Thursday, December 2, 2010

A busy week

I am starting this post on Thursday I do not know when I will finish it as it has been a busy week. As some of you may know, last Thursday was American Thanksgiving. Living on a mission station with many Americans this is a big deal. Thanksgiving is not a holiday here in Kenya so it was a regular work day, however many of the American physicians did take the day off. As things normally go when you  have less staff than normal things were busy. I ended up running home in the afternoon to raid my stash of nonrebreather masks. I made a stop in the mad dash to consult with the head internal medicine Dr (who was playing football on his day off) to let him know that one of our long term patients was deteriorating and that we had decided not to be aggressive in care. I was soon able to escape the hospital and join in on the football game. I  have not played much football prior to coming here but I am really starting to enjoy it although I do not understand it very well. (Maybe that is what I should ask for for Christmas – Football for Dummies).

The weekend was a trip home – not really home but the weather reminded me so much of southern Alberta (during a drought). I was invited to Olderkesi a mission in Massai land to the Massai people. This was a few hour drive from Tenwek, much more isolated and wild. We had a tour of the garden and were told that they used to go out the gate but now they go out the hole  in the fence where the lions got out. Being remote they have to make their own power and the hotwater heater is a fire under the tank. Being there did remind me of home in someways (though there are no lions at home) the hot dry weather, being able to see for miles, the wind, like a southern Alberta summer. We celebrated Thanksgiving there and had a wonderful meal of everything an American Thanksgiving should have. From Turkey to sweet potata (pronounced with a southern accent). Complete with every kind of pie that you can think of. We have a lot to be thankful for.

The evenings at Olderkesi were night game drives. We all piled in the “van” a few on the roof and drove around looking for eyes. It was neat to get closer to the eyes and figure out what animal went with it. We saw a dik dik (very small deer like animal) I learned its called a dik dik because Richard Richard takes too long to say. We also saw a Ard wolf, bushbabies, spring hares, Thompson gazelles and a few more animals like mice. One of my favourite parts of the drive was when we turned the vehicle off as well as all the lights and stood outside in the middle of the plain. It was so dark and the sky was clear and there were so many stars. I was slightly worried I would get eaten by a lion, as well as fearful we would leave one of the kids behind in the dark. I was the “responsible adult” for the first night meaning me and the teenagers and kids. We did not get eaten or left behind.

We returned back to Tenwek on Sunday night and this is were the busyness set in I packed up and moved down the hill to join a new Doctor coming to us at Tenwek from the States. Since there are now four single young ladies at Tenwek they split us up  2 in each house. It is a nice place with a beautiful view. The bathroom is tiny; you need to walk sideways in order to get in. The move went well although there are still a few things at my last house that I have forgotten. I am sure I will make frequent visits to see how things are in the old neighborhood. The main disadvantage of moving I now have a steeper longer walk to the hospital and that gets slightly annoying when I get paged at midnight (happened my first night at the new place).

Things at the hospital are going well and I am staying busy with various projects such as educating both formal (lectures) and informal (bedside) of staff, trying to find better ways of doing things and the equipment to go with it. I am currently working on preventing VAP (ventilator associated pneumonia) by finding inline suction catheters as well as a way to do oral care. Oral care is a challenge as there are no mouth swabs and our bite block are OPA’s so the nurses think the best way to do oral care is to loosen the ties holding the ETT remove the opa do some care and than do the oral care. I do not like this method as it gives the ETT freedom to move in or out and when we don’t chart ETT position this makes things challenging. Sorry if I confused all the nonmedical people reading this. One of the other projects is a video on asthma education for patients.

Since coming here I have had more than one person say I should stay longer if forever.  A local doctor and nurse (both  male) were plotting to marry me off to a Kipsigis man (local tribe) so I would stay. They figured they might be able to get 150 cows for me: 50 for being a doctor (anybody who works at the hospital is called a doctor) 50 for being white and 50 for having redhair. I think it is a compliment to be worth so many cows but one of the problems with this is my dad would get the cows and then my husband would be dirt poor. I also would have to eat ugali and moresick which if you read my last post you know how unappealing that is. On a more serious note please pray for me as I consider my options. Don’t worry my flight home in March is still booked and I have every intention of being on it however I do not really know what God has planned for me in the next years of my life. I guess if he told me now it would make life less exciting. So I started this post on  Thursday and it is now Sunday, I guess I was busy

The View, I have missed the sky at Tenwek there are to many trees

Hot water heater -  Very effective

One of the pies I helped decorate this one, I really enjoyed the canadian maple leaf the little things on the bottom are acorns

More beautiful sky   


  1. I love DikDiks! They're my favourite! Can you bring me back one!

  2. I think you have enough references in this post to make any deWit happy -with Uncle Richard and Opa as the obvious. I do hope these next few months give you direction for your next year. Do not think so far ahead that you miss what He is doing in you and through you right now! The days to come will unfold, one day at a time. Hard to be patient, eh? I love reading your posts; I wish I could have been on the eye hunt.


  3. I love reading your posts! Your perspective about what's next is well said. He never tells us now, and it definitely keeps life exciting. Sometimes its the hardest part, and sometimes its the best. It's hard to wait, but hopefully it won't feel like waiting. Carpe Diem!