Thursday, March 11, 2010

February 2010 Trip: Medical Camp Recap

We arrived back in Evansville Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. and have spent the last day recovering from jet lag and basic tiredness! Our borrowed modem left with the person we borrowed it from, as he continued his travels, so we weren't able to access the internet and post anymore. Note to self:next time remember to buy a modem in Nairobi! They aren't available in the villages.

The overall summary of our first medical camp: all the locals and our own team called it an amazing success! We saw a total of well over 1300 people from the surrounding area in a 3 day period. Peter's brother, Clement, said that the word from the people was that they can't wait until we come back again. Someone told him he was given something to swallow, he had been in so much pain and he was amazed that now it was gone. He wondered what it was we gave him. (It was simply ibuprofen - he had never taken medicine before)

We began each morning standing in a circle for prayer and then singing "We Are Standing on Holy Ground". It was a blessing working side by side with the local medical officers and the nurses who were sent from Nyamira by the district health minister. We learned so much from them!! A picture above shows our team after we closed on the last day. Besides our "Mzungu" (white person) team, this includes local medical officers (like physicians assistants), pharmacist, helpers from Peter's family's church (Riakong'a Methodist where we worshiped on our first Sunday there)

There is also a picture of a 100 year old man with a hat that said "Cowboy" and his 80year old son,a picture of Doctor Michelle Galen and interpreting Med. Officer seeing a patient, and a child offering the rest of a cookie/biscuit we gave him to his grandmother.

Thanks to everyone for all your donations. EVERYTHING was given out:
Amoxicillin, Tylenol, Advil, Multivitamins, Toothbrushes and toothpaste (HUGE hits) pencils, pens (also HUGE hits), stickers, (kids loved)

Besides these things which we brought from the states, our mission budget covered nominal salaries for the medical workers for 3 days, all the medications that we were able to purchase in town in Nakuru and Ekerenyo, rental of 2 tents and 50 chairs.

We took many notes about ways to tweak and improve our next medical camp, scheduled for February 2011. If you're interested, let me know! We'll need at least one doctor, a one dentist, and many non-medical people. The total for the mission team will be 12. We look forward to sharing our pictures at another Kenyan meal in the spring!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

February 2010 Trip: Day 2 of the Medical Camp

It's 8 p.m., we've taken a late afternoon walk down the street in Nyamira, eaten dinner and we're all heading to bed!

We're exhausted after getting up at 6, leaving at 7 for the Reading Centre and seeing over 425 patients today.

Working non stop with 20 minutes for a pb and j lunch, Amy and Michelle saw patients with medical problems, Fran, Sarah, Lee and Karen tested and fit people with glasses, Georgia, Allison and Joyce did triage-checking people in taking temps and blood pressures, and Lynn cheered the whole thing on.

There are Kenyan pharmacists, medical officers and translators working with us, a Kenyan doctor is testing for HIV/Aids and counseling, the dentist removed many teeth.

People waited hours and were so patient and grateful for our being there. One of our drivers said that a woman came to the van he was waiting in and told him she couldn't believe she could get a free checkup and free medicine and eyeglasses....that people would come all that way for them. She said that was like what Jesus did - he made people well and said 'now you can go home.'
We saw a man with a face burned since he was a child and with no eyelids, needing and having no money for plastic surgery, a man who couldn't stand and dragged himself across the floor with his forearms that had flip flops strapped on to protect them, and then majority of the people with general medical problems found everywhere as well as more specific to Africa. And the face you see pictured above shows the smile that appeared when the glasses were placed on people and they discovered they could see! See the tag on the glasses? That was one of many put on by Aldersgate folks!

Monday, March 1, 2010

February 2010 Trip: Here we are in Kenya!

Hi everyone!

We had a hard time signing on so haven't been updating our travels, but have borrowed a modem that helps us connect. We are anxious to share what we've done.

First of all, our flights were uneventful and even though they were long, we did just fine. The only thing was that Lynn's suitcase didn't make it and still hasn't appeared, so she has been playing it by ear.

