Only one day into treating patients in the hospital and the two phrases we have said more than anything else are “make a plan” and “hurry up and wait.” As much as we try to plan our day, our schedule seems to be ruled by the availability of electricity, rain, visitors, and last minute “hallway” referrals.
Generally, on treatment days, we can count on having our morning meeting with the hospital doctors and nursing staff at 7:30am every morning, our lunch break somewhere between 12-2, and ending our day at the hospital around 5pm. Everything in between is tackling whatever the day throws at us!
On Sunday (our yesterday), we planned on going to the village church service, which we were informed started at 8am. We got there promptly on time but 8am slowly rolled by with very few people filling the pews. By 8:45am someone announced that the Father was on his way. Finally, Mass started at 9:30 and lasted until 11. When it was over, we were glad to finally stand up and stretch our legs!
We had planned to go to the village of Kamangira after lunch, but as we were preparing to leave, dark storm clouds rolled in, followed by thunder and lightning delaying our trek to the village. After about half an hour, the rain died down to a light sprinkle so we bundled up in our rain jackets and started the hour long walk along a muddy dirt road to the village. Thankfully the rain stopped halfway and the weather remained temperate for the remainder of our walk!
Kamangira is a village Dr. Nesbit visits every year, takes photos of the people there, and brings them photo albums of the pictures from the previous year. The children were the first to greet us as we approached the village and before we knew it we had a whole pack of kids excitedly following us around. They loved taking selfies with us, especially Alycia, who got them making funny faces at the camera. We were also happy to finally meet some little babies who smiled at us rather than burst into tears!
We had the opportunity to meet the most adorable auntie, whom Dr. Nesbit had met for the first time 11 years ago, and has visited every year since. This 81-year-old auntie was so overjoyed to see Dr. Nesbit again, and graciously invited us into her home to visit with us. Auntie’s daughter, granddaughter, and great grandson ended up joining us in her home and it was incredible to see 4 generations under the same roof! When we left her home, she wanted to thank us and send us off with a gift of a live chicken! We politely declined, quietly chuckling at thoughts of us walking home trying to wrangle a chicken.
Taking portraits for the rest of the village was a time-consuming task. As word spread that we were there, more and more people gathered around us. We even needed to get creative with our lighting by using the flashlights on our phones to brighten a dim room.
After a couple of hours, we started to see more dark storm clouds moving in on the horizon. We took that as our cue to say goodbye and start our walk back home. We made it home nice and dry, our hearts warmed by the wonderful people of Kamangira.
With warm hearts,
Samantha, Alycia, and Melody (S.A.M.)