Another day is done and we treated 426 patients today. We started out this morning at 8a, picked up more medication, dropped off about 200 pairs of glasses at an eye glass clinic, several 100 lenses, and various eyeglass parts. We arrived at our clinic, which was situated near a school. We occupied what appeared to be a church at the front gate. We looked out and the majority of the school children (about 262) were in line for treatment of worms and ringworm. The line seemed to be endless. Everyone was barefoot and the uniforms were dirty and threadbare. We had a lot of infants today and small children. As usual, we were unable to complete the line up and once again had to deal with the upset. Gail went out into the crowd and brought in the infants, who were given treatment. There is so much need here; the end is never be in sight. But it does upset us as we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t care. Today, we transported two patients to hospital and paid their fees. I know I am repetitive, but thank you to all of you who made this possible.
As I mentioned earlier, children do not smile readily. I spoke with a man today who had had a boil lanced on his neck. He was shocked to find out that he had hypertension. He also said his job was with the government who gave the community various projects to complete but no money to do the work with. He was very stressed. I mentioned that the children do not smile, and he stated they don’t smile because they are hungry. Distended abdomens are a common sight. After the clinic, we arrived back at the guest house just long enough to pick up our charitable items for an orphanage.
Aggrey Mulumba has donated his family home and has provided sustance to 22 widows, a widower, and 65 orphaned children, all in their predicament because of AIDS. AIDS victims are shunned in the villages. The women work in their homes, knitting and sewing, to provide for their children. The orphanage is also engaged in other projects to support themselves. Our welcome was a sight to see. Everyone was singing and the women danced up to each of us, then danced us to a seat at the front of a greeting area. Kenyans love speeches so naturally there were a few of those. One of the nurses from last year donated two sewing machines to the orphanage along with the gift of money from another Canadian supporter. We left all that wool we gathered from you, wooden toys, skipping ropes and soccer balls.
After a shower and dinner, everyone headed to bed. Two of our nurses leave tomorrow, Priscilla and Sylvia. Thanks guys for all your work and your friendship. We will miss you. I have posted some photos for you. The photo of the older woman gives you an idea of our joyous greeting (it is hard to take pictures when you are hugging and dancing.
Kenyans are a highly religious people and every church you have heard of and many you haven’t are here harvesting souls. Dr Ottichia, the MP for a nearby area, stated the people have no hope and so are simply waiting for death so they can go to heaven. As such, they have lost initiative. “Empowerment ” is a word you hear and see here. Some of the churches are establishing smaller initiatives so the communities can provide for themselves.
I have posted photos. I can’t get enough of the children. The smile you see (or don’t see) on the older girl with the orange blanket was the biggest I could get frim her. She sat for hours like that. Take care everyone. See you soon.