We are grateful that the main group arrived safely in Kakamega at approximately 7:30 pm tonight. Ten very tired and somewhat frustrated nurses crawled out of a 14 passenger van and a car, that was pressed into service at the last minute. Once they landed in Nairobi and reached the parking lot with the suitcases carrying their personal belongings and the Canadian Nurses for Africa supplies, it became evident that all of the luggage and the nurses would not be travelling at the same time. I believe there is a scientific principle that two objects can not occupy the same space at the same time, and no matter how determined Jerri and the driver were to disprove this fact, it held true. So after much negotiation in the middle of the night and into the very early hours of the morning, a second vehicle was obtained to drive four nurses along with as much luggage as possible to Kakamega. Both vehicles left the Rosa Mystica in Nairobi at staggered times and 12 hours later arrived at the Sheywe Guest house in Kakamega.
Now for those who have read previous blogs, it is no secret that all does not go well on these missions. This isn’t because of a lack of planning or organization, but external circumstances seem to pop up constantly and reuire creative problem solving. Last year, it was constant trip interruptions by the police and a trip to the police station and this year, it is mechanical failure. Yesterday, we also had mechanical problems as our vehicle kept flooding. At one point, it stopped dead on road, but thanks to a lot of unwanted advice from passerbys and a little luck, the choking cleared itself and wearrived at our destination.
Now to the main group: not everything went poorly on their journey: they did see zebras on the roadside but approximately 70 kilometres from “home”, the van broke down by the side of the road. After much negotiation, another matatoo travelled to their location, loaded up the six nurses and the luggage, and drove them the rest of distance along the rough pounding roads.
I will never forget the sight of the van’s interior when the side door was slid open: all you could see was luggage and an occasional pair of legs as these valiant individuals struggled to extricate themselves from the interior to the cheers and applause of us who had arrived earlier. No one had eaten since breakfast but thanks to cell phones, Gail called them as they stood in the ditch and put in their dinner order. Welcome to Africa, Canadian Nurses for Africa team 2013!!!