May 1, 2023 Kigama Friend’s Church, our first clinic post Covid. A lot of mixed emotions going into day 1, that of excitement, anticipation, perhaps some fear or trepidation, a fear of the unknown maybe. Some things were much the same since 2019, yet some things were different….and missing.
What was the same? The abject poverty we see, in contrast to the happiness and faith the people have remains constant. Another constant is Solomon….the ever present community go getter. Solomon greeted us this morning with his usual exuberance and happiness and gratefulness. We were welcomed with wide open arms, many hugs and greetings were had…it really warms the heart.
What’s different? Progress in the construction of Kigama Friend’s Church was beyond noticeable. It has been completed. The community has been busy over the past 3 years. The floors are done, the walls are painted and the windows installed. When last we saw it, there were dirt floors, concrete walls and lots of lumber lying around. Lookin’ sharp Kigama.
What’s Missing? Or more like who’s missing. Winnie, one of our valued Kenyan team members who passed away in 2020. She is missed. Solomon paid tribute to her memory with a moment of prayer. Victor, our first nursing bursary student who was unable to joinus this year as he is currently working in England. And Gail, CNFA founder, who I know is deeply missing the return to Kenya this year, having retired following our last mission.
Today we saw approximately 450 people…it seemed like way more. I mentioned previously that there is an increase in malaria, we did 16 malaria RDTs (rapid diagnostic test), fortunately only 2 were positive. One of which was extremely ill and was promptly taken to hospital with Zandra as her escort. Without hospital treatment chances are she would have succumbed to her disease, at least she has a fighting chance now.
Team Member Intro: Today I would like to introduce you to Jennifer. Jennifer works at Trillium Health Partners Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Services in Mississauga. She says “it has always been a career dream & I expect to be the highlight of my long career. How better to see and experience another culture than immersing yourself while doing some good. I chose CNFA because it mirrors my own values. It is important to me that it is providing health care that is preventable & sustainable. That is not religious and respectful.”
I have to apologize for no picture, something is up with my device and it has either hidden or deleted all my pictures and videos from today. I will post it tomorrow when I locate it or have to take a new one.
One last thing, the team told me I had to post this. Today I celebrated a milestone birthday. I have been blessed with the opportunity to spend two previous birthdays with great mission teams. This team does not disappoint…and understood the assignment…