hear that some of you are already saying you will begin to collect glasses. READING glasses, not prescription. I believe even the Dollar Store carries some inexpensive ones. It is so fun when they come back in, smiling because they can see. The little tag dangling from the nosepiece and the sticker across the lens. Eventually, someone will go get scissors and cut them off, or I think they would just wear them like that!
Thank you again to everyone who has been following along. We are grateful for your year round support, funding the programs, the medications, the Kenyan workers, the hospital stays, wheelchairs, physiotherapy and so much more! See you in Canada!