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Whirlwind day 1 at Eldoret

March 9, 2011

We didn’t post at our brief layover stop in Nairobi yesterday evening. It was a 36-hour marathon of travel. So I’ll be posting for two days, but I’ll make up for it with lots of pictures.

The "Mathews" Table

Our brief late night sojourn of nine hours at the Methodist Guest House was highlighted by a nice meal at the “Mathews” table. While it’s really spelled “Matthews” with two Ts, the Kenyans for whatever reason only use one T for his name no matter what.

We have to get used to some different vocabulary again such as “chips” for french fries. There is also the driving on the left again.

Today we got up at 4am due to jet lag etc and flew out at 8am to Eldoret. Of course, it’s a little comical bringing two large checked bags weighing in at ~50lbs to Kenyan domestic terminal where the limit is 45 lbs and only one bag. Fortunately, the relationship with the IU program is very good, so with a little haggling/bartering the added fee was probably only about $15 for the two extra bags. What a blessing to not have paid an exorbitant fee.

Since Ginnie has a limited amount of time in

First contact with pediatrics

Eldoret (7 days), we decided to press on and not rest. Ginnie met with Dr. Myra Koech (the sole Kenyan pediatric cardiologist) and Dr. Laura Ruhl a recently graduating “consulting” pediatrician from IU.

Not unsurprisingly, when she rounding with Myra there was a significant amount of pediatric heart disease on the ward. In fact on child died last night from a condition that would have likely been treatable in the US.

Child life center

Dr. Matthews and I toured the entire hospital. Which quite large and may even dwarf Tenwek with the actual clinical landscape used. In the pictures, you ‘ll see some shots of the adult medical ward, the Child Life Center (where hospitalized children can go to have fun). It’s great to see kids having fun–certainly laughter can be therapeutic. But all is not so joyous when we talked to Ernest who manages the child life center. He showed as a database of the children with various pediatric cancers on his computer. He had about 140 children who had been seen at the MTRH during the past year, of those 34 were dead. The goal of this tracking system is to follow-up on those children who

Richard the smiling artist

often can’t come to follow-up treatment season do to finances or no transportation. When these children are identified, money from Pfizer in the US is used to facilitate matters . Amazingly, despite the poverty of some of the regions, most Kenyans will still have a cell phone. So the cell phone has actually helped some of these children.

 

The adult ward

I still have several more pictures to post, but I need to get some rest. We walked all around Eldoret under the equatorial sun so we’re pretty bet. Tomorrow Ginnie will give her first set of presentations. I will be on surgical rounds all morning. Apparently these long rounds are where we examine the patients who require surgery and determine who will go to the OR on Friday. I hope I’ll have a chance to hear Ginnie’s talk and stay awake! If you feel so lead please pray that she would adapt quickly to the 8 hour time zone change and that she would not be overextended so she has energy left next week when she comes back home. The schedule is full with Esther’s birthday and being on calling. So not much rest for Ginnie. Please continue to pray for us to have open hearts about the potential for working here. Thanks again for all your emails and prayers. We are so grateful that all four children are doing well at Caleb & Melissa’s home. If that’s not sacrificial giving to watch four young children, I don’t know what is.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Steve Eisinger permalink
    March 9, 2011 9:33 pm

    Praying for much strength and grace, esp for Ginnie!

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