Sunday is a day of rest in Kenya and most Kenyans attend church. From the Sheywe, we could hear a church celebration starting with “Amazing Grace” and at least two hours later ending with the sound of drums. Two cultures coming together. The group who arrived yesterday seemed more rested and left here in a school bus (obtained through the efforts of Gail and the supportive Kenyan team we have here) for a trip to Kisumu where they visited a market selling Kenyan artifacts and a boat trip on Lake Kisumu, where they saw a large male hippo emerge out of the lake and a mother and her baby. So the cure for a frustrating three days of travel is shopping!
The rest of us spent a portion of our day unpacking suitcases containing clinical supplies and other items. Sammy, the manager of the Sheywe, obtained two teddy bears for his two children and told me that his children still used the wooden cars he was given last year. The staff treat us so well here and it was learned that they had a meeting to ensure the Canadian Nurses for Africa visitors were treated well. Each year, we hold an impromtu clinic for the staff and treat their medical problems, such as eye infections, ring worm, malaria, and various other ailments. Today Madeleine held an impromtu eye clinic for the staff. She provided glasses to 30 people along with one visitor. We have no idea where the latter client came from but I heard she had a nice purse. Madeleine would have them try on eye glasses and check them out by reading a passage from the bible in her room. In addition to the glasses, she had 3 requests for the bible. The last person in line got it, but we will have to report the missing bible to the front desk at some point. Poor eye sight is so common here and it is believed to be from a lack of vitamin A (so eat your carrots!).
Fred, the gate guard, watches over us like a hen with chicks. We walked into town today, 5 of us, and he asked me not to take my large camera as yesterday a white 20 year old male had his snatched off his shoulder by a piki-piki driver. Fred said the incidence of this type of crime has risen (like so many Eurpean cities). And so, not many photos today.
And speaking of Fred, I want to read you the letter he gave to us today:
“Please, I need your assistance. My home district of Bungoma, is next to Mt Elgon forest. Government hospitals are very far. Poor roads, travelling is the major problem.
Malaria and typhoid deseases (sic) are too common. Many children under 15 years old suffer from the above mentioned deseases and worm problems too. Please, I will be very much appreciative for the medicines asistance (sic) for curing and preventing. (Prevention is better than cure).
I am currently caring for a family of 13 people.
Your in Christ Jesus – Faithfully Fred”
It won’t be possible to travel the 4 hours each way to hold a clinic in an area near the Ethiopean border, and so Fred will have to be told no. He did get a pair of eyeglasses though and he is so excited he can see.
Talk to you soon, Dawn