It was great to see Peter and Irene at the Methodist Guest House for breakfast before we left Nairobi.

We went to Nakuru where we visited the U. Methodist Medical Clinic, the new boarding school and Squatter's Hill where many of the children are orphans living with siblings. They were so excited to see us and we felt like rock stars as we drove down the dirt road into the area. Then we went on safari while Lynn went into town to buy medications that would be needed at the clinic.

We came to a little guest house in Nyamira in the middle of a thunderstorm and all freaked out as water was dripping through the ceiling, the lights went off, we were shown to our rooms with flashlights. We found that the toilets didn't flush, three of the room's toilets didn't have toilet seats. Fran had to have 3 faucets replaced before the water would turn on. Michelle has a twister game bedspread. It took awhile to get things straightened out but by the second night we slept better and our outlook improved.

Sunday we went to church in Peter's families village, Riakong'a Methodist Church. Our doctor, Michelle, had picked up a bug and was sprawled out in the back seat of the safari van during church, and awoke to find many eyes staring at her as the children from the neighborhood found a Mzungu (white person) sleeping in a van on their hillside.

The rest of us enjoyed being with the congregation, hearing the wonderful music by the children's and youth and women's choirs, and then enjoying a delicious lunch prepared by the women of the church.

After church we left to go to the Reading Centre to set up for the clinic. Security men appeared to check things out in preparation for the afternoon visit of the Minister of Health Services for the whole country of Kenya. He toured the Reading Centre, recognized the opening of the medical camp, gave a speech to area people..and reporters and cameras were there from the media!

Today was great! Clement had done an incredible job of organizing, so things flowed smoothly and we saw over 300 people. The eyeglasses are a HUGE hit!!! One third of our patients have been eye patients.

We've eaten dinner, are tired, and are looking forward to getting going again tomorrow, when we're anticipating another big crowd. The news media was here again today... so be sure to watch your local Kenyan station and you might see us.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

February 2010 Trip: The Adventure Continues

Our Team!  Karen Eskridge, Michele Galen Cabrera, Renee' Galen, Sarah Leider,  Lynn Renne,  Lee Shepherd, Fran Vix, 

The adrenaline was flowing at the Evansville airport this morning!

As we gathered we found we had more things to bring than it appeared we had room for,

but somehow it all disappeared into all our suitcases and glasses duffels,

got on the plane and off we went. Thanks to everyone for their donations of medicine, toothbrushes, vitamins and supplies.

Detroit was snowy, and the funny thing was to hear Lee (who is not a happy flier) say he texted Kara as we waited on the departing plane: “They’re de-icing the plane and I’m not too happy about that.” He’s not from the snowy north! He wouldn’t have been too happy if they had NOT de-iced the plane

After the 7 ½ hour flight to Amsterdam we walked up the ramp and the minute we got into the airport 4 women saw our “Kenya partners” polo shirts and came running over to us. They were on their way home from Kenya – where they had been working at the Wesley Mission Clinic in Nakuru, the place I was working last February. They were sad to be leaving – said they wanted us to pack them in our suitcases and take us back with them.

The adventure continues!

We're doing great

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February 2010 Trip: The Team

We're all brimming over with anticipation as we prepare to travel together as a team to Kenya.

We leave one week from today, Feb. 24!

Adventures ahead!

Allison Anderson Jacobs (Atlanta GA)
Georgia Anderson (Evansville IN)
Joyce Eskridge (Evansville-Aldersgate UMC)

Karen Eskridge (Evansville-Aldersgate UMC)
Dr. Michelle Galen (Evansville)
Renee' Galen (Illinois)
Sarah Leider (Evansville- Aldersgate UMC)
Lynn Renne (Evansville-Aldersgate UMC)

Lee Shepherd (Evansville-Aldersgate UMC)
Fran Vix (Evansville)
Amy Wogen (Minneapolis)