Saturday, September 18, 2010

Snapshots of This last Week

Here are some pictures from this last week. It was an extremely busy one, with some big highs and some big lows. Here are some of the highs and a look at some day-to-day life in our clinic and village.

One of my friends, Ruth, recently had her fourth baby. A sweet little girl named Chepchirchir. I had the privilege of helping in the delivery. She had some complications and wound up needing some extra care. Here Ruth talks about how thankful she is for access to good care when complications such as hers arise. I'm bonding with little Chepchirchir.

During lunch one day in town I decided to snap a picture of the very popular lunch plate of chicken and chips.

More than a decade ago our clinic actually originally started with dental services. A dentist from the USA came and taught some of our villagers how to pull teeth under a mango tree. From there, health care has blossomed in Kipkaren. This week a dream came true as we were given a dental chair/unit by some generous caring people with the non-profit Spanda. We will now be able to expand our current services (deep cleaning and extractions) to offer dental fillings as well. We are pretty excited! The chair/unit will be installed early next week.

Unfortunately we see a lot of wounds in our village. Children here do household chores, just like kids in America. Only the household chores in Kenya often involve sharp instruments for tasks like cutting grass for cows, chopping firewood etc. This little boy wacked his finger with a machete. The nurse who was on call had a very difficult time managing him and the wound so she called me for backup. It took nearly an hour to get the wound closed. His mother, auntie, and grandmother were all in the treatment room. There came one point where everyone was yelling while he was screaming and I was sweating! I asked everybody to stop and take a deep breath. I told the boy that we would wait to proceed until he was ready; and if we needed to wait until the sun went down, that was okay with me. The women all looked at me in disbelief. I explained that he needed to know that he had some control in the situation and we weren't just pinning him down to torture him. A minute later he relaxed and gave me his hand. This picture was taken two days later when he came for a wound check. I've refrained from posting the close-up of the finger.

Well that's it for now. We are actually on our way to America for a few months. Yesterday we made the drive to Nairobi, and tonight we fly to London, then on to CA. We would appreciate your prayers for a safe and smooth journey.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Okay, I realize I am very overdue for an update. I feel like I've been burning the candle at both ends lately in preparation for our trip to the USA. There is a lot to organize when you are going to be away for three months!

The big project hanging over my head right now has been our protocol book at the clinic. I've had it in my mind to write it for about two years now. The hiring of two new-graduate nurses combined with the fact that I'm not going to be around to consult, has prompted me to finally get it done. I feel like I'm back in school writing my comprehensive finals as I pound out page after page of information for treating everything from malaria to retained placentas! It's also a reminder of how it is virtually impossible to know everything about everything. I just hope that the other providers benefit from reading and implementing the book as much as I have in writing it!

So before I get back to my monster project let me just share some pictures from recent highlights.

I was recently blessed to have an intern from my home church Life Bible Fellowship church in southern CA. Christina was with us for two months. Here she accompanied me to a high school girls conference where I was a guest speaker.

Four years ago I shared on my blog about a boy named Patrick. You can read about him here and here. This is a recent picture of Patrick and I as he receives a folder prepared especially for him by someone from my church. Patrick is doing very well and is as tall as me now!

Below are pictures from our first major mobile outreach. We went to a remote clinic and provided dental and optometry services. We treated nearly 150 patients that day!