Ikobero, Monday May 2, 2011

Today is Monday May 2nd.  While all of Canada was voting, we attended a rural area of Kenya called Ikobero located about 1 hour out of Kakamega.  All of our nurses arrived last night to the great delight of the three of us who came ahead.  There were hugs, kisses, and a great deal of chatter.  It is hard to believe that 7 tired people could still be bright and chatty.  After a quick dinner, everyone went to bed as we were on the road by 7:00 am this morning.
Our clinic was held in a Salvation Army Worship Centre.  When we arrived shortly after 8:00 am, the centre had already been set up for us.  This was such a change from last year when sometimes we had to carry tables, chairs etc before we could set up.  Aggrey has done a great job.
We had local people conducting crowd control and organizing the patients when they entered the clinics.  Today we treated 575 people.  Imagine that!  They walked in from the surrounding areas, some with sores so large it would make a medical person flinch.  Children came with malaria, fevers, coughs, intestinal worms and rashes and sores on their heads and bodies.  I can never say often enough how humbling it is to work here even for a short time.  We had to send out Aggrey to purchase more malaria medication and antibiotic tablets as we saw so many older people today.  During the early afternoon, the rains came down, and down, and down, and down.  It got so dark in the centre we moved the registration table near a window so I could see to write in the book and the triage nurses could barely see their watches.  And the noise of the rain on the tin roof and the sounds of the people inside were quite over whelming, let alone the leaky roof . Mix in a baby or two crying and people shouting to be heard…well you can imagine.
The young children are as delightful as ever, once you get them to smile.  The elderly smile easily, but the young men and women rarely return a smile.  They seem to be a lost generation.  Once more, I see the hopelessness in their eyes.  Canadians are such a fortunate people. I have posted photos for you to see some of what we saw today and to introduce three of our four nurses new to the mission this year: Suzanne, Erika, and Sandy.  More to come!

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