Friday, May 30, 2008

This week

On Sunday the medical team split up and participated in church services at the different parishes of the Presbytery. Later that day, we spent the afternoon with the girls at the orphanage in Limuru and we had lunch there. The girls were very excited to see us and they played hard with us. We took lots of pictures. After lunch they sang for us. Sunday night the Hoag team was still jet lagged so we tried to sleep unsuccessfully.

Monday morning the group went to the Uplands dispensary to observe and train the local healthcare workers. Angela and Pryor mentored nurses, John worked with the lab tech, and Bhavi helped with patients and recommendations on best practices for dispensing medications and pharmaceuticals. Monday afternoon we did the same thing at Murrengetti.

On Tuesday, we repeated the same thing as on Monday in reverse. We treated and mentored at Murrengetti in the morning and Uplands in the afternoon. We managed to sneak in a short drive to the Rift Valley lookout point before starting our day. It was a spectacular view.

Wednesday was our play day and we flew to Amboseli National Park. What a treat! We went on Safari and saw all types of animals—elephants, lions, monkeys, hippos, etc. Just as we were leaving, Bahvi was visited by a "giant black hairy spider" as she was walking out of the room. She was glad to leave for the day and leave the room to the unwanted visitor.

Early Thursday morning we loaded the land rovers and started our trek to the remote Massai village of Karero. It took us four bumpy hours to get there. When we finally arrived, we were pleased to find a large empty building where we were to set up our clinic to treat the locals. We did exactly that and by the end of the day we had seen 165 patients. Unfortunately, there was not much lab equipment there, so there wasn't much we could offer in the way of diagnostic testing. Therefore, John went to work in the pharmacy counting pills. The highlight was when Bhavi and Joseph were cutting tablets and opening bottles with a machete. It was quite an experience for all of us. We all worked very hard but felt we had accomplished what we had started out to do. We drove back to Nairobi where we had dinner at the house of Evelyn's mother. Evelyn is the director of the Girls Home. We were all very hungry, pleased and thankful to find a delicious Kenyan style dinner waiting for us. After getting back home to Brackenhurst we all slept like babies.

Today is Friday morning and Colette and others from the medical team went to several meetings with World Vision and other philanthropic organizations. The rest of us stayed here in Brackenhurst to enjoy a day off. As I was walking to breakfast this morning I heard someone scream my name. It was Bhavi who had been visited by the "spider" once more. I went in the room and when we tried to capture it, it hid behind the wood (and it wasn't as "big and hairy" as I had perceived). We sprayed it with insect repellent and hoped that it would not come back to hunt her.

John Cartaya and Bhavi Shah