A few weeks ago I was asked by a short term Tenwek Visitor what I do on weekend off – I didn’t have a great answer for her. Why? Because I am doing life here. Living here is not a long holiday but normal things. Just like you sitting in your house right now, my Saturdays are busy. Last weekend was a slower pace. I was watching two boys as their parents were gone for the weekend. They are ~11years old and therefore fairly easy. However, being responsible for them has given me an excuse to turn down some other requests for the weekend so it was rather relaxing – I took a short nap, backed up my computer, baked some cookies.
I also made 2 trips of to the hospital. We have been having a difficult problem, I only have four functioning ventilators and they are all in use. Last Saturday, I got a call as they needed to intubate a fifth person and needed a ventilator. OK. Hard decision time – we tried one of the patients on T-piece and she did okay so her ventilator went to the next patient. I also looked at the other three patients on ventilators trying to figure out if I get called again, who is next? Is it the septic young man, the fellow who has poor muscle strength for unknown reason or the craniectomy patient who is not waking up? Hard decisions I am praying that another ventilator will not be needed until we can get the existing patients extubated. However I was able to get a plan in place with the surgeon if we need another machine. We have a few broken down machines and I am hoping they can be fixed to prevent this problem from happening again.
Anyway back to my Saturday. As you can see last weekend was rather relaxing – I am completely serious, it was. Another Saturday I was expecting a relaxing weekend but found out my Youth Group had a soccer tournament at Tenwek. Being there to show support to these boys is important so I spent the day in the sun watching soccer – it was a fun day but not the day I expected to have as I only found out about it the day before.
The weekend before that I had an adventure with my ICU and HDU nurses we travelled to a place called 14 falls on the way we stopped for chai. Chai to Kenyans is like coffee time for Dutch people, it must happen. We also stopped to see a pineapple farm – I had never before seen pinapples grow, I thought they grew like cabbage but they are off the ground – it was neat to see. The water falls were beautiful, however, I was disappointed by the amount of pollution in the water. Usually I am the first one to get my feet wet but I refused to touch this water. Regardless the day was fun and it was great to spend time with my co-workers outside of the hospital.
That is life at Tenwek. I often wonder where the time goes as there is always something to do, someone with a need, or a game to play. Please pray for me to have wisdom and strength for the busy times and the courage to say no.