There are a few answers to this question:
- I have a great place to live in Kenya too, it's comfortable, I have great neighbours, and I can walk to work, and home for lunch too.
- Family is farther away (and that is hard) but I have great community, kids who call me Aunt Annette, friends who I can call at any time. I am thankful for technology that helps me to keep in touch with the family that is far away.
- Work is the same in Kenya, in some ways, but different in others. I am working in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in Alberta. On weekdays when I show up to work here there are two pediatric intensivists working, a few peds residents and one pediatric fellow (finished residency and getting more training in ICU care). Each critical patient has a nurse assigned to them with specific training in pediatric critical care. For our 16 bed ICU, we have three respiratory therapists assigned each shift.
When needed, the pediatric team of physicians can consult pediatric pulmonology, or infectious disease, or endocrine or oncology or...
-Contrast this to Tenwek: when I show up at work there are one or two pediatricians for all the pediatric patients (20-30 on the wards, ~30 in the nursery, a line up in outpatient and a few in the ICU). We have interns working who are with us for one year of training in adult medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, and surgery. At the end of their training year, they are helpful but at the beginning they need a lot of guidance. We have one or two family residence on the pediatrics service helping out. When the service gets stuck they can talk to the pediatric surgeons, they can talk to the adult intensivist, they can talk to a smattering of other staff or they can send an e-mail home with questions.
-For respiratory therapists at Tenwek - there is one, and I am not just caring for the pediatric patients, I am helping out wherever I can. When I go back to Kenya, the hope is to do more formal teaching so one day, hopefully soon, there will be more than just me.
So all this comes together to show need but there is more.
Eric Liddel, an Olympic Gold medal winner in running, said: "God made me fast and when I run I feel His pleasure".
Frederich Buechner said, "The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."
Together both of these bring me to Kenya. At risk of sounding proud I will say I am a good respiratory therapist, when I work in respiratory caring for patients or teaching others I feel God's pleasure. When I look around I see the need in Kenya. Pulling this all together, Kenya fits for me.
So I will go back, this next term will be three or four years. I am excited for what this term will look like. I am looking forward to greeting old friends and meeting new ones. I am nervous about what will be waiting for me, how will things have fared while I was away. I am hoping I am prepared.
I ask for your help. This can be done in a few ways:
1. Prayers, Tenwek is great but hard. To give some perspective in the last six months working in the PICU and floors, I have seen 2-3 deaths of children. In Tenwek, I sometimes see that many in a week. Including adults in my count (I don't keep track as that is too depressing) 2-3 deaths a day is normal. So pray for God to encourage me. If you want some perspective of this I recommend you read a book called "Promises in the Dark" by friend and fellow missionary Eric Mclaughlin.
2. I also need financial support. The hospital does not pay me so my salary and other expenses must be raised. Donations are easy just follow the instructions in the post below this one.
There are a few more reasons to go back to Kenya. The weather is lovely all the time and it is beautiful. Below are some favourite pictures. If you ever find yourself in Kenya send me a message and maybe we can meet up.
|What A Strange Bird|
|2 of my Favourite animals together in the wild|
|I took this picture just outside my door.|
|Colubus monkey (4 hours away in the rainforest)|