Sunday, February 26, 2012

Busy couple of days, trip to the salon new braids, more braids and a pedicure, Fabulous! Walk thru Nairobi Town, Matatu rides, last minute shopping, pulling together the things to carry from the the women. More bead soup, and tying kikoy's for Mama Maina. Dinner at Milka's, Ruth's sister. Yes she cooks! Even when the power goes out! Late night and not feeling well when I get home. Rough last day in Kenya. Sick all night and most of today. But I'm finally pack. And my sweet Elizabeth came to visit. A gift always, her precious smile and her success, to see what God has done. He has multiplied the 400k/s ($5US) that her husband gave her and the money she saved from her time at Rehoboth. She now has a successful vegetable stand. She was able to keep her four kids all in school even after her husband lost his job...Seeing a woman succeed priceless!!

My time here has seemed as though it was mere days.  I leave here with mixed feelings and a very heavy heart.  My favorite African proverb says that "The feet do not go where the heart has not gone first" I found my heart waiting for me when I stepped off the plane onto the red earth and here it will remain.

So as I come home to take on this task that I have been given I am reminded of a parable I read resently:

A fire broke out in the forest and all the animals ran to the edge of the forest to try and save themselves. They all looked on feeling fearful and overwhelmed. All that is except one tiny hummingbird. The hummingbird flew to the nearest river and picked up one drop of water, flew back and dropped it on the fire. The other animals watched as over and over he repeated the act. They finally asked what he was doing as he was to small to make a difference. He simply said "I'm doing the best that I can."

And so I will do the best that I can. Because at the end of the day isn't that what each of one of us is asked??

                                Quawhari ya cu onana, Kenya (Good bye for a short while)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

This has been amazing safari, but yesterday it all came together! I knew I need to go back to Eldoret. I found this small fistula clinic on the internet a couple of days before I left the states. Visited here a week ago and have felt like I was supposed to come back. So yesterday we traveled the 5 hrs from Nairobi. Met with Dr Mabaye Tuesday night and was in the OR at 0630 yesterday morning. Thought I was coming to observe, NOT! A nurse set up the 1st case and I was told to scrub and assist! The nurse left half way though leaving me to finish and set up and do the 2nd case on my own. Coming back tonight to do a 3rd. I think this falls under good cheap help is hard to find:-) Anyway had lots of time to talk and catch Dr Mabaye's passion and vision for these women..I am so in!! He is only one of five fistula surgeons in Kenya. There are around 100,000 cases a year and he currently has a waiting list of over a 100. His vision is for a bigger facility and training for the women that have had their lives so devastated and disrupted. There is more that I will fill you in when I'm back...enjoy the photos! Oh and for those of you at work following, the Anesthesiologist that I worked with,Ogama, reminded me so much of Manny, laugh and all, it brought tears to my eyes. It's good to know his spirit lives on:-)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Just another Kenyan monday, Awoke early with renewed energy and the vertigo gone Yaaay! Did laundry, yes that would be with a tub and 2 buckets out on the patio, Made chai and fruit smoothies for the family and we are off. A stop at the NCK Nursing Counsel of Kenya to find out what I have to do to get a temporary license. Not as daunting as I expected. The daunting part was 2 + hours in Nairobi traffic.

Nairobi Traffic

My 1st Matatu!

The dusty road home

Safely Home:-)
The walk Home
spent the rest of the day at a hospital clinic, My Kenyan girl has been having stomach problems, blood work today and contrast x-rays tomorrow. Had my first true Matatu ride and a walk through the allies home. Ruth called me a real African lady :-) After her tests tomorrow we are heading back to Eldoret (4hrs North) to spend some more time at the Fistula hospital and follow the surgeon. The time here as gone so fast it's hard to believe I only have a week left:-( I love this land! Gotta run it's dinner time, egg curry and rice Yum! and packing (again) early start tomorrow with Victor(My favorite driver!)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

It's a very quiet Sunday. I've been dealing with vertigo for the past 3 days, so enjoying a quiet day with the  girls beading and reading and relaxing.  Will be heading back up north on Tuesday to spend a couple of days with the fistula surgeon again. Something doesn't feel finished. Spent yesterday making Split pea and sausage soup on a Jiko (see photo)I had originally thought to shop,cook and do dishes as a way of being a blessing. But I think that there is a learning of the way things are done here that is part of the preparation for one day spending more time here.  And today Milka tried her hand at making a cake. The other photo's of John and Ruth preparing my birthday dinner. Have a blessed day:-)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Well today is the big 60. This whole trip has been an amazing gift!! I am so blessed and grateful. We took the women from our Rehoboth project to visit Amaini Ya Juu another women's project that had a similar start to theirs. Hopefully to encourage and inspire. A Matatu(van/bus) ride through Nairobi and then back to the project for lunch and a meeting.  Josephine had prepared a meal of beans and maze, Tamu Sana! (yummy). They all sang Happy Birthday:-) At home with the family, they are all in the kitchen preparing a birthday feast. I feel spoiled and loved!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Got to Nairobi on Tuesday evening. We left the campsite at sunrise over the Ewaso Nyrio River, with a short stop at Buffalo Springs Game Park. As always Victor knows right where to go, twigas(giraffes),elephants, Simbas(lioness') and crocs, fabulous!! The chatter on the radio tells of some tribal skirmishes in the first town we need to pass through. They put big boulders all over the road to slow traffic and bring attention to their cause. We end up needing a police escort to get us safely through. On the way going Mt Kenya was shrouded in cloud cover, today her snow capped peaks are stunning! Stopped for lunch at a small restaurant. Loving these "local" spots, the food and atmosphere are great! After a long 12 hr day we are welcomed home, clean bathrooms, hot showers, clean sheets and dinner. Feeling spoiled by Mama Mina :-). After a leisurely start Wednesday morning, some laundry and we are off to the Rehoboth project to do some cleaning and rearranging. A stop at the shop and local butchers for dinner makings, I'm on again, they love the stir fried rice. Today Ruth and I spent some time beading then a trip to the local market. More dye for the sisal, and great bead shopping:-)  

Monday, February 13, 2012

I'm sitting in a campground on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro river just steps from some of the most amazing women I have ever met. They are the Umoja Women's village. I'm not sure I have the words for today. The stories of abuse, the comraderie of sisters, beading and tears!
I would encourage each one of you to keep dreaming because they can come true!
They say a picture is worth 1000 words so I will leave you with photos.