Thursday, January 21, 2010
Today wasn’t too eventful in clinic…at least not for me. The doctors did see some interesting things. One man came in who had had a brain tumor removed some time ago; now it is back and is making one side of his face protrude. He wanted the US doctors to fix him. He’s essentially blind and moves very slowly and looked to be in his mid 30’s. So young to have something like this affect him. Another young man heard there were going to be US doctors in Mukeu on the radio all the way down south of Nairobi. He had fallen 12 years ago and his leg had never repaired itself. He thought perhaps the US doctors could help him. There was really nothing they could do. He needed hospital care and probably just needed a rod stuck in his leg to repair it. But he couldn’t afford it. It makes you feel so helpless. Chris, Adam, Ruth, Carol and I went into the village today to talk to people about HIV/AIDS. There is such a stigma here about it. If you find out you have it, you’re essentially ostracized from the community. Our goal is to start breaking down those walls. Start talking about it, and encourage people to come to the VCT (Voluntary Counseling Center) to be tested for free. Most of the people just laughed at us and I felt like perhaps it was a futile effort, but we did end up having 2 ladies come to be tested today because we went out to talk to them about it. That’s encouraging. I think the more people talk about it, the better it will be. I did fill a prescription for a lady today who is 16 weeks pregnant and was tested and found positive for HIV. I just cannot imagine. HIV seems rampant here. The orphanages are filled with children who have lost their parents because of this disease. It’s a big problem. After clinic was over, I spoke with my mom for a few minutes. She told me that Mason had had a fever of 105...I was doing really well here until I heard that. At that point, I decided I was really ready to come home. My baby was sick, and I just wanted to be home. He got on the phone and the first thing he said was, “Mommy, I choke.” That’s how he tells me he is sick. Poor baby. Mom said she was playing with him the night before and he looked around and said, “Where’s mommy?” Mom said, “Where’d she go?” And Mason responded with a pouty face, “Mommy gone. Mason baby sad.” We were supposed to go on a nice country walk tonight to Hezekiah’s house before we had dinner at Benson and Dorcas‘ home. Hezekiah is one of the directors of the dispensary. So we set out on our journey, expecting a nice little walk, and ended up walking for about an hour before we finally got there. We had tea, fried eggs and boiled potatoes, visited for a while and then set out to Benson and Dorcas’ house for dinner. It was pitch black, we all pulled out our flash lights and set out on our journey. About 45 minutes later, after trudging through mud in our gum boots in the dark, climbing over barbed wire fences (me in my skirt), climbing through holes in wooden fences, walking through many farms and getting ourselves completely lost, we finally made it to their house for a late dinner. We enjoyed our time with them immensely and were so thankful for their hospitality. They don’t have electricity at all, so we ate with a single lantern in the room and listened to them share a history of their country. It was all very interesting. We walked back to our house admiring the darkness and the vivid brightness of the stars. They are incredible! We picked out a few planets, and even saw the Milky Way. What a wonderful adventure. I think we’ll sleep quite well tonight after our 10 mile trek through the country side.