Monday, May 10, 2010

Fremo Medical Clinic, IDP medical camp, and Church: third letter from Kenya

Hi everyone!
It's been another great week in Kenya! This past weekend I had some interesting experiences that made me especially grateful for the gospel, my standards, my health, my education, and all of my blessings.
Things have been going well at the Fremo medical clinic. The staff there is so wonderful and so gracious about having us there. They have so little to work with, but care so much about the community. They realize that most of the people in the area we serve cannot afford to pay for services, yet they never refuse to help anyone who comes in. They simply let the patients know that they can pay a little at a time when they are able. I sat down with them and really talked to them about what equipment and supplies they really need that they're lacking in the clinic. We also got an estimate to see how much it would cost to put a proper tile floor in their small delivery room--right now they have a clay floor that cracks when it gets wet and that absorbs the smells of water and blood. We also got an estimate for a proper walkway to replace the bumpy dirt alleyway that connects the four rooms of the clinic and outdoor toilets. We have a long way to go, but we're helping them set some good goals. We'll be distributing flyers about the free medical camp we're doing next weekend--free TB, HIV, blood sugar testing, and blood pressure and children's checkups--I'm looking forward to it!
Saturday we went back to the IDP camp to help with a free medical camp there. We held it at the little school where we built chalkboards and dug trenches last weekend. It was a truly humbling experience. We arrived late because of transportation issues on the way, but as soon as we got set up, the lines started to form! I was in charge of getting people registered and taking blood pressure, others mixed, packaged and distributed medication, a couple of our medically certified volunteers did injections and vaccinations. We did rapid HIV testing, pregnancy testing, and urin testing. From about 12-4pm we saw 190 people. Many of them walked several km to reach us, some with great difficulty walking with leg braces and walking sticks. 12 year old children were coming on their own, bringing their younger siblings to be checked because their parents couldn't be there. Again, I felt so grateful for the blessing of health and access to quality care so close to home!

I was grateful to get to church on Sunday--it was refreshing! The members are so lovely and so welcoming and kind. The topic of sacrament meeting was the atonement, and it was humbling to hear their perspective on what the atonement does for them. One sister missionary from Zimbabwe spoke and talked about how the atonement equalizes us all, it unifies us, and removes race, tribe, ecomomic status... another speaker talked about how the atonement will make fair all that is now unjust in life...(just like what you mentioned in your email, Kent!). These people are so humble and understand the atonement in ways that most of us will never experience.
My days are so full and I feel exhausted when i lie down at night...I sorta feel like a missionary again :) Every night the rain pours so hard, and everything is made of tin, so it sounds like a herd of antalope on the makes for a messy walk down the dirt road every morning, but it's wonderful!!
I'll be heading out on safari this weekend and I'm excited about seeing the big 5 and visiting a Maasai village. I'm thinking about going to Zanzibar, and I'm trying to figure out how to get over to Mt. much to do, so little time!