Wednesday, 26 March 2008

So relaxing an Easter

Sorry everyone,

I had such a relaxing weekend alone at home that I didn't even get round to writing you an email, shame on me. I did go into town twice to the internet only to find it shut though. OK no time to write now but just to let you know I am fine. The rains have started, the nights have got so so so so cold, I have been bitten to pieces again even though I sleep under net. Will write an email tonight and send tomorrow, promise....
Love to all, xxxxxxx

Kimberley, sounds like you need a holiday to get over Easter!! Mwah!
Anna hopefully new email address added just confirm you received this.... sorry about the ill health.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Halitosis Rules

G'day.... oops no that would be from Australia..... Jambo.....

Well, after spending a sickly week last week, this week in order to help with the networking for possible work, I offered my services to help at another big church project that was having a dental team from the USA coming to attend to their dental problems.

I spent Monday and Tuesday with them working like a Trojan. The project caters for 300 children, boys and girls who attend their schools on site and sleep in dormitories on separate Campus.

I was helping organize the children attending the clinic and then it was decided I was to take over the dental hygiene role (donned in latex gloves, mask and goggles for their protection and mine!!) Should have got a pic!! The dental hygiene process was a one on one talk and demonstration of dental practices with tooth brushes and floss. Many of these children have never seen a tooth brush let alone a piece of floss. Being asked to physically show them individually how to carry out the procedure was to say the least up close and personal and ‘breath taking’!!

I did enjoy being part of ‘the team’ even though (they were from US and) everyone was working at break neck speed as they are only here for a week and were half the group that had been planned. The problems arising from the election violence had decreased their numbers as they had to change dates.

Today, Wednesday, I am back at Scann both yesterday and today I am sporting a humdinger of a headache which will soon take me back home as nothing seems to be helping. I am at present working on medical lists for the dormitories as we are blanket treating for intestinal worms – a frequent problem here and also ringworm which is rife.

My job isn’t being helped as we have been issued with 20 sets of bunk beds for the dormitories as a number of boys share beds (doesn’t help the ringworm problem) and we have had a new intake from Showground of 14 orphaned boys so our numbers are increasing. Problem is that this little exercise is causing us to re organize the dormitories which means the lists that I produced last week and put on the walls are now defunct.

Until I get new lists I am unable to update my records and therefore am unable to do the ringworm drug chart as the treatment entails tablets twice a day for two weeks for 139 boys with an idiots guide tick box to make sure each boy has had his course of pills. Maybe will have to do it next week as it will take that long for the dorm parents to sort out who they have in their dorm and 5 more beds are expected……..

On Saturday I was asked by one of the boys to take home a small puppy that he had been given as it was unwell. My resources for attending to puppies and the like is running low – no it is actually now non existent even if it is for the boys here, I cant take any more animals to the vet at the moment. I took the puppy home expecting it not to make it as it appeared to show the same problems as the puppy that died. I have syringe fed it with water and glucose and tended to it. It has got weaker and weaker until it no longer got up and walked about for short bursts, instead just slept, I was expecting to get home yesterday and find it had passed on. Instead I walked in and heard wining and when I opened the door it came bounding up to me with its tail wagging. Bearing in mind it hadn’t eaten for three days this was not what I expected. I am now in a dilemma of what to do with the puppy, if I take it back to the project it will need vaccinations and the boys will struggle to maintain it, if I keep it, it will be another mouth to feed and will need to be vaccinated……I am thinking that Kim will be having puppies of her own in the not to distant future if the signs are correct……… ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I had hoped by now to be hosting volunteers but they are in very short supply at the moment, looks like I will have to find another means of making ends meet. Everyone here keeps telling me to start my own project as I am so dedicated to doing good but seriously I wouldn’t know where to start and where would the money come from????????? Good question I thought!

Other than my stinking headache I am doing Ok, things are frustrating me a little but I think that is due to having been under the weather. I still feel I am where I should be at the moment and the thought of coming home at the end of June, whilst being great to see the family, is a daunting prospect.

Hope everyone is doing well, and health wise are healthier than me. The weather here is still hot and very dry although I keep being told the rain is coming, it really isn’t. I keep waiting for the rain so I can plant my shamba, no good doing so without the rain just a waste of energy and seeds.

I was supposed to be back with the dentists tomorrow and Friday but think my headache is my bodies way of telling me I am not quite ‘fit’ and their working day is so long!

Love and hugs all round.

Dental hygienist, nurse, vet, sewing lady, general dogs body and all……


Saturday, 1 March 2008

A Funny thing happened

Hi All,
a bit of a delay in you getting this so read on and find out why, more exciting episodes of 'crazy woman in Kenya'.........

A ‘funny’ thing happened to me on the way to Scann on Saturday………. Well, funny isn’t really how I saw it! I was on the back of a boda boda with my lovely woven keondo (traditional bag) as usual Mary Poppin’s style with everything in it…… newly written medical cards and medical journal for the boys, mobile phone, purse, sewing kit, first aid kit, munchies for a day at Scann, bottle of juice, books, cuddly toy, blankety blank cheque book and pen (for those of you who are old enough to remember)… basically everything.

I was remarking on how nice the day was although there was a huge cloud of smoke overhead (apparently a bush fire was burning in Nakuru game-park). The road to Scann is never a smooth one, consisting of lumps and bumps, garbage, small children, goats, sheep, cows, geese, dust clouds and basically dust and more dust, oh and I almost forgot to mention just adjacent to the entrance of Scann is a permanent stream of sewage that flows across the ‘road’. Recently I have noticed and the management have complained that the stream has increased in size and smell, to what can only be described as a small river which has eroded a large dip in the ‘road’. I prepared myself for the sludge and stench of riding through it as there is no way around, and was happy that we appeared to be having little trouble until the front wheel of the bike hit a rock. The judder was very hard however, we managed to stay upright and the boda man continued riding, he obviously was so pleased with himself for getting through that he totally ignored my shouting at him and tapping his back frantically to get him stop. The reason he needed to stop was the strap on my bag in the judder had given way and my bag was now lying on its side in the deepest part of the ‘river’. He eventually stopped, bewildered, and watched me scramble off the back of the bike straddle the nearest part of the stench oozing lake and retrieve my disgusting bag which by this time had managed to soak up all the goo.

I was so upset I just handed him his 20 bob for the ride and skulked off to Scann. Unfortunately, the event had not only been witnessed by some nosey goats, but some street vendors, a passing Learner Driver vehicle and lots of children on their way back from lunch! The security guard at Scann must have smelt me coming as he sat with his hand over his nose! I walked straight to the water tap and proceeded to piece by piece remove all the items from my bag. The boys who had been clothes washing came and offered their sympathy and helped me wash various items. They kept telling me I was lucky………..I couldn’t see it myself, everything I owned stank and oozed sewage. Their way of thinking was that I was lucky that it wasn’t me who fell in and was head to toe covered in sewage.

Now I saw their reasoning but it made me in no lighter mood. Everything needed washing, my spare glasses, glasses case, purse, money (paper and coins), mobile air time voucher, bank cards, mobile phone, the sewing items, many items in the medical kit had to go. So much still smelt, even the money, purse and mobile, sprayed with perfume, nothing helped.

When it was time to leave Scann one of the smaller boys went for a boda, when he arrived I got on the back and told him not to drop me in the sewage lake, he laughed and said he and the rest of the boda boys had heard of my ‘troubles’ and sorry, its nice the way news spreads. I took hold of his t-shirt on either side of his back as he pulled away from Scann, I leaned forward and whispered that if by any chance I was to fall in he would come with me, he and the crowd who had gathered found this threat highly amusing and laughed as we ploughed through the lake. I was relieved when we had got across without hiccups and I heard the boda man breath a sigh of relief too.

Ok sorry for the delay in you getting that email but on Monday I went down with Typhoid, basically I felt awful and struggled to get out of bed, my head was pounding and ears ached badly and that is without going into what my stomach was doing.

The roof was at ‘rip it off’ stage with so much noise and mess, the foreman (a new one) found it a hard day as every time he spoke to me I cried, I have no idea what that was about!!!!! After sleeping most of the day a Billie (Mama Sweeties husband) came over to ask if he could park his van in my compound as he didn’t have enough fuel to get home. He found me in a deep deep sleep, sweating billieo and not too coherent. He told me to get sorted (took me a few mins as couldn’t get my head round the instruction) and he would take me to the hospital for tests, it took a great effort, but realisation en route that their labs would already be closed was making me unhappy at the effort I had made. I called the Doctor that covers Scann and talked to him he told me to find a pharmacist and get some painkillers to tide me over night and go for tests at the lab in the morning.

Finding a pharmacist open was the next problem with the curfew still in force. We drove around and the last stop was just closing their doors with customers inside, I think they must have taken one look at me and decided that I had better get inside. By the time I got to the counter and the pharmacist came to me all I could do was cry, I was sweating and not too steady on my legs, she must have thought I was crazy. She agreed that malaria was a strong possibility but to take anti malaria tablets and go for a test in the morning would void the test. Painkillers it was.

I filled the van with fuel and Billie came back in the morning to make sure I went for a test, whilst doing malaria I also asked for typhoid as it is very like malaria in symptoms. Sure enough typhoid it was, well, I was getting bored of malaria, I felt like a change.

I spent the rest of Tuesday sleeping fitfully with the crashing going on over head. Wednesday was better I got up and sat under quilt on sofa (can do that now I have one!) and slept……. Thursday I got up feeling much better, I started early clearing the shamba at 6.30am then watered the plants, watched on by the arriving fundis who knew I had been unwell, I then swept and washed the floors and dusted the house, did my washing and continued for the rest of the day without sitting down……. Madness, how crazy was that. Mind you that is apparently how typhoid goes one day fine the next sleep all day.

Today, Friday I managed to get to Scann as the doctor is visiting tomorrow and I needed to make preparations for a visitation list and check on boys. James Mwangi, my little friend, was so pleased to see me he kept waving and smiling at me, probably thought I had gone home to UK. The rest of the boys soon gathered that I was about requesting hair shaving, writing paper for letters and numerous other things. I managed to set up a call list for the doctor and check on the way meds were getting to the boys from the houseparents. I also typed minutes from a meeting that I didn’t attend, it is funny how the Kenyans can speak and write English but it is in a totally different way and takes me a while to work out what they mean! Needless to say I was exhausted when I got home especially as I had to go to the market and pick up veg on the way home. Judith is still working at selling airtime and me being ill this week I have really missed her help.

Ok now that you are probably bored to tears I am off to bed.
Signing off for now (wrote this last night so am now up and at internet!)
Hoping my email finds you all well, Dr has just text me to let me know he wont be at Scann at 2 it wont be until 3.30 (does he not know how much effort it took for me to get up and into town today......ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!)

Being sick and away makes me terribly home sick, so wont whitter on any more as will probably start crying in the internet and I really hate that everyone stares! Cant think why. Jean have saved your email and will read later just in case you make me cry!!
Hugs all round.