Saturday, August 4, 2012
Day Nine - A Youths View
After the grueling, yet strangely enjoyable trial of the endless bus tour yesterday, it was nice to have a day off. We are now at a new and absolutely b-e-a-utiful camp. (spelled out for emphasis). Although we wanted to sleep in, we were wakened by a chainsaw. Once up, we were able to see the beautiful grounds. Tindinyo Falls Resort was built in 1927 by an Indian businessman and operated a mill for the village for decades. It is now a small local resort and conference centre, although very much “different” than a conference centre in Canada. The grounds are filled with huge eucalyptus, mango and guava trees and the adjacent falls are spectacular. We have a huge poinsettia bush outside our gate. We met Nicholas, our Kenyan resort manager.
Breakfast was French toast accompanied by a nice cup of chai tea. Alanna’s metaphor to explain the amazingness of this tea: “if you died a horrid death in the midst of a terrible war, and you went to heaven and everything was sunshine and rainbows and happiness, it’s Christmas in a cup.” Our electronic entertainment program was derailed when Eric Davison’s hard drive was dropped, but was saved when we got satellite (well not really, as the only channels are BBC World, MGM Movies and nothing else remotely interesting).
The rest of the day was open to all possibilities when the leadership team departed for an adventurous day of planning and preparation. We explored the expansive estate, taking in the beautiful river, awesome climbing trees, and flowers that would brighten anyone’s day. The weather was intermittently sunny and rainy. We spent significant time playing games and trying to convince Aaron to shave his neck beard (he didn’t).
Although the leaders promised to return by lunch, they did not, so we ate PB&J sandwiches; well, most of us did… Michael Nash ate a piece of bread with butter and said, “I’m relatively sure it’s not butter” – (possibly lard?). With the power going out (thanks to the rain) we felt it would be worthwhile to use our supply of electronics to hold an indoor “rave”. In our case, this included many headlamps, a pair of computer speakers and a few music devices providing high quality dub step and electronic music.
Late in the afternoon our leadership team returned with a van full of food and other essentials. The advisors had spent the day visiting the Shiru Medical Clinic and meeting Eliud, the Director, the regional health coordinater and several nurses to discuss project scope and planned outreach activities in outlying areas. Later, they received a tour of the facilities. The main clinic building sees about 100 people a day and is a very simply constructed structure with an open-air waiting room. In the main building is the triage area, an impossibly small pharmacy, a drug storage area (with empty shelves), a treatment room, a lab and the Director’s office. All the rooms are small, dimly lit and sparsely furnished. Outside is a small incinerator with the chimney rusted away. The second building was Government-constructed and used for public outreach and immunizations. Building three was the maternity ward with three beds and storage. It was the only building with onsite pumped water, delivered from two large black ABS tanks via galvanized piping and a tiny electric pump. Building four was the staff quarters, complete with laundry hanging on the bushes, chickens everywhere and five-week old puppies.
Contracted work had started on the site and a Smart Car-sized boulder was being buried in a vast, newly dug pit. They also met the 15 Kenyan Rovers who would be helping us. Later, they headed to an outdoor market in a nearby town to purchase the food. Few recognizable dry goods were available, but vegetables were plentiful, cheap and nice.
We are looking forward to starting work at the clinic tomorrow.
By Brandon & Hannes