Happy Monday morning! We are finally here at Tenwek and getting settled into our tiny studio apartment on the third floor of the guest house. I think they forget how old I am or else they remember and think that climbing steps will keep me in shape . I have not attempted to go up to the hospital yet so that will be the real test of my stamina. It does take a few days to get used to an altitude of 7000 feet coming from the flat land of eastern North Carolina!
On Sunday we hired a driver and went to Kijabe Mission Hospital which is about an hour and a half outside Nairobi. We had worked there about six years ago so we were eager to see if things had changed. We were able to see some friends and Marv was able to talk with several people in the OB department. He also was able to talk with the doctor who is in charge of their medical education which is a primary interest of Marv’s. The best part was that her husband was wearing a U of M t shirt! The world is very small as he had spent a short time in Ann Arbor.
The four hour trip up here was uneventful thankfully. We noticed how dry everything looks until we got very close to Tenwek. Things are dry here too but a bit greener than along the way. The bougainvillea is blooming as are many other flowers. The tea leaves cover the hillside with a lush green . We are right next to a road the leads to the back of the hospital and so we have a fair amount of traffic; especially of small motorcycles or boda boda’s , as they are called ,coming and going. It is fun to wake up to the sound of children’s voices as they walk to school around 6:30 AM.
As I look out my window I have a clear vision of the building that burned last Friday night. It was a very big deal! Stories are emerging of patients fleeing their hospital beds, Moms gathering up their babies and running. The fire was not immediately threatening the maternity wing but the sound of the flames and breaking glass petrified patients. African women wail when tragedy strikes. I am told that the wailing could be heard for miles and miles as people could see the flames leaping into the air.
I plan to visit the nursery this morning but will probably wait till tomorrow too really begin working there. I wonder if the heat in the nursery will be a problem for me . It is like a sauna ! Since it is Valentine’s Day tomorrow I will bring chocolate! Many things are universal!