Thursday, August 15, 2013

Where has the time gone?

Two weeks ago, I reached the seven month mark since arriving in Kenya, my six month tourist visa had already been extended for a month, and I was still waiting for my work permit. So a few days before the expiry, I started to make some phone calls about where I was at. I had numerous conversations while continuing to help with a sick child. Conversations progressed from having to travel out of country for a few days to being told to go to Nakuru, 4 hours away, as there is a helpful immigration official who will help me out. So I ran home, grabbed a quick bite to eat, called a driver to pick me up in an hour, sorted out who would feed the dog I was watching, and put some things in a bag. Off I went to find my car – to my surprise there were two drivers. I went off with the one who I was told was coming. I had a good weekend in Nakuru relaxed in the home of the country directors of WGM Kenya, wonderful people. I also got to do some fun shopping, eat some tasty Chinese food and most importantly I was able to get a two month extension on my visa. Hopefully before Oct 2, I will get my work permit, or I will have a repeat of two weeks ago.

The second weekend of August was also busy. I headed out to Nairobi as I had a Respiratory Therapy student coming to Kenya for two weeks to work at Kijabe and Aga Khan Hospital. His coming was part of another group I am involved with called Respiratory Therapists Without Borders. Sunday afternoon the RT student and I arrived at Kijabe hospital we got settled in and planned our lecture for the next morning. Monday and Tuesday were busy. We gave two lectures a day, checked  and fixed baggers, put together about 40 new baggers, did rounds, checked out all the vents, etc. Tuesday afternoon a second RT arrived from Canada – three RTs from Canada in one place in Kenya – WOW. I spent the afternoon orientating the new RT and then I packed up and returned to Tenwek. These two RTs will complete the week at Kiajbe and hopefully have a good experience.   Maybe they will return to Kenya or help out elsewhere in the future. I was also thankful that these individuals brought many supplies that were split up by three mission hospitals in Kenya,- Kijabe, Tenwek, & Litein.
A lot of baggers - THANK YOU

The view from my front door a Kijabe - the Great Rift Valley

Three Candadian RTs in Kenya

Tuesday afternoon, I left to return to Tenwek. The driver and I left at 4pm which should have given us plenty of time to be back at Tenwek before dark, as traveling after dark here is not advised. So we left Kijabe and got to the town at the bottom of the hill. We stopped in a gas station and were told “hakuna” (there is none).  The driver said we will be fine until Narok. So we stopped in Narok, at the first station we heard "hakuna", the second station: "hakuna", the third station: "hakuna". The fourth station we saw a fuel truck ready to unload and 100 piki pikis (motor bikes) and 75 cars in line. The driver looked at the gauge and said we should be fine. Five minutes out of town the low fuel light turned on so we turned around and joined the line. The fuel delivery truck had just arrived so first we waited for him to unload and then the line started to move. We slowly inched forward until eventually our turn came. The Piki Piki’s were in line first and they just kept coming. Also other piki piki drivers would get to the front with an empty bottle pay for their 1 liter and happily take off. We waited about an hour and a half to finally get gas and then it was dark and rainy making the hour and a half drive to Tenwek not fun. I was thankful for a good driver who was familiar with the road – he knew where all the speed bumps and potholes were. I finally made it home a little after 9pm. A three hour trip that turned into five hours.

So now I am back to work.  Please say a prayer for us at the hospital as we have a lot of head injuries and other traumas lately. Also recently, we had a morning where in the space of three hours we coded and lost two babies under the age of one, both in the ER department.  Please pray for the families as well as all the staff and me as it was a tough morning.

The line for gas
This man was excited to get his 1L of gas - yes it is in a water bottle

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