On Saturday, we travelled to Chavakali and set up our clinic in a Friend’s Church that was located beside a busy road. Saturday is market day in Kenya and great numbers of people walked past our clinic as they attended market. On this day, food and other stuffs are purchased for the next week. In addition, the road was well travelled by cows and small livestock as they also travelled to market to be sold. All in all, it was an interesting site.
Naturally, a few dropped into the clinic, about 502 people prior to 1:30 pm before we closed the clinic. We treated 27 persons with jiggers, dewormed 194 children, and handed out reading glasses and sunglasses. If you want to do something for our mission next year, please start collecting reading glasses. They are light and easy for us to transport. These communities have a huge need for something we take for granted. For those of you who wear them (as I do), remove them for an hour and see how frustrating it is not to be able to see properly or to read. So many school children also need glasses and by not being able to read properly, it affects their education. We finished off our day by sharing a dinner with the Kenyan nurses and doctors. We had a lot of fun as Beatrice, one of our nurses, actually had us clapping and dancing. And yes, they do have better rhythm than we do as they laugh and sing so spontaneously.
Today is Sunday in Kenya, a day when most Kenyans go to church. We woke at 6:30 am to the sounds of worship in the area. Five of our nurses and Jeri went into Kisumu to pick up more medications and to become tourists for the day. They will boat on Lake Victoria to see the hippopotamus (from a distance) and go to a Masai Market to buy souvenirs. Gail and Lynn stayed back and held two meetings this morning and are spending the afternoon preparing for next week. And I am going through photos and bringing you up to date. Everyone is grateful for a well needed day off.
All of us are well and we look forward to next week. The schools are back in session this week and as a result, we will become busier. When comparisons are made between the 1000+ patients we treated on a daily basis during the first 5 years and the 600+ patients we see now, Canadian Nurses for Africa is starting to realize the success that good health is having in the community. As Johnstone Idaki, our contact person and jiggers co-ordinator in Kenya, says “you have to make an impact” in the community. We are grateful to start to see the results of our hard work and sacrifices to be here.
Thank you to everyone who sent words of encouragement this week and those who have offered support. If you would like to donate to Canadian Nurses for Africa, there is a link on our website. Please be as generous as you can (you will receive a tax receipt for donations of $20.00 or more).
Keep in touch. Oh, and so you know, we are still waiting for internet service.