Friday, August 17, 2007

Medical Team Update

We had quite an eventful day today. The medical team traveled to three separate clinics and, alongside Kenyan medical officers and nurses, treated 350 patients, which was basically a repeat performance of the day before. We experienced a myriad of emotions…joy at being of assistance to people in need, frustration at not being able to do more, sadness at the severity of some of the illnesses that we saw. We have been deeply touched by the kindness of the Kenyan people and their generosity toward us. We’ve been fed and served tea by the women of the various clinics at which we’ve served, and the people are warm-hearted and gracious in their dealings with us. We have learned much from our Kenyan counterparts regarding illnesses not usually seen in the U.S., such as malaria and typhoid. We’ve all become fairly proficient at diagnosis, even those of us who aren’t physicians, nurse practitioners or physician assistants!

Those of us who work at Hoag Hospital received a particular blessing today. The dispensary (a.k.a. clinic) at Murangetti placed a plaque on the outside wall, dedicating the clinic to those of us on the trip sent here by Hoag. It was quite a surprise, and a truly unnecessary gift on their part. We were all very moved by the ceremony held to dedicate the clinic.

We have definitely experienced some real adventures while we’ve been here. Today, one of the vans got stuck in mud during a torrential rainstorm and the medical team had to get out and push. It has been raining hard throughout most of the afternoon and evening, with some hail thrown in just for fun, something we southern Californians aren’t accustomed to at all. We have all decided that our tights, long underwear, fleece sweatshirts and the like are our most important pieces of clothing, given that it has been chilly most of the time we’ve been here.

We are truly enjoying each other’s company while we are here, and, speaking for the group, we can say that we’ve all made new and lasting friendships. We on the medical team grew close to the members of the mission team and we are feeling a bit lost without them, now that they’ve returned home. We have been blessed by their support and love during our time together and were sad to see them go.

Tomorrow, we will travel to two clinics to treat patients for several hours, then take the afternoon to rest and relax, something we’ve not really been able to do for very long. We’re all looking forward to the down time, even though we value the time we’ve spent with patients and Kenyan medical workers.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we complete the work we’ve been sent here to do. Thank you for your continued support and care.