Clinic Day 11 – Hamadira – Izava South

Our last day! This morning the tables turned and we sang and danced for the people of Kenya before clinic - with our lead singer Harriet. It was a very busy and steady clinic with the line being all the way out the door all day long. Today Johnstone, Karen, Laura and I treated this family for jiggers and supplied them with clothing and shoes. The mother of these children is only 30 years old and has a total of 14 children. Every day she goes out in the community looking for any work she can find so that she can provide for her family. Our clinic was so dark inside with no power that Harriet and Kristen had to do wound care outside. We finished off our last night in Kenya with a big buffet dinner from the owners of the Sheywe Guest House. It was so good that Marie went back for thirds. And maybe fourths, I lost count. Of course we had to end our dinner with Jerry singing the Hakuna Matata song that we all love. Oh Jer Bear!!

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Clinic Day 10 – Homanoywa – Izava North

Today we transferred a 60 year old lady with an injured ankle to the hospital.  Marie and Karen dewormed over 300 students at the primary school.  Kenyan nurses Roselyne and Sarah and volunteer worker Joyce taught us how to reggae was quite the show, highly entertaining but we clearly have zero rhythm.  With one clinic day remaining, we had a blast today singing and dancing with all of the patients who came through triage!

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Clinic Day 9 – Kedohi – West Maragoli

Our clinic today was in the same yard as an elementary school so we had a lot of children running around, we even tried to teach them how to do the “floss” dance. Victor and I went on two home visits - one to see an elderly man who had fractured his femur and had two surgeries back in December and needed pain control, and the other to see a young 6 year old boy who is a known epileptic and has had a decreased appetite for the last few days. He also has weekly follow up appointments at the Mbale Hospital.  We finally found the perfect lucky lady for the St. Paddy’s Day hat, scarf and socks. This lady was so happy about her new pants that she had tears in her eyes!

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Clinic Day 8 – Viyalo – Chavakali

Today Laura, Harriet and I went to the school next door to deworm many children from kindergarten to grade 8. We had three of the cutest albino children at the clinic today - gave them all new donated sun hats and bought them sunglasses as their biggest complaint was the sun being too hard on their eyes.  Here is Jerry modeling some sunglasses. Laura and I brought a brand new soccer ball to the school but decided we didn’t feel like getting a soccer ball to the face today so we played duck duck goose instead. This lady loved her new dress! More wound care! Nancy had a very busy day with hospital transfers - one of them being a lady who had elevated LFTs and needed an ultrasound. She also played a game of “touch the mzungu” meaning white person, with a little boy. 

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Clinic Day 7 – Chavakali

Happy Nurses Week! Here we are doing what we do best - playing cards. After a well deserved day off, it was hard to get up this morning - I was definitely the walking dead for a few minutes. We started the morning off with our daily seagull selfie. At triage, Meaghan had half her hair ripped out by a 7 month old.  Laura, Gail and I fixed this lovely lady with a new hat and matching scarf - she was so happy. Kristen, Karen and Meaghan dewormed many children at a nearby school. Throughout the mission we’ve tried to master the African way of carrying large objects on your head. Update on the bug zoo in Laura and I’s room - there’s no update, we’re too afraid to check.

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“What direction are we going?” “South north”

Since it was our day off, we split up into two groups - half of us went to the Kakamega rainforest and the other half to the crying stone and Lake Victoria to see the hippos. In the rainforest we saw lots of monkeys, Isiukhu falls and a beautiful high point overlooking 270 square kilometres of untouched forest. Thankfully we were too blessed to be stressed and I didn’t get swallowed by a giant snake. 

Continue Reading“What direction are we going?” “South north”

Clinic Day 6 – Igunga – Chavakali

We were dropping like flies today - three members of our dream team had to stay back from clinic because they were sick but at least they had the toilet to keep them company.  Jerry started off morning prayer by reading the bible for us today.  Being Saturday, it was a shorter clinic day. We treated about 360 people. We had a lot of children at the clinic today so we gave out lots of clothing and toys, as well as colouring pictures.  We treated a lot of wounds again today - many of which were returns from previous clinics throughout the week.  Marie and I treated a wound of a young woman who got into an argument with her husband who had cut her with a knife. It was a pretty deep cut that originally needed stitches but being that it happened a few days ago, an infection had started. We cleansed and dressed it with silver cell and told her to come back to our clinic on Monday. 

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Clinic Day 5 – Kigama – North Maragoli

Today’s clinic started off a little slow but by the afternoon we had a huge wave of people come through, as well as another torrential downpour. At one point Jeff tried to put the wound care bucket on Marie’s head to shield her from the rain. Here is our Mama Gail hiding from the rain in her Maasai blanket. Hilary fixed two little girls with all new outfits. It was a day filled with wound care that was tackled by Harriet, Hilary, Victor, Marie and Kristen - we had 9 wounds cleansed and dressed. Two of which were returns - one was the same little girl, Faith, who we’ve been seeing all week for a bad burn to her arm and the other was a young man who came to our clinic last year after he’d fallen off his motorcycle. His arm has much improved since we first saw him one year ago.  Faith drew some pictures and wrote a letter thanking everyone for helping treat her - she is the sweetest little girl and so grateful. Laura and I spent the entire day at triage singing “you, over here, you, over here!” - it was a 50/50 shot on who we made laugh and…

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Clinic Day 4 – Wangulu – West Maragoli

Nancy and Kristen went on a home visit to treat an elderly lady who had a severe case of jiggers. On the way back they got their monthly workout in pushing the matatu that was stuck teeter tottering on a hill.  Harriet went to the hospital to admit a 7 year old boy with malaria who was febrile and had a seizure at home.  Lynn, Hilary and Kenyan nurse Sarah taught 40 girls about sexual health and gave them all reusable sanitary pads.  Kristen didn’t think the outhouses were bad enough so she decided to break the door off the hinges.  This is Gail with a family who gave her a live chicken as a gift to say thank you. Update 4.0: the cockroach is still under the garbage can but a moth that’s the size of a dragon joined him so it’s not so lonely. 

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Clinic Day 3 – Chavuli Pag Wodanga

Today Meaghan, Hilary and Johnstone went to three homes for jiggers treatments where they sprayed down the homes and clothing of the families and soaked their hands and feet in potassium permanganate to rid the jiggers. They also fitted the family with all new clothing.  Meaghan and Patti also went on another home visit to treat an elderly lady with cellulitis. As they were heading there, Laura asked “where are you going?” And Kenyan nurse Jane responded with “on safari!!” Marie, Harriet and I played soccer for at least two hours with 150 kids who were just booting the ball wherever and whenever they could - it was less of a game of soccer and more of a game of dodge the ball that’s coming straight for your face. At one point I subbed out with Meaghan who said “I don’t want to get hit in the face again this year” but then continued to join the game anyways. Today was Karen and Kristen’s birthdays and Hilary found out she got a new job so we celebrated with some tuskers (shocker) and cake.  We ended our clinic day with a 6km walk through the village with the locals where Victor pushed Laura and I in…

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Clinic Day 2 – Budaywa – Basali East

Laura and I slept in Kenya’s finest waterbeds last night after we left the windows open during dinner and a torrential downpour flooded our room. Today Harriet and Johnstone went on two home visits to do jiggers treatments.  Laura and Victor went on a home visit to see an older man with a leg wound who couldn’t make it to the clinic. They cleansed and dressed it and gave him supplies to do the dressing himself. They’ll follow up with him on Thursday. Heading to and from clinic in the matatu can get pretty bumpy so Nancy decided to use a soccer ball as a helmet.  Hilary and Kristen were in charge of wound care at the clinic today.  Meaghan handed out a pair of shoes to the cutest little girl who loved showing them off.  Update 2.0: Kristen’s bag finally arrived so no more borrowing donated underwear and Laura can have all of her razors back.  Update 3.0: the cockroach is still under the garbage can under Laura’s bed. 

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Clinic Day 1 – Isitsi Salvation Army Izava South

We started our day one of clinics in the village of where Solomon greeted us with song and prayer as he does every morning. Marie and Nancy had their first experience with the outdoor toilets aka holes in the ground - “they were better in the morning, you need to breath through your mouth” - Marie  and I and Kenyan nurse Rosaline assessed and handed out reading glasses to 34 people. Lynn and Kristen and Kenyan nurse Sarah taught sexual health to a classroom full of school girls.  Hilary and Marie went on a hospital transfer with 4 patients to a hospital that was about 2km away from our clinic. Two of the patients were very young with bad burns, one that was a burn that happened two years ago that we dressed and the other was a young boy who was admitted and will receive IV antibiotics. Another patient was a teenager with a swollen knee joint that was dislocated and eventually casted and the fourth patient was a young pregnant woman who was having abdominal pain.  While at the hospital, Hilary and Marie also got to “scrub in” and see a pericardial thoracentesis.  Update on Kristen’s luggage: it still hasn’t arrived but thankfully we…

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“I’ll have the vegetable curry for dinner – something new and different”

Today Karen was off to a good start when she locked herself in her room, unable to find her key and then had no running water to shower or even use the toilet.  Laura and I had a nice night with our bunk mate the cockroach that slept under Laura’s bed who we trapped under the garbage can. Today we made the short trek to Kisumu to pick up our medications at the local chemist and visit the Maasai Market for souvenirs. The bug bites and heat had Laura and I yelling “What do we want?”   “Ankles!” “When do we want them?” “NOW!”  Once we got back to the Sheywe, we sorted through all of our supplies and made piles for our 11 days of clinics. It was a long process so of course we did it with tuskers in hand.

Continue Reading“I’ll have the vegetable curry for dinner – something new and different”

“I was worried about the bus at the Rosa Mystica”

Jambo! Well, after 22+ hours of planes, trains and automobiles (thank you gravol courtesy of Nancy and wine courtesy of Lufthansa airlines for making me feel like Annie from bridesmaids seeing colonial women on the wing of the plane), we’ve finally made it to Kenya. Although we’re 13 women with 439 suitcases, unfortunately Kristen’s bag got delayed in Frankfurt and won’t be arriving until at least Monday - but thankfully Laura packed enough razors for all of Kenya. After a stop on the way to check out the views of the Great Rift Valley and to grab some KFC and iced coffee in Nakuru (which had Marie and Patti asking the all important questions of “is this okay to drink?” and “will this give us diarrhea?”, our bus broke down and we had to do a quick swap for a matatu in Kisumu. Just picture stuffing 16 people into a van.  It’s safe to say that we were all ready for some tuskers when we finally got to the Sheywe.

Continue Reading“I was worried about the bus at the Rosa Mystica